Dark Chocolate Fudgy “Healthy” Brownies

I am a chocolate loving girl. I don’t have to have it every day, or even every week, but when I have a treat I want there to be chocolate involved. I am also a purist. It is rare that I will go for semi-sweet or milk chocolate. Give me that bitter, coffee-like deep flavor and I am a happy girl. If you can relate, this is the recipe for you. If you can’t, I will show you how to sweeten it up.

Now that you know how much I love chocolate, I will also need to share that I am a rebel. Try and get me to follow a recipe straight and you may as well be asking me to lift a thousand pounds with my pinky.  It just won’t happen.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe that was adapted from a recipe. My kind of recipe.

The site I found it on was Inspired Taste. You can find the recipe here.

Tonight I was craving brownies, but refined sugar acts like a poison in my body, so I looked up a recipe using cocoa powder, since I don’t buy premade baking chocolate.

I found the recipe that I wanted and I made some date paste to use instead of sugar.  The great thing about date paste is that it tastes like white sugar(at least to me) and substitutes 1:1, so it’s easy to use as an alternative sweetener.  Dates are also really healthy for you and filled with fiber.

So.  I find my recipe, make my date paste, and as I am getting my ingredients ready I spy canned organic pumpkin left over from some Pumpkin Paleo Pancakes I had made this morning.  I thought.  “Hmmmm.  Pumpkin.”  And it HAD to go in, of course.  I know.  I am SUCH a rebel.  To make the date paste just add equal parts dates and very hot water.  Blend until smooth.  You need a food processor or a Vitamix for this, or you may burn out a weaker motor.

Here is the recipe:

Dark Chocolate Fudgy “Healthy” Brownies

Yield: 12-16 brownies(we had 12 with how we cut it up)
You Will Need
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (I find that adding coconut oil keeps the butter from “burning” as it cooks.  It raises the smoking point.)
  • 1 1/4 cups date paste(*for those of you who need things sweeter, you can add up to 2 cups of date paste instead)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I use all purpose organic, but you could use a whole wheat)
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Directions
  1. Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 325 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan(We used a 7-11 ceramic dish) with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. (This helps when removing the baked brownies from the pan, once cooled).  I just oiled the pan with coconut oil and they came right out.  It’s up to you.
  2. Add enough water to a medium saucepan so that it is 1 to 2 inches deep. Heat water until barely simmering. Combine butter, date paste, cocoa powder and the salt in a medium heat-safe bowl. Rest bowl over simmering water (if the bottom of the bowl touches the water, remove a little water).
  3. Stir mixture occasionally until the butter has melted and mixture is quite warm. Don’t worry if it looks gritty, it will become smooth once you add the eggs and flour.
  4. Remove the bowl from heat and set aside for 3 to 5 minutes until it is only warm, not hot.
  5. Stir in vanilla and pumpkin with a wooden spoon or spatula. Then, add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.
  6. When the batter looks thick, shiny and well blended, add the flour and stir until fully incorporated, then beat with the wooden spoon or spatula for 40 to 50 strokes. (The batter will be quite thick). Stir in nuts, if using. Spread evenly in lined pan.
  7. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and come out almost clean (you want it to be a little moist with batter). Note: Some have found they need to bake an extra 10 minutes, so keep an eye on the doneness of the brownies and use the toothpick test as your guide.(*I needed the extra 10 minutes, most likely due to the extra moisture from the pumpkin and dates)
  8. Cool completely then remove from pan. For the cleanest lines when cutting, place into freezer for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up. Cut into squares.

 

I LOVE making things that taste good and leave me feeling good.  Not just in my body, but in my spirit, knowing that my family is enjoying food that won’t harm them.  They are in there munching away and I am in the kitchen, listening to their ooh’s and aah’s and feeling a bit like and evil genius… Or the opposite of one.  Enjoy!

 

(Find the adaptation of the original recipe here at Inspired taste: http://www.inspiredtaste.net/24412/cocoa-brownies-recipe/#ixzz2yMWFrs2t)

25 Days of “Cake-mas” Day 4 “Lara Bar Gingerbread Balls”…. and cookies… and “Date Paste”

25 Days of "Cake-mas" Day 4 "Lara Bar Gingerbread Balls".... and cookies... and "Date Paste"

Yes.  I know.  Still not cake!  But, I swear, cake tomorrow.  We just finished the last of the cake from Sunday this afternoon.  I didn’t feel like having cake twice in a day.  I know that sounds ludicrous, but when you are not spiking your blood sugar all the time, your cravings for sweets go way down.  Don’t fret.  This recipe is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and make you feel like you are celebrating the holidays all at once.

When I told my kids that I was making these, my son, Aidan said he wanted them gingerbread cookie flavored.  We have made Lara Bars before, so he has seen how easy it is to customize the flavor.  I made the balls, but then my kids decided they would like them baked as well.  They tasted good both ways.  The cookie was nice and chewy.  But I felt that the flavor was stronger, which I liked, when they were uncooked.  I have done these in the past putting all the ingredients in my food processor, but I had a bunch of date paste that I made up and I wanted to see how that would work.  I will put the recipe for that below.  Here you go!

 

Lara Bar Gingerbread Balls and Cookies

1 Cup Walnuts Chopped in food processor

1 Cup Almonds Chopped in food processorLara Bar Cookies and Balls

1/2 Cup Date Paste

1/2 tsp Molasses(for flavor)

1/4 tsp Lemon Extract

1/2 inch square Candied Ginger, finely chopped and put in with nuts to process in food processor

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

pinch Nutmeg

pinch Cloves

 

Mix all together in a bowl.  Form into balls and chill.

To make the cookies, flatten balls and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

 

Date Paste

Place 1 1/2 cups dates in food processor or Vitamix(DO NOT add more!)

