It has been a while since I last wrote a cookbook review. I actually wanted to write one a month ago, but then I spontaneously decided to get personal and share some thoughts on how to deal with one’s shadows with you. I would like to thank you very much for all the dear comments! As promised, the review of our latest cookbook comes now. This book was only released in December 2016. It is full of irresistible baking recipes, from which I have tried the black bean brownies. Although I already had positive expectations, I was surprised by the result. Wet, sweet, chocolatey. You can find the simple recipe below.
Here is my review of Veronika Pachala’s “Gesund Backen ist Liebe“.
Author: Veronika Pachala
Publisher: Riva Verlag
On her blog called «Carrots for Claire», Veronika Pachala shares delicious and healthy family recipes.
Who is Veronika Pachala?
Veronika Pachala is a successful German blogger and cookbook author. Her first cookbook was called “Gesund Kochen ist Liebe”, for which we also wrote a review. She became interested in the healthy diet due to various food intolerances of her daughter. She had to look for alternatives for cow’s milk, wheat, and additives. With a new and more healthy diet, she lost over 10 kg after numerous unsuccessful diets. Since then she has been extremely satisfied with her body. On her blog and on Instagram she shows with beautiful photos and very authentic, loving texts how she feeds her family in a healthy and delicious way. There are also super cute baby and children photos. 😉
How are the recipes?
The book is structured according to different types of pastries: cakes and berry tarts; layer cakes and tartlets; all sorts of muffins, brownies, and pastries; waffles, strudels, and bread; sweets for Christmas. Besides the confectionery, there is also some salty bread. Neither cow’s milk nor wheat or refined sugars are used. Accordingly, Veronika Pachala uses vegetable milk, more natural sweeteners and special cereals and pseudocereals. Her sweeteners are dates, maple syrup, rice syrup, birch sugar and coconut blossom sugar. Often, she bakes with nuts. As a healthy source of fat, she mainly uses coconut oil. Many recipes are vegan and gluten-free, which is indicated by a symbol. Most of them are made completely or partly with whole grain flours. Various fruits can be found in the book. There are, for example, apple waffles, a pear layer cake, oat and blueberry muffins and a nectarine crumble. Also, many recipes are based on chocolate. In my opinion, the pastries in “Gesund Kochen ist Liebe” are very diverse and I’m convinced that everyone finds something that pleases him or her. Some of the more special creations are the sweet potato bread or the zucchini and grape cake. On the other hand, there are also classics such as sponge fingers or apple strudel in a healthier variation.
What else can you find?
At the beginning, the most important baking ingredients of the book are presented. Veronika Pachala provides information on nutritional values and preparation methods. She begins with cereals and pseudocereals. Subsequently, she goes to special flour varieties such as ground tigernuts or sweet lupine flour. This is followed by healthy fats, alternative sweeteners and different kinds of plant-based milk. The reader even gets the simple and quick recipes for oat milk, almond milk, chia egg and linseed egg. All this is illustrated with photos, so that one can imagine how the special ingredients look like. In the introduction of the book “ Gesund Backen ist Liebe “, the author tells about her relation to healthy baking and her sweet tooth.
What is particularly good?
I love the fact that all recipes are illustrated with beautiful photos. Especially those of you who like flowers are going to love the photos. The layout of the book contains many playful details. You are also going to find many portraits of Veronika Pachala. The book successfully brings the topics “healthy” and “baking” together. Variety is guaranteed. The tastes and the appearance of the recipes are great for children. For example, there are sweet and pink tartlets. Almost everybody is going to find one or more new ingredients in this book. The book also teaches how to confidently use these special ingredients.
For whom is this book interesting?
Of course, the book “Gesund Backen ist Liebe” is dedicated to all the people who have a sweet tooth, but want to eat more healthy and nutritious baked goods. It is also great for everybody who likes to take time for baking and experiment with new ingredients. If you want to eat more homemade baked goods that taste at least as delicious as the store-bought ones, I absolutely recommend you Veronika Pachala’s book.
I’ve marked several recipes, which I would like to try out. Since I wanted to cook beans anyway, I opted for the exciting black bean brownies. I have slightly adapted the recipe. Instead of dried plums, I used dates for sweetening. And actually, I didn’t use black beans, but brown beans, but I am convinced that this does not make any difference for the recipe. The recipe has a vegan and a non-vegan variation. For the vegan variation, the egg is omitted. The brownies are quite humid and not very airy. Thanks to the baking power, the dough still rises a bit, which amazed me. I liked the consistency very much.
BLACK BEAN BROWNIES
lactose-free, soy-free, gluten-free, plant-based (vegan), sugar-free
approx. 12 brownies
Level of difficulty: easy
- 150 g/5.3 oz black beans (dried, you can also use brown beans)
- 150 g/5.3 oz dates (pitted)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp vanilla powder
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 30 g/1.1 oz coconut oil
- 40 g/1.4 oz 100% chocolate (more information here)
- Soak the beans overnight. Then, throw away the soaking water and cook the beans with new water for at least one hour. You can remove the ascending foam. Rinse and wash the boiled beans with water in a sieve.
- Blend the beans, the dates, the vanilla, the cocoa powder, the baking powder and 2 pinches of salt in a powerful food processor.
- Heat the coconut oil in a pot. Place the chocolate into the oil, so that it melts. Mix this liquid with the blended ingredients.
- Now you can preheat the oven to 180C/356F. Spread the dough on a baking sheet covered with baking paper with. It should have the form of a rectangle or square with the height of 3 to 4 cm. Bake the brownies for 20 minutes.
- Let the brownies cool and cut them into squares. You can sprinkle some sea salt over them if you like.
This is how it looks like before blending.
Before and after baking.
On the left, you see my brownies that are sweetened with dates. On the right, there is Veronika Pachala’s original version with dried plums.
And here you can buy the book.
How do you like these brownies?
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