Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fudgy Carob Brownies (grain-free, vegan)

I had great intentions of posting this recipe pre-valentine's day celebrations... but here I am a day late to share a delectable valentine dessert. Oh well. brownies are good most other days of the year too :) I made carob brownies because chocolate doesn't agree with my nursing babe, and so for the sake of true love I will do anything for my babe (and for the love of chocolate). I can give up gluten no problem, and dairy can take a hike, who cares... but when I have to give up my extra dark chocolate, now that is where I find myself weak and sulking. Life is better with dark chocolate....period. Even if I just each an inch by inch square almost every day... that is enough, just a bite of pure goodness. I don't over-do it. I'm not a chocoholic. I'm not obsessed. Well, that is what I told myself before I stopped eating it.
I mean, when you go grocery shopping and all you can smell is the chocolate treat being baked in the bakery. Or, you dream in chocolate fountains. Or you want to lick the plate of the kind person next to you just indulging in their favorite fudge covered brownie sundae. I mean, seriously.... do I have a problem? I am deprived. I just need it.....ah!

So, I have to help myself. There has to be a compromise. There has to be a temporary solution. I can do this. I need to pull myself together. So, brownies, with carob...instead of chocolate... could that even be any good? Well, I baked to see what I could discover... and, they calmed the craving and made me very happy.
Not bad. In fact, carob brownies are quite good. Hm, I think I can handle this. I think I may survive this chocolate fast. These brownies turned out fudgy and moist. Perfect for the chocolate brownie craving. Maybe I do have a problem, but admitting it is a start.

Carob is a seed that comes from a pod on a tree, much like cocoa. But carob does not contain any "chocolate", or caffeine, or sugar. It was anciently used as a sweetener in Egypt and is known in the middle east region as a fruit like treat to be snacked on or a beverage is made from the seed. It has had many uses over the thousands of years that it has been eaten. More recently it has been used as a thickener, sweetener and a substitute for chocolate. It has many health benefits on it's own, and has also been considered an aphrodisiac. So, I suggest if you haven't tried carob yet that you look for it at your grocery store or natural food store as a powder, much like cocoa powder. Or you could find it as carob chips or nibs. I hope you try it out, even if you can eat cocoa and chocolate as much as your hearts desires.

Fudgy Carob Brownies Recipe (vegan)
1 cup of ground almonds (almond meal, or raw almonds ground up in a food processor)
1/3 cup of raw or roasted almond butter
1/3 cup of carob powder
1/3 cup of coconut palm sugar 
1 TB of flaxmeal (ground flax seeds), or chia seed meal works too
1 ts. of baking powder
1/2 ts. of baking soda
1/4 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of xanthan gum

1 TB of pure vanilla
1 TB of maple syrup
1/2 cup of applesauce
1/3 cup of mushed banana puree
1/3- 1/2 cup of coconut milk beverage or other non-dairy milk
1/4 cup of melted coconut oil

OPTIONAL: If you do not want moist fudgy brownies, then I suggest you add 1/3 cup of your favorite gluten-free flour... maybe sweet sorghum or rice. That will make it more solid and cakeier if that is what you are looking for out of your brownie. Also, that would make it have a grain in it... just so you are aware.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together, and then add the wet ingredients and mix well together. It should have the consistency of a brownie mix batter and not be too runny. I added 1/3 cup of the non-dairy milk and then added a touch more to get the consistency I wanted. Pour into a 8x8 greased with coconut oil pan. I used a glass pan that was well oiled. Baked in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. You can check it at 25 minutes and see if it is the texture you desire. I like my brownies crispy on the edges and gooey in the middle so I did my best at baking around 28 minutes or so.

Let the brownies sit for at least 5 minutes before cutting into. These brownies may been a little pudding-like at the beginning before they cool because they are vegan and not baked with eggs or gluten. Although, if you wanted to eat them with some vegan ice cream right from the oven, it may be more like a fudge topping... so do what you please. This recipe will make a 8x8 pan of brownies, so about 9-12 brownies. They are best for 3 days after baking. I like to put mine in the fridge after cooled for best results. If you want to freeze them I suggest you wrap them individually.

There it is... my newest brownie recipe.... without the chocolate. I hope you enjoy.

In the spirit of love, I thought I would mention an awesome opportunity this month I have to offer. It's about finding love and more balance in your life. And who doesn't need that. Maybe you have thought that you should get involved in this holistic health field. Maybe you felt your heart tugging to go back to school, or learn more about nutrition and health. If this is you, I would love to talk to you more about the school I went to....The Institute of Integrative Nutrition is the place. And, the best part is that you can now take their program anywhere in the world because it is now mobilized to your own home. I found my voice through this school. I always knew I wanted to be involved with nutrition and health, I just didn't know how...and now that I am a certified Holistic Health Counselor.... I feel like I have found my niche. I know I can make a bigger difference with the knowledge and experience I have. This could be you...

I have 2 ($1,000) tuition scholarships to offer any friend that may be interested in becoming a Holistic Health Coach like me. Contact me via email. And I will give you more details. I only have 2 scholarships to offer, and can only be used by February 28th. So email me ASAP if you are seriously interested! I would love to chat more...please contact me. :)

Much love to you today! And have a happy day of love, post February 14.


  1. Another spectacular recipe! Carob is my new love. I've been making hot "cocoa" with carob and So Delicious coconut milk every night at bedtime. I cannot wait to try making these brownies!

  2. Thanks Alta!

    Gail- I have been loving carob hot cocoa too, I guess we could call it coconut hot carob :) Thanks for the comment!

  3. OMG THAT LOOKS SOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Hi there! Can you tell me what a Holistic Health Counselor does/where you work, etc? I have a serious interest in health and have considered going back to school for Naturopathy, but this sounds interesting, too. Where could one get a job with this title, etc?

  5. I most definitely have a "chocolate problem." ;) But I, too, have played with carob and also love it! These look fantastic. Hope you had a great V-Day! :)

  6. Buffy- email me at stephanielaidlaw@gmail.com so that I can email you more about being a Holistic Health Counselor and also about what I do. :) Thanks for commenting...

    Thanks everyone else- hope you try them out and LOVE them :)

  7. Can I still email you about the scholarship and ask for details? Is it still on?

  8. Bunny Mum- YES, I still have ONE, maybe TWO scholarships left to offer in 4 days.... email me at stephanielaidlaw@gmail.com, so that I can email you back more information and details. Thanks for commenting!

  9. I am eating these right now and am in heaven! My only changes were out of necessity. I used coconut nectar syrup, instead of agave and lite coconut milk, instead of carton coconut milk. I had a bit of Chatfield's carob chips and sprinkled them on top before baking. Divine! Cannot wait for the hubby and kids to try them! Thanks for an awesome recipe:)

  10. Can anyone tell me where to get certified gluten free carob? I keep finding sites that recommend Chatfield's but I cannot eat anything that has been on shared equipment...thanks!

  11. Anyone know of where I can buy certified gluten free carob? Can't seem to find it anywhere and I can't have any cross-contamination...Thanks!