Jackson Pollock Popcorn, and a Butter Baked Goods Giveaway

I’m taking a little break from all the kale and beans and sweet potatoes this week to bring you this dark-chocolate-drizzled caramel popcorn.

Jackson Pollock Popcorn | www.kiwiandbean.com

Let me be clear—there is nothing healthy about this popcorn. No hidden veggies or pureed legumes or anything of the sort. But that didn’t stop me and my ecstatic three year old from shoving the whole darn batch down our sugar-deprived pie-holes. (Which is an awfully graphic and unpleasant image, I realize. Sorry.)

I had planned to bag this popcorn up as a little Christmas offering for party hosts, neighbours and the like, but hey there are 29 days until Christmas, which leaves plenty of time for a second (and even third and fourth) batch. And besides, no recipe should be gifted without first being sampled. EXTENSIVELY.

Jackson Pollock Popcorn | www.kiwiandbean.com

This is not just dark-chocolate-drizzled caramel popcorn. It’s Jackson Pollock Popcorn from the cookbook Butter Baked Goods: Nostalgic Recipes from a Little Neighborhood Bakery. Butter is a beautiful old-fashioned bakery, cafe and confectionary in a tree-lined little neighbo(u)rhood in Vancouver, Canada. The same little nabe that I grew up in, actually. (Although fortunately for the state of my childhood dental health, Butter did not yet exist in those years.) The bakery turns out bars, cookies, cakes and marshmallows that have become a bit of a Vancouver legend. And Rosie, the bakery’s owner, recently published a cookbook sharing the recipes, techniques and tricks behind some of the most sought-after sweet treats.

Jackson Pollock Popcorn | www.kiwiandbean.com

This week I have teamed up with a great group of Canadian food bloggers to give away the ultimate Butter prize pack: a signed copy of the cookbook, and a big arse box of bakery-churned treats. Can you think of a better way to kick off the holiday season than with a box of sweet deliciousness DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR? I didn’t think so.

To enter the giveaway, just scroll on down to the bottom of this page and follow the instructions. For a drool-inducing preview of the cookbook’s contents and the bakery’s products, check out the other posts in this giveaway series:

Butter Baked Goods Bloggers | www.kiwiandbean.com

TO get the recipe for Jackson Pollock Popcorn: Enter the giveaway (see below) and cross your fingers. Cruel am I.

To enter the giveaway: (1) Leave a blog comment telling me your favourite sweet treat, AND (2) complete the “Rafflecopter” entry form below, providing your email address and confirming that you submitted a comment (Note: the email address is merely so that we can contact the winner; you are not subscribing to anything!). You can earn additional entries (and increase your chance of winning!) by doing a little social media following, as explained in the entry form below (optional, but boy does it give us the real warm and fuzzies). The contest is open to all legal residents of Canada and the USA who have reached the age of majority in the province, territory or state in which they reside. Contest closes Wednesday December 3, 2014. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read full story · Comments { 17 }

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chocolate Fudge Bars

These  dense, creamy, fudgy brownie bars are vegan, gluten-free and refined-sugar free, and packed with the goodness of sweet potato and black beans. Healthy never tasted so good, my friends.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chocolate Fudge Bars | www.kiwiandbean.com

If there is one thing I have learned in my three years of cooking for a small person: no matter how much you push the healthy food and no matter how delicious you make it taste and appetizing you make it look, your kids will want chocolate. You can tell them that too much chocolate will give them tummy aches or torrent diarrhea; you can talk up the “sugar bugs” that will take up residence in their teeth; and you can hide mommy’s dark chocolate stash on the top pantry shelf behind the millet crackers. But all this will very likely make them want the chocolate even more desperately. It’s just one of those hair-pulling immutable parenting truths.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chocolate Fudge Bars | www.kiwiandbean.com For the first couple years of her life, I did the darnedest to shelter the Bean from sugary temptations. I was judicious with maple syrup on her morning oatmeal, if I offered it at all. I gave her fresh fruit instead of cookies at the end of every meal. She ate plain unsweetened yogurt and drank water (with a splash of juice for a “treat”). If I made cookies or cakes or cupcakes, I stashed the leftovers in the depths of my freezer (so that I could secretly binge after she went to bed, of course).

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chocolate Fudge Bars | www.kiwiandbean.com

Then one fateful day she had her first taste of a friend’s birthday cake. AND IT WAS ALL OVER. One measly bite was all it took to create a sweet-toothed little monster, and the girl would now take intravenous chocolate icing for every meal if she had it her way.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chocolate Fudge Bars | www.kiwiandbean.com

Now, some better parents might have continued to fight back, push the kale chips, and water down the apple juice with spirulina. But as far as I’m concerned, chocolate resistance is futile. So while the better parents are going to head to head with their sugar-loving wilful three year olds, I will be in the kitchen making Black Bean Sweet Potato Fudge Bars. (Kitschy socks totally optional.)

