Brownies

Remember how I said awhile back that part of our whole food journey as a family has been to not eliminate treats completely, but to reinforce to our kiddos that treats are just that, treats? We don’t get them on a daily basis and we don’t eat them from packages much anymore, but that being said, I don’t feel one bit guilty about making a batch of delicious brownies from good, quality ingredients for my family. These brownies. I cannot quit making these brownies. In December, I even made them two days in a row. The first days batch got crumbled and put into our vanilla ice cream mixture and became Brownie Ice Cream… so of course I had to make them the next day to eat with our Brownie Ice Cream… right?!

These guys are super easy to make and they are wheat-free. If you have oatmeal on hand, just blend up 1/4 cup of oats to use or you can buy oat flour in the bulk section of your grocery store.

Delicious, friends. I am warning you. Now you are going to have a brownie problem. Oh, and this is another Sprouted Kitchen inspired recipe. She is awesome.

oat flour brownies

INGREDIENTS:
  • 5 tablespoons Kerrygold Butter – Unsalted
  • 9 ounces good quality dark chocolate, like Theo Chocolate Bar, chopped (I use 3 of these bars)
  • 1/4 organic natural cane sugar (Next time I am going to try to substitute 100% Pure Maple Syrup and see how that works.)
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon 100% pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup oat flour, or ground oats (be sure to select gluten-free oats if you need GF brownies)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Maldon Smoked Sea Salt, to sprinkle on top once cooked
  • Optional add-in: 1 cup of your choice of lightly toasted diced nuts, our favorite is pecans
METHOD:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and stir in the chocolate. Stir constantly until mixture is melted and remove from heat.
3. Add in the vanilla and sugar and mix.
4. Whisk in one egg at a time.
5. Add the oat flour and salt and stir vigorously for one whole minute. This step is important to ensure everything is incorporated well.
6. If adding nuts, go ahead and add these next.
7. Pour brownie mixture into a  8 inch glass pan lined with greased parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes or until brownies appear set, but be careful not to over cook.
8. Let these guys cool completely before you cut them. Sprinkle with salt.  Enjoy!
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible
**Adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen.
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Chocolate Lava Cake (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)

My CrossFit ladies are amazing.  In the gym, they are constantly encouraging, pushing me to my limits, motivating, and supportive.  And outside the gym, they give me recipes like this one.  I’m serious.  My girl Noelle texted me the recipe, and her pictures of the chocolate lava goodness a while ago.  Then she told me about it again.  Then she showed me some more pictures.  I knew it was only going to be a matter of time before the inspiration struck to make it myself.  Well, I made it.  I ate it.  I licked the plate clean.  And I contemplated making another one.  Kidding.  Kind of.  I think this dessert might even have magical weight lifting powers.  This morning, I lifted a lot of weight.  More than I’ve done on any other morning.  Could be any number of things, but probably it is this cake.  Go make it.  It will make you stronger!  That’s a lie, but still.  You should make it.

paleo chocolate lava cake (grain-free, dairy-free)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or grass-fed butter), divided
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, or coconut sugar (for dusting the ramekin)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I cut up a Theo Chocolate Bar cause it is tasty, but also soy-free and dairy-free)
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 4 teaspoons coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter or bourbon.  Do you even need to ask which one I use?  The bourbon.  Duh.
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flour
  • Pinch of smoked sea salt
METHOD:
1.  Grease a 3/4 cup ramekin with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (or butter).  Dust with cocoa powder or coconut sugar and set aside.
2.  In a sauce pan over low heat, combine chocolate and 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or butter) until melted.
3.  While the chocolate is cooling a little bit, in a separate bowl, whisk together egg, coconut sugar, and your choice of either bourbon or almond butter.  Honestly, is that even a choice?  Go with the bourbon.  Just do it.
4.  Pour chocolate mixture into egg mixture, and whisk until well incorporated.
5.  Stir in salt and coconut flour until just combined.
6.  Pour batter into greased/dusted ramekin and bake in 375 F oven for 7-10 minutes, or until desired doneness is achieved.  In both my oven and Noelle’s oven, the magical time is 9 minutes.  The outside is cooked and fluffy, and the inside ooooooozes chocolate goodness.
7.  Let cool for 2 minutes, then using a hot pad, turn ramekin upside onto plate.  The cake should easily come out of ramekin.  Eat it.  Right away.  Then leave a comment and tell us what you thought.
oh, and PS:  This recipe is for but one mere lava cake.  If you are making more than one, and I highly suggest you do, just double, or triple, or whatever the recipe and then split evenly among ramekins.  Got it?
PSS:  I tripled the batter, made it about an hour before dinner time, and split it between 3 ramekins and let it sit on counter.  15 minutes before dessert time, I preheated oven and popped em in.  That way we could eat them hot and fresh without me having to mix batter during dinner.  They turned out amazing.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Sunset Magazine, February 2012.

