Chocolate Walnut Brownies

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Prepare to earn brownie points for these yummy chocolate brownies with walnuts! These can easily be made from scratch without any fancy appliances and they are quick from start to finish!  All you will need is a fork and a large bowl. 

If you’re looking for a heavy, dense fudge-like brownie, this is not the recipe for you. I may be the only person I know that likes brownies with a bit of crumb but that’s the the way it is! I am just not a fan of brownies with that heavy, dense fudgey texture – I much prefer brownies that are a bit cakey, and not excessively sweet.  

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These brownies are rich and moist, very chocolatey and less-sweet than your average brownie. They are exactly what I reach for when I want to satisfy a chocolate craving but I don’t want to blow the whole healthy eating habit out the window! Incidentally, they freeze well too.

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INGREDIENTS

 Dry

  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 tbsp. psyllium fiber husk
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Teeccino* (non-caffienated herbal flavoured coffee granules, optional)
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Wet

  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 100 ml unsweetened apple sauce (snack size container)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the base and sides of an 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Sift all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add in the chopped walnuts and stir to coat the nuts with the dry mixture.

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Using a fork, mash the bananas until smooth, or place them in a blender with the apple sauce, maple syrup and vanilla. Puree. Pour pureed or blended ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix with your fork until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated. Using a spatula, scoop the batter into the parchment lined baking pan and spread evenly all the way to the edges of the pan.

Bake for 18 minutes in a preheated oven. Brownies are ready when a cake tester, inserted into the centre of the pan comes out clean, with just a few crumbs clinging to it. (Unlike baking with regular flour, I find that it is generally better to trust your timer rather than your instinct when baking cakes, cookies, etc., with gluten free flours, even if they look like they need a few more minutes baking time). In my oven, 18 minutes is perfect for these brownies. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan.

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Once the brownies are completely cool, cut into squares and enjoy! If you like bitter chocolate, and this is totally unnecessary, lightly dust brownies with cocoa powder before serving.  Omit this step if unsweetened cocoa powder is too bitter for your palate.  

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Yield: 16 (2-inch x 2-inch) brownies 

Notes: If you don’t have teeccino, you can substitute finely ground coffee granules. Follow link and scroll down to the Notes section of the recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Loaf for comments abut teeccino. (By the way, any comments, mentions or recommendations of products on this blog are my own. I am not paid to promote or review  the products I use, nor am I affiliated with any of the companies that manufacture them).

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Raw Brussels Sprout Salad

If you have never eaten raw Brussels sprouts before, you should. Everybody loves this salad. Its pretty simple to make, doesn’t require a lot of ingredients and stands up well in the refrigerator for several days. This recipe contains salty, sweet, tangy, and earthy flavours all at once, and the toasted almonds finish it off nicely with a bit of crunch.   I actually crave this salad every now and again. It’s one of those perfect healthy and fresh salads for fall and winter.

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INGREDIENTS

  • Fresh Brussels sprouts,  enough to yield 5-6 cups shredded
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2-cup cashew “Parmesan” cheese 

DIRECTIONS

Wash, halve and trim ends of Brussels sprouts. Thinly slice and place in a serving bowl. Pour in the dressing and add the dried cranberries. Salad can be made ahead up to this point and stored, covered in the refrigerator.

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When ready to serve, toss the salad with toasted almonds and about half the cashew Parmesan. Add more cashew Parmesan as necessary to balance the flavours of sweet and salty. 

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Dressing

  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Place all ingredients into a small bowl or coffee mug and whisk until completely blended.

Cashew Parmesan Cheese

  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Place cashews and salt in small coffee grinder or blender. Pulse/process until the nuts are like crumbs. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and blend again. Add more lemon juice and salt as necessary – just enough to moisten and achieve desired tartness. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

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 Yield: 4 generous servings, (6-8 side-servings)