Saturday, March 23, 2013

Chocolate Cherry Brownies a.k.a. Healthnut Brownies

Ya know, healthy people like us, like brownies too. Especially while pregnant! Health-nuts. Health-junkies. The weirdos. You know who I am talking about. Always excited to talk about some great recipes using chia seeds or some other super food. Admit it, you are one of "them". I find myself in this category most of the time. And sometimes I shy away and pretend I'm "normal", but in the end, all that know me well know that I will probably be subbing something in some "regular" recipe to be healthier. And my version may sometimes taste a little a off from the sugar packed artificial junk, but I try to make it always worth eating and enjoying!
This may be considered a "problem". But I like to think of it as a condition of the personality. 

I just wouldn't be me if I tried to follow a recipe from beginning to end. I've been doing this since I was a young child and started experimenting in the kitchen.    

It's ok. I've embraced this "condition" I have, and thankfully my family hasn't asked for anything different.....yet. And, it also makes it easy to justify a treat when you know it has so many healthy ingredients in it. 

I saw a recipe in a contemporary health magazine as I was waiting for a recent doctor appointment. It actually sounded pretty healthy with the use of real ingredients and even oat flour. But of course not gluten, dairy or sugar-free. I thought why couldn't I make that gluten-free and why couldn't I make that healthier.
So that is just what I have done. And, I haven't been doing a ton of experimenting over here. I have been enjoying some spring green smoothies, peppermint patties, and date donuts a lot the last month and still waiting for the cold and snowy days to turn to more spring-like occurrences. I think we still may have a few more weeks of the white stuff and cold. I think I can finally say with confidence I am ready for spring, and this baby to be born. I have just under 8 weeks to go to d-day and couldn't be more excited and full of anticipation.
So I guess the waiting leaves me baking yet again. I have a few cakes and goodies up my sleeve for this spring's birthdays, showers and celebrations, so I hope to be able to share those soon. In the meantime, enjoying simplicity in the kitchen and planning more for what the next few months will hold has been capturing my time. Not to mention a very busy 2 1/2 year old that likes to refer to me as "superman Momma" and I him as "Superman Boy" So yeah, there's that. A boost of confidence from a very little person that thinks he can fly if you tie a towel around his back.
Hope you are having an exciting spring so far...the anticipation for the season of newness and resurrection is positively in the air. Don't shy away, embrace it and enjoy each step (or new bite!) .

Cherry Oat Brownie Recipe AKA Healthnut Brownies
{gluten, dairy, vegan, and nut-option-free}
1 cup of finely ground gluten free oat flour*
(Or you can sub the 1 cup of flour here for 1/2 ground buckwheat and 1/2 oat)
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/3 cup raw cocoa powder
1/2 ts. of baking powder
1/2 ts. sea salt
1 ts. of pure vanilla
2 TB of pure honey (or agave nectar or coconut nectar to stay vegan)
2/3 cup of coconut palm sugar ( I use Madhava)
1/4 cup of brewed rich coffee (I use decaf)
1/4 cup of non-dairy milk (I use So Delicious coconut)
1/4 cup of chia gel eggs-2 TB of chia meal mixed with 4 TB of water, left to gel (or 2 fresh eggs)

6 TB of organic E.V.coconut oil
1 cup of dairy-free or vegan chocolate chips

1/2 cup of juice-sweetened dried cherries
optional nut addition: 1/3 cup of chopped almonds or pecans
1/4 cup or a handful of chocolate chis to sprinkle on top of brownies pre-bake

*I grind my own GF flours in my high powered blender. So I blend just under 1 cup of gluten-free rolled oats to make 1 cup of flour and the same goes for making fresh ground buckwheat flour with raw buckwheat groats. These fresh flours make the BEST GF baked goods because they have the best flavor, textures and use of natural oils and benefits. 

In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients first, then in a glass bowl over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips with the coconut oil. Then mix in the melted chocolate and oil with the rest of the dry ingredients and all the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix everything together well and then add your cherries and possible nuts. Spread in a 8x8 greased coconut oil pan and then top with a handful of chocolate chips and more cherries and nuts too if you prefer lots of crunchy goodness. 

Bake in a 350 preheated degree oven for 25-30 minutes until it has popped and it's stiff. Pull from oven and let cool for 30-60 minutes before cutting so that it can settle and be more gooey and chewy when done.  Cut either 3x3 or 4x4 to come up with 9 or 12 brownies total. Serve warm or whenever with your favorite cup of cold non-dairy milk and/or tea, coffee, hot cocoa or whatever you love to mix your brownies with.


Much love as always.....