Add in 1/2 cup boiling water and blend until it is a soft paste.

Store in refrigerator for up to a week.

Tip:  Medjool dates are softer and easier to make into a paste.  I used Deglet Noor.  Costco has them and they work great, but can be hard.  You also want to check the dates before blending, to make sure there aren’t any hard pieces left in them.

Chopped Nuts

Chopped nuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gingerbread Lara Bar Mixture Before Mixing

Gingerbread Lara Bar Mixture Before Mixing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gingerbread Lara Bar Mixture

Gingerbread Lara Bar Mixture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allison with Lara Bar Balls

Allison with Lara Bar Balls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aidan with Lara Bar Balls

Aidan with Lara Bar Balls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lara Bar Cookies and Balls

Lara Bar Cookies and Balls

25 Days of “Cake-mas” Day 3 “Paleo Gingerbread Cookies”

25 Days of "Cake-mas" Day 3 "Paleo Gingerbread Cookies"

I know.  Still no cake.  Haha.  But I am not kidding with you, even with 5 kids in the house, I still have more of the cake from Sunday.  You just need a little to feel satisfied.  This “Paleo Gingerbread Cookies” recipe I modified from one I found at Primal Palate.  It’s important to note that you DO NOT want to overbake these cookies.  I did a test batch at first and they didn’t look quite done, so I gave them 2 minutes and they were way too over done.  Did those go un-eaten?  Of course not!  But the next batch was much better.  My husband and I both decided that we would have liked more ginger and that dash of pepper you generally use in gingerbread cookies, but it was still a nice cookie.  They were a bit crumbly, but they don’t have egg….  I am thinking that I need to try these again.  Plan, Do(Eat), Review.  Right?

 

Here’s my version of the recipe…

 

Ingredients

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a sauce pan, heat molasses to a boil.
  3. Add date paste, palm shortening, and coconut milk to sauce pan.
  4. Stir ingredients until combined, then remove from heat.
  5. In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  6. Pour dry ingredients into wet, and stir until batter is fully blended.
  7. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
  8. Roll out dough on parchment paper, or dust flat surface with coconut flour and roll out.
  9. Cut batter with cookie cutters of choice.
  10. Bake for 8-10 minutes on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  11. Let cool, decorate as desired, and enjoy.

Note:

We used date paste, just because it tastes a lot like sugar and I don’t get a big insulin response and food cravings when I have it.

 

The next batch is going to have some fresh grated ginger and some freshly ground pepper.  Spice of life, baby!

 

I hope you enjoy!

 

The cookie dough.

Paleo Gingerbread Cookies Dough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dough with a bit of coconut flour.  It was a bit too wet.

Gingerbread Dough With Some Coconut Flour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zane picking out the cookie cutters.

Zane picking out cutters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zane cutting out the shapes.

Zane cutting out the shapes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zane Mad, because he can’t take the pan out of the oven!

Zane mad because he can't get in the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our burned test batch….

Paleo Gingerbread Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our second batch.  Much better!

Paleo Gingerbread Man

25 Days of “Cake-mas” Day 2 “Mango Coconut Milk Sorbet”

25 Days of "Cake-mas" Day 2 "Mango Coconut Milk Sorbet"

Ok, ok.  So it’s not cake, but I DID say, “Sweets AND Treats.”  This is a SUPER fast and tasty treat.  Mango Coconut Milk Sorbet is one of my “go to” desserts.  You can make it in a blender or food processor.  I used my Vitamix.  If you are super skilled with your Vitamix, you can make the sorbet right in there, but I am not.  It means measuring, and I am too free a spirit to measure, unless it is absolutely necessary and even then it’s hard for me.  I just blend it and pour it into my ice cream maker and it’s done in 10 minutes or less.

 

Mango Coconut Milk Sorbet

1 1/2 cups frozen organic mango

2 cups organic coconut milk

1/4 inch slice of ginger

5 dates

1/4 tsp. lemon extract(or tablespoon lemon juice)

Blend in Vitamix and put in ice cream maker. Yum! Btw, fruit to liquid is approximate, remember, I never measure!

Mango Coconut Milk Sorbet

 

25 Days of “Cake-mas” Day 1 “Paleo Chocolate Snack Cake”

25 Days of "Cake-mas" Day 1 "Paleo Chocolate Snack Cake"

Hey y’all! It’s December! I am kicking off this new blog of mine with something fun for everyone. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? Not me!  I am going to be doing 25 Days Of “Cake-mas” for all of you!

All of my sweets and treats recipes will have no grain or sugar. I have lost up to 12 pounds in a week having cake every day. When that cake has an apple, dates, eggs, coconut flour and coconut oil as the primary ingredients, your body says, “Thank you”. And your taste buds aren’t half sad either! This recipe I found when I realized that I was having problems with conventional grains. Besides my body having reactions, my lips were literally peeling off! It’s nice to know that there are alternatives to conventional eating that taste great and are healthy for you, too. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Here is to enjoying life to the fullest! Let’s enjoy this holiday season and come out unscathed by weight gain or exhaustion and illness. 25 Days Of Cake-mas, here we go!

 

 

Chocolate Paleo Snack Cake

Chocolate Paleo Snack Cake is a recipe put together by a mom blogger. My kids love it. We made it this afternoon and my kids wanted to eat it right away. I told them they would need to wait until after dinner, but they had other plans. When I told them that they needed to wait, they said, “But Mom! It’s winter!!” Ummm. Ok? Who can argue that logic? Not me! Besides, there is nothing in there that I wouldn’t want them having at any hour of the day.

Here is the link to the recipe at  Paleo Spirit.Chocolate Paleo Snack CakeBoys and their cake.Penguins loving the cake.  Haha.