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chocolate Fudge Bars | www.kiwiandbean.com

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chocolate Fudge Bars | www.kiwiandbean.com

Now wait just a sec before you go all “why ruin chocolate with vegetables and beans” on me. I totally get it and am inclined to agree that as a general rule, chocolate and vegetables do not belong together. BUT no one will EVER guess that there are sweet potatoes and beans hiding inside these dense, soft, creamy fudgy brownie bars. Nor will anyone suspect that they are vegan, wheat-free and refined-sugar-free, either. I promise. This black bean sweet potato brownie bar is the ultimate healthy, flavourful, no-compromise chocolate treat.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chocolate Fudge Bars | www.kiwiandbean.com

These fudge bars are the perfect afternoon snack, nut-free lunchbox treat, and after-dinner delight. If you want to take them up a notch and serve them to guests—as a holiday dessert, for example—plate them with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or whipped coconut cream, fresh raspberries and a shot of espresso. In that context they pass for a much more decadent flourless chocolate cake.

Are you convinced? Make them for your holiday guests or sugar-loving preschoolers; don’t tell them what’s inside; and see how fast they disappear off the table. Then report back here and let me know how it went. Okay?

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chocolate Fudge Bars | www.kiwiandbean.com

5.0 from 3 reviews
Black Bean Sweet Potato Chocolate Fudge Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These dense, creamy, fudgy chocolate brownie bars don't have any flour, butter, eggs or sugar! Instead they are made with the goodness of sweet potatoes, black beans, maple syrup and coconut oil, for a healthier version of a favourite treat. You will need to chill these bars in the fridge for a few hours to achieve the dense fudgy texture that makes them super delicious. So consider making them a day or two before you need them.
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
Serves: 12 small bars
  • 1-14 ounce/398 ml can unsalted black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup roasted mashed sweet potato (see notes below)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup natural unprocessed unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup dark bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a 8x8 inch square baking pan with a criss-cross of parchment paper (i.e. you want to create a sling with the parchment paper).
  2. Add all the ingredients except the chocolate chips to the bowl of a food processor, and whirl it up until the mixture is very smooth (this will take at least a couple of minutes). Use a small spatula to stir in the chocolate chips, if you are using them.
  3. Spoon the batter into the parchment-lined pan and smooth it out as best you can.
  4. Pop the pan into the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the surface is starting to crack and the edges have pulled away from the parchment paper.
  5. Let the bars cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then carefully and quickly (so as not to split the bars down the middle) lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper, and onto a cooling rack.
  6. Once the bars are room temperature, transfer them to a flat surface (I like a cookie sheet) and into the fridge overnight, or for a few hours at least. When they are nice and cold, cut into bars and serve. Store any uneaten bars in the fridge.
The best way to prepare the sweet potato for this recipe is to roast a whole potato in the oven. This will caramelize the sugars and leave you with a super sweet super delicious cup of potato flesh. To prepare the sweet potato: scrub one medium-large sweet potato and pierce it with a fork in a few places. Put it on a baking sheet and pop it into a 375 degree oven for about an hour or until it is very very soft. Let it cool completely, then remove the skin and mash the flesh.


Read full story · Comments { 32 }

Easy Chicken, Kale & Goat Cheese Enchiladas

Easy Chicken, Kale & Goat Cheese Enchiladas | www.kiwiandbean.com

Enchiladas were in my dinner blind spot until a year or so ago when I randomly decided that they would be the perfect way to use up some leftover roast chicken. And in my typical go big or go home style, we have probably eaten them just about once a week since then. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Warm, cheesy, comforting, and easy to prepare with basic pantry staples, these Easy Chicken, Kale & Goat Cheese Enchiladas are sure to become a weekly fixture on your menu too. Continue Reading →

Read full story · Comments { 24 }

Pasta with Butternut Squash & Smoked Paprika (from Dinner: The Playbook)

