When my husband Anthony makes a food request, I will always oblige. This is rare and he is my favorite person to cook for. I asked him what dessert he wanted for Valentine’s Day and his request was brownies. Now, I’m not sure if you have ever made a classic brownie but they are full of an inappropriate amount of butter and sugar and will basically make your teeth fall out :). So this left me to the task of a new and improved brownie, but still healthy-ish. So I set out to make an version that would sweep him off his feet.
This one takes the cake (or the brownie as it were) and suffices to say it just might have been breakfast this morning. This delicious ooey, gooey treat also happens to be totally plant-based, gluten and refined sugar free…but I’m not telling!
Gooey Fudgy Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies
1-15oz can black beans, rinsed well
2 large flax eggs*
6 Tablespoons brown rice syrup or maple syrup**
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup hazelnut flour***
1/2 cup cocoa powder (raw is highest in nutrients)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2-3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Makes 10-12 decadent squares read more…
Nothing is more satisfying (and easy to cook) than a simple vegetable soup. Warm your belly and your kitchen with this simple, hearty and healthy recipe that will be done in a flash and will leave you full for hours!
Curried Lentil Veggie Soup
This Vanilla Cashew Milk recipe is a revelation for me. Some of you know of my “milk conundrum”. That is, my long time battle with what kind of milk to take in my coffee. I used to use fat free organic dairy milk. If you don’t know what that was a bad choice read this post.
I switched to store bought organic almond milk. I follow the rule of not using anything with ingredients that I cannot pronounce…almond milk was my only exception. Why not make my own my own you ask? Because it’s grainy and separates in my coffee and I refuse to be annoyed before 7am. So then I went to grass-fed whole milk. This didn’t quite sit right either, as I try to lessen my environmental impact and eat vegan much of the time.
I went back and fourth for a long time. Then the “ahhhhh ha” moment came. Cashew milk was the answer! Creamy, rich, vegan, easy to make, no straining and it doesn’t separate in my coffee…victory! You can make it plain for universal applications or put vanilla or other fun stuff in it.
Creamy Vanilla Cashew Milk
Raw Energy Bars
1 cup nuts such as walnuts, pecans or almonds or a mixture of
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/3 cup coconut flakes
1 heaping packed cup pitted dates
1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins or dried cherries
1/3 cup sweet cacao nibs (optional)
2-3 Tablespoons filtered water, as needed
A pinch of Himalayan Salt
Makes 8 bars or 12 balls
Place the nuts, chia seeds, coconut flakes and sunflower or pumpkin seeds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until the mixture is the texture of coarse sand. If you would like some more texture in the bars you can take out a little of the nuts, coconut and seeds before mixing and add them in later.
Add the dates, cranberries and the cocoa nibs and blend until the mixture begins to come together in a sticky dough. If this is not quite happening you can add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until it is sticky and moist and will come together easily in your hands. At this time mix in the chunky pieces if you kept some aside and pulse just until blended.
Line a baking sheet or baking dish with parchment paper and press the mixture down into a rectangle about 1/3 of an inch thick, making the sides as even as possible.
Place in the fridge for 1 hour. Remove and flip over onto a cutting board and peel off the parchment. Cut into 12 even pieces and store in a glass container or wrap individually in plastic wrap for easy transportation.
The faster method is to roll the dough between your palms into balls about 1 ½ inch diameter.
Both methods will keep in fridge for up to a month or at room temperature for a week.
A new Baker is in Town & She’s A Woman 😉
Lucia Meneses of Massa Madre makes magnificent bread. If you want the best handmade artisan bread money can buy, she’s the woman for the job.
You can purchase through a google form and pay safely on Paypal for a monthly share for $32 (can you say bread CSA!?) and receive bread on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. If you only want one loaf, you’re welcome to one! ($8).
Lucia’s base is a Country loaf which is typically made up of 60-70% white bread flour and 30-40% whole wheat flour. She makes variations on this theme by incorporating walnuts, sesame, sunflower, or flax seeds. She makes Whole Wheat variations as well as a delicious Oat Porridge bread using many organic ingredients as she can, incuding nuts and flour for her rye starter. She uses only filtered water and sea salt in all of her breads.
Email Lucia Meneses at masamadre dot csb at gmail dot com for more information.
I am not one for New Years Resolutions. I love the idea but find that really they are nothing more than a way to add one more thing that feels unattainable to the “to do” list. Despite my resistance to setting a ton of lofty goals, I do strongly believe in the power of the written word- “If you write it, it will come”. When I am on my A -game and meditating daily, I end each session with 5 minutes of writing notes on my phone. This has become my journal.I enjoy various guided meditations– when I take my headphones off, it is so easy just to flip to the journal section and start writing.
I like this for two reasons;
Choices~ We will face an innumerable number of choices in life; from what color shirt to wear, which job to take, whether to have kids (or not)– to what attitude we face the world with each day. Some choices are infinitely more impacting than others and often these are the choices that we avoid making consciously, defaulting to life making them for us. How many of us out there truly grasp that we have a choice as to what kind of life we want to lead, where we want to live, who we share our lives with– which side of the of bed we get out of each day.