Archives for April 2013

Vegan Brownie and Peanut Butter Whipped Cream

A week ago yesterday, I had one of the more surreal experiences I’ve ever had in my 35 years on earth. Nothing too crazy or bizarre, but enough to get me pretty darn excited for the 3 months leading up to it! Myself and a fellow blogger were chosen to share some of our favorite recipes and love of running on a TV show called My Family Recipe Rocks. O.M.G. What?! We didn’t submit recipes or fill out an application, we were just found through the glory of the internet. How cool is that!?! This recipe for my raw vegan brownie, and peanut butter whipped cream (also vegan) were featured on the show, along with my vegan chili.


With few ingredients and no baking time, this recipe is a household staple for us. They are so easy to make, you just need a food processor and some simple ingredients.

Vegan Brownie and Peanut Butter Coconut Whipped Cream
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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Vegan Brownie and Peanut Butter Coconut Whipped Cream



1 cup pecans (almonds work too)

1 cup Medjool dates, pitted

5 tbsp. cocoa powder

pinch or two of sea salt

1 tbsp. maple syrup (optional)

1 tbsp. chia seeds (optional)

PEANUT BUTTER COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM - Important: Coconut milk must be chilled 8 hours for this recipe.

2 cans coconut milk, full fat (must be canned, not the kind you drink; can be found in the baking aisle)

1/4 cup peanut butter, creamy

2 tbsp. maple syrup



    1. In a food processor, grind up pecans until coarsely chopped and crumbly.

    2. Add pitted dates and process until well combined, but still crumbly looking.

    3. Combine cocoa powder and salt in a separate, small bowl and then sprinkle over pecan and date mixture; pulse a few times.

    4. If you are using maple syrup and chia seeds, you can spoon those over the mixture. Process until well combined and ingredients starts to barely ball up in the processor.

    5. Spoon mixture into a square glass tupperware or baking dish, lined with parchment paper. Make sure your container is NO larger than 8"x8". The smaller the dish, the thicker the brownies so it's up to you on the container size. 8"x8" will produce a thickness like that pictured above.

    6. Press the brownie mixture down into the dish until firmly packed together. A flat potato masher works well to get it nice and even.

    7. Brownies can be cut and served immediately or placed in the fridge for 2 hours and served chilled; which will also make them more firm.

    8. Store any leftovers in fridge. Eat plain, or topped with coconut peanut butter whipped cream!


    1. Place cans of coconut milk in the fridge overnight to allow for separation of coconut cream and coconut water.

    2. When ready to make whipped cream, chill mixing bowl in the fridge for ~ 20 minutes.

    3. In a small bowl, stir together peanut butter and maple syrup to make a thin, sweet, peanut butter mixture and set aside.

    4. Remove coconut milk cans carefully from fridge and gently tip them upside down and open the bottom of each; this will make it easier to pour off the coconut water, since the coconut fat floats to the top of the can.

    5. Once the bottom of the can is removed, gently pour off the coconut water into a storage dish and set aside for use in other recipes or smoothies. Store in fridge. The coconut cream should easily stick to the inside of the can.

    6. Scoop all the cream out of the cans, directly into the chilled bowl. Turn mixer on medium speed to whip cream into a fluffy whipped CREAM. This should take about 1-2 minutes.

    7. Turn mixer on low speed, and slowly add peanut butter mixture, one tablespoon at a time until all of mixture has been added. Whip on high an additional minute or until mixture thickens.

    8. Serve immediately or place in fridge for up to one week. Whipped cream will stiffen once chilled. Great on brownies, bananas, fingers, anything!!

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Raw Vegan Brownie Slideshow How-To

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Peanut Butter Whipped Cream Slideshow How-To

This stuff, by the way, is my kryptonite. I am seriously addicted to it. NOT. GOOD. This coconut milk is full of FAT and coincidentally, flavor. 😉

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Looking for my other recipes featured on My Family Recipe Rocks?


Here is a little behind-the-scenes of the recipe filming day. 🙂

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Laughlin 5K and Colorado River Float

It has become a habit lately to float down the Colorado River… don’t worry, we use kayak’s… we go with a group of fun friends and always have a blast! Coincidentally in April there is also a 5k and half marathon the morning of the float; a perfect duo for this runner. Last year, I did the half marathon and was too exhausted to fight the abnormal 40-50 mph winds that faced us on the river, and bailed early. This year, I opted for the 5k and was much happier! The wind was almost non-existent and the river was flowing quickly, too. It was incredible; just sit back and relax… ahhhh…

Doesn't get much better than this...

Doesn’t get much better than this…

At the start of last year’s half marathon, I was all smiles and happiness. This was of course before I realized how great a toll the road would take on my legs and ankles.

2012 - Before cutting out dairy and practicing Chi Running (I was also waving to my photographer friend here...)

2012 – Before cutting out dairy and practicing Chi Running (I was also waving to my photographer friend here…)

By the time I crossed the finish line, I was OVER IT.

By the time I crossed the finish line, I was toast.

I was toast.

You see, this “road” race as it is classified, is actually on a Forest Service road, so it’s all pebble, sand, and some jagged rocks. Despite keeping an easy pace during last year’s half, I was spent. (See above photo!) There really is no taking it easy on this course, because every step forward really takes you a quarter step back. I’m SO glad I switched to the 5k this year. I pushed hard knowing it was only for 3.1 miles, not 13.1. I ended up finishing 3rd woman overall (out of 58) and 8th runner overall (out of 94). Not too bad! (24:25, not my best that’s for sure – but don’t tell my nephew that, he and I have a competition at the end of Summer… a “race to the death” 5k! hahaha)

If you look carefully in the background of the photo below, you can see Mr. ZucchiniRunner (I’ve always wanted to say that!), as a blur in his blue top and gray shorts, about to beat his personal best for a 5k! Woo hoo!

2013 - After cutting out dairy, lots of gluten and practicing Chi Running

2013 – After cutting out dairy, lots of gluten and practicing Chi Running

After the race we had some laughs, got our medals and got saddled up to float down river!

Dan (a.k.a Mr. ZucchiniRunner), me and our friend Amy. We all placed! Woo hoo!

Dan (a.k.a Mr. ZucchiniRunner), me and our friend Amy. We all placed! Woo hoo!

The photos and captions really speak for themselves on this one. So I will let you view them and enjoy! (You can click on them to enlarge and see the full caption…)