Coconut + Oat Breakfast Cookie (with dates, chocolate chips, pecans, + sunflower seeds)

My whole house is sick.  And when my kids are sick they don’t eat like they normally do.  Baby boy didn’t really eat dinner last night, or breakfast today, so I set out to make something full of good stuff for him, but that I knew he would eat.  And my boy will eat chocolate.  So I whipped up some “cookies” for him this morning, and he ate them.  Success.  They aren’t sweet, except for the chopped dates and the chocolate.  And they are full of goodness.  Protein.  Good fats.  And more protein.  Also chocolate.  I hope you guys like them as much as we do.  Feel free to make them, and eat them, even if you aren’t sick.

coconut and oat breakfast cookie

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup finely shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate (I use an organic, 85% dark Theo Chocolate Bar)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon 100% pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
METHOD:
1.  Combine oats, almond flour, coconut, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in large bowl.
2.  Add dates, pecans, sunflower seeds, and chocolate.  Stir until combine, taking care to make sure dates are spread evenly throughout and not clumped together.
3.  In a separate bowl, combine eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla.
4.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry.
5.  On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, press mixture into medium-sized cookie cutter, then press out mixture and remove cutter.  My cutter is about 2″ in diameter, and about 1″ in depth.  Repeat until all mixture is gone.  Mine made 20 cookies.
6.  Bake in 350 F oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.  Eat.  Enjoy.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Frozen Chocolate Banana Bites

Oh, sweet Lord.  What IS it about frozen bananas?  They are cold and refreshing, but still soft somehow.  And frozen dark chocolate?  Duh.  It’s the best way to eat the stuff.  This coming from a girl who used to eat frozen candy bars, and frozen girl scout cookies.  And while I don’t eat that stuff anymore, I’m always looking for better ways to satisfy that sugar craving.  Ok, and I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again:  the type of chocolate you eat matters!  There are TONS of GMO’s lurking in most chocolates, (soy lecithin, sugar, corn syrup) so please please please find one that is 100% organic, or non-GMO project verified.  Not to mention, many types of chocolate contain unnecessary food colorings and artificial flavorings.  There is no sense consuming cheap chocolate full of harmful ingredients.  So get some good chocolate!  This recipe honestly couldn’t be any easier.  And one bite of these puppies satisfied my sweet tooth, and the kid’s too.  Love having these made, and ready to eat in the freezer.  I’m sure I could work a bit harder and make these look a little prettier, but who honestly cares?  And, can you IMAGINE putting a dollop of peanut butter under the chocolate?! Whyyyy didn’t I think of that when I was making them?  Alright, go whip these suckers up…. I’m off to eat another bite… 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup chocolate (I always use 100% organic, 85% dark chocolate bar from Theo’s)
  • Optional:  1/4 cup or so of peanut butter, or another nut butter.
METHOD:
1.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2.  Cut the bananas into 1/2″ thick discs, and evenly distribute on cookie sheet.
3.  Melt your chocolate in a small saucepan, over low heat on the stove top, stirring constantly.
4.  Using a spoon, scoop melted chocolate over each banana disc so that it covers the top and drips down the sides.  If I had really been on my game when I made these, I would have put a teaspoon or so of peanut butter on each banana, then spooned chocolate on top of that.  You should do as I say, not as I do.  And let me know how amazing it was.  And I’ll be jealous.
5.  Put cookie sheet in freezer for an hour or so, until chocolate is hardened and bananas are frozen.
6.  Pluck each disc off the parchment paper (I had no problem getting these off the paper), eat a few, and store the rest in air tight container in the freezer.  These can be consumed straight out of the freezer…. Mmmm, report back!  We’d love to hear how you like em!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes, with chocolate frosting, with chocolate chips.  Chocolate x3.  You can thank me later for sharing this recipe with you.  Once again, it is brought to you by the lovely Juli over at PaleOMG… This lady knows how to cook.  I didn’t change a thing – and I’ve made these 5+ times now, and they are soooooo tasty.  They are grain-free and dairy-free… and now that I think about it, sugar-free (they are sweetened with dates)… technically Paleo cupcakes.  Even if you aren’t a Paleo enthusiast, try these!  The texture is that of a “real cupcake” and the taste is incredible.  We brought these to some friend’s house for dessert the other night, and saw on Instagram the next morning that they ate them again for breakfast – just sayin.  Alright, with no further ado…. you have some chocolate to consume.

INGREDIENTS:
(for cupcakes)
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup canned, full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
INGREDIENTS:
(for frosting)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (or a cut up chocolate bar)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
METHOD:
1.  Preheat oven to 350, and line muffin pan with silicone liners or paper liners.
2.  Add dates to food processor, and process until no longer chunky.  It will be a sticky mess, but what is baking without a bit of a mess?
3.  Add other wet ingredients (coconut oil, coconut milk,vanilla, eggs, egg whites) to the dates, and process until smooth.
4.  Mix dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cocoa) together in a bowl; add wet to dry and mix until fully incorporated.
5.  Scoop into muffin pan.  Mine usually yields about 9 cupcakes.
6.  Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
7.  While cupcakes are baking, make frosting by melting coconut oil and chocolate chips on the stove over low heat, until fully combined.  Stir in a pinch of salt.  Until cooled, this mixture will be VERY runny.  It helps to put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes until it has thickened up a bit and is spreadable.
8.  Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
9.  Frost, top with chocolate chips, and eat em all up.  Or share with your friends.  That would be better.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Recipe taken from PaleOMG.

Chocolate Chunk + Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

A classic ice cream.  This is one of our favs.  Our freezer is pretty much always stocked with it, and all 4 of us love to sneak bites.  Enjoy!  Oh, and PLEASE look for chocolate that contains non-GMO soy lecithin and sugar.  We are working on summarizing the dangers of
GMO’s for you, and will post this life-changing information soon!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 pure honey
  • 1 vanilla bean (if you don’t have a vanilla bean, you can substitute 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks (or a chopped up chocolate bar – we like Theo Organic Chocolate)
METHOD:
1.  Pour cream into a large bowl.  Cut vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out seeds, and add seeds as well as bean into cream and allow to soak.  Set a strainer on top of it.  Set aside.
2.  Combine milk and honey in a saucepan and warm over medium heat for 2 minutes.
3.  SLOWLY pour warm milk mixture into separate bowl containing egg yolks, stirring constantly.  Continue until all the milk mixture is added to the eggs.  This is called tempering your eggs.
4.  Scrape egg/milk mixture back into saucepan and cook over medium heat until custard begins to form, again stirring constantly.  It’s fairly obvious to tell when the mixture is thick enough…. the back of your spatula will be coated with the mixture when it’s ready.  Don’t over cook this, or you’ll end up scrambling your eggs.
5.  Pour egg/milk mixture through the strainer and into the cream.  The strainer should catch any egg that cooked…. I usually end up with a tablespoon or so of egg in my strainer.
6.  Stir, cover, and chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.  