Monday, February 9, 2009

BROWNIES! Oh yum...

So I have been following Kimi Harris at The Nourishing Gourment for some time now--I was searching for more resources based on Nourishing Traditions principles and stumbled upon her wonderful blog! I thought this would be the perfect recipe for her Nourishing Chocolate Carnival, and maybe a way to help get my blog started. I really want to develop this blog and show what I stand for in the next few months, but school and outdoor track might make it a bit tough to find time. Nevertheless, I really hope to keep posting my thoughts on nutrition, traditional diets, and more specifically, performance nutrition for endurance athletes. Hopefully time will allow me to really get started sometime!

I will admit that I have a sweet tooth, but, I don't like things that are really sweet, like too sweet. I like subtle sweetness...just enough to enhance other flavors. I hate it when all you can taste is sugary sweetness. If I wanted to just taste sugar, I suppose I would eat it by itself (I can't bear the thought of this)! There is a reason that we cook by combining flavors and targeting different tastes. Take, for example, the use of salt in baking--it plays up the sweeter flavors and creates a depth of flavor on the tongue. Anyway, where I am going with this is to say that dark chocolate is where its at--this "milk" stuff is almost fake to me, with all of its sugar. As far as just to nibble on, I can do up to about 70% or so (after that it gets quite bitter, I think), and I think the 60-70% range is about perfect...the flavor is so deep and rich and complex. I always eat it really slowly to enjoy the wonderful chocolatey mouth is watering just thinking about it. The best part about chocolate that is truly dark is the fact that it actually is quite good for the body, with all those antioxidants and such--not such a guilty pleasure after all, perhaps.

This brownie recipe is certainly the closest I have seen to one that is truly nourishing. The recipe calls for a bit of nutritious fat, either coconut oil or butter, and a few wonderful eggs to hold everything together. Some good quality dark chocolate is necessary, to achieve that wonderful deep brownie flavor, which a bit of vanilla extract enhances. There is no wheat flour, just a small amount of almond and brown rice flours (which could probably be soaked before use, but I have not tried this out), and the sweetener of choice is rapadura (completely unrefined cane juice). I wanted to note that I like to grind my rapadura in a coffee mill before I use it--it comes as little beads of brown-colored sweetness--I find that it is easier to mix it with the other ingredients this way, and is more evenly distributed throughout your goodies.

These brownies are so wonderful and yummy--they would make the perfect Valentine's day treat for your sweetie! They will never know the difference between these and conventional white flour brownies...except maybe that these will taste absolutely much more delectable, and will do the body much more good!
Deep Dark Chocolate Brownies
I love mocha flavored things, so I was thinking that a bit of coffee might be a good addition to these--it would deepen the chocolate flavor even more. You could add whatever you wanted, though, like perhaps a swirl of cream cheese, or dollops of nut butter...the possibilities are endless

5 ounces quality dark chocolate (really dark, like more than 70%)
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
2 pastured eggs
3/4-1 cup rapadura, ground
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, optional (I use Ghiradelli 60% chips)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8x8-inch square baking pan with foil.

Place the dark chocolate and butter in a meduim sized bowl, and set over a pan of simmering water on the stove (make a double boiler). Stir together until melted. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs on medium high till frothy. Add the rapadura and beat until the mixture is smooth. Add the melted chocolate mixture into the egg-sugar mixture a little at a time. When all of the chocolate has been added, beat the mixture for about a minute. The chocolate will look smooth and glossy--gorgeous!

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: almond meal, rice flour, fine sea salt and baking soda; whisk together. Add the dry flour mix into the chocolate mixture in two parts and then beat the mixture for about a minute. Add the vanilla and beat a bit more to incorporate it. If you are adding nuts, stir in the nuts by hand and spread the batter into the prepared baking pan Shake the pan a little bit to even out the batter. If you decide to use them, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the batter and press them in slightly. These guys are ready for the oven!
Bake in the center of a preheated 350 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the brownies are set. Please, please do bot overcook these--it is way better to have brownies that are too gooey than brownies that are dry!
Cool on a wire rack; and remove the brownies from the pan by gripping the foil edges. Chill before cutting, if you can stand it. Makes 9-12 servings, and these are so fabulous--no one will ever know that they are gluten-free, or quite nourishing, for that matter!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing my dh loves brownies.
Mama Turtle

Jessa said...

I am SO looking forward to more of your recipes to help feed my husband who is a tri-athlete. Thanks for a great banana bread recipe!

Jillian said...

Jessa, I am glad you like the banana bread! I have to apologize for the lack of new material right now however. I am a junior in college, and spring semester is pretty busy as of late. I promise I will keep adding to this blog, but there might be some pauses between my posting--sorry :)
Keep checking back and don't give up on me! I am learning more every day and am so excited to share it!