I am talking about dinner ruts today. And I realize you are probably thinking: “Ha! Girlfriend has a FOOD blog. What the heck does she know about dinner ruts?” Dinner: The Playbook | www.kiwiandbean.com But before I had a food blog, I had a really stressful desk job that kept me in the office 12, sometimes 14, hours per day. Kiwi did too. Our refrigerator was a graveyard for good intentions: wilted parsley, expired eggs, rotting apples. We dutifully stocked up on fresh groceries each week, as though they might magically turn into the Braised Short Ribs on Slow-cooked Polenta I had bookmarked in my Internet browser. And guess what? They never did. Instead, we ate dinner at our desks or frozen pizza in front of our television. I am embarrassed to admit that I once bought TEN (yes 10) of the same frozen pizzas because they were on sale for $3.99 a pop. To say we were in a “dinner rut” is probably an over-generous use of the word “dinner,” but let’s go with it. No doubt, however, that it was a rut of gargantuan proportions. Continue Reading →

Read full story · Comments { 29 }

What’s Cooking on the Web (October Edition)

What's Cooking on the Web - October Edition

Can we just press pause for a moment and reflect on the fact that it is October 30th today. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? Where did October go? Not to mention September and August. Am I allowed to swear on here? Shit, shit, shit. I have this really cruddy sense of dread over the impending winterdom. Kiwi says I have to stop being so depressive about it all, but really it seems like just yesterday that I was shovelling snow and desperately looking forward to summer, and bam! summer is done, fall is half done too, and there are Christmas decorations at Target. Boo. Hoo. Hoo. Continue Reading →

Read full story · Comments { 7 }

Cooking for Beansprout, Part 4: 20 Baby-Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas

I hope you are all enjoying this Cooking for Beansprout series! I’m trying to make it as useful and un-boring as possible, so if you have any ideas for content, suggestions for improvement, etc. I would LOVE to hear from you in the comments below or by email (sarah@kiwiandbean.com).

Also, please share photos of your babes eating these recipes! I have already received several pictures and they are SO cute and so inspiring. Keep ‘em coming! You can send them by email (sarah@kiwiandbean.com) or tag me on Facebook, Instagram (@kiwiandbean) or Twitter (@kiwiandbean).

Onto today’s post: 20 baby-led weaning breakfast ideas. Continue Reading →

Read full story · Comments { 2 }

Foolproof Roast Chicken

Foolproof Roast Chicken | www.kiwiandbean.com

I’m writing to you from the wild west coast this week. The kids and I came out here for a couple of weeks to take in our family’s Thanksgiving festivities and check out the Food Bloggers of Canada annual conference (more on that to come). Continue Reading →

Read full story · Comments { 12 }

Cooking for Beansprout, Part 3: Pasta Recipes

Healthy Pasta Recipes for Babies & Toddlers | www.kiwiandbean.comThe Cooking for Beansprout series is back this week with a couple of pasta recipes fit for hungry babes and toddlers (and their parents, of course). If you are just joining in, check out Part 1 and 2 of the Beansprout series, where I talked about baby-led weaning (i.e. what the heck is it?) and shared a few baby-led weaning recipes for our favourite meat patties, sliders and meatballs.

Today I’m talking about pasta, pasta, pasta! Continue Reading →

Read full story · Comments { 1 }

Brain Boosting Banana Berry Breakfast Bars
(and a Baby Brain Organics giveaway!)

Brain Boosting Banana Berry Breakfast Bars | www.kiwiandbean.com

Two years into this food blogging experiment, I can tell you that it’s pretty much the most expensive, time-consuming and thankless hobby I could have picked. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it. And I especially LOVE you for being among the 14 people who actually read and follow along. Thank you. But sometimes I wonder why I didn’t just go with stamp collecting or badminton or knitting. People love hand knitted scarves, right? No one’s nearly as excited for my tweets about baked salmon. Continue Reading →

Read full story · Comments { 37 }

Quick Maple-Dijon Salmon

Maple Dijon Salmon | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean

So I’m slightly embarrassed to disclose that my kid has a maple syrup fetish. Is that weird? If a stranger asks for her name, she almost always responds with “Maple Syrup”. When her teacher asks her what she did over the weekend, her usual response? You got it—”Maple Syrup”. This is a real thing.

Kiwi and I have tried to make sense of this, but we haven’t come up with much.

Perhaps the best explanation is that *I* have a maple syrup fetish, and it has rubbed off on my three year old. *Fetish* is maybe too strong a word, but I will admit that I am at least mildly—and probably closer to moderately—obsessed with the stuff. The last time my mom visited my house, she actually remarked on the maple syrup supply in my basement: “Well at least you won’t run out of maple syrup anytime in the next century!”

I’m Canadian, ok, so cut me a little slack. And there was a great sale at Costco, which is always sooooo hard to resist. But I also use maple syrup as my sweetener of choice, in just about all my muffins, granola, pancakes, waffles and oatmeal.

And in my salmon, apparently. Continue Reading →

Read full story · Comments { 16 }
SUBSCRIBE to receive healthy, family-friendly recipes in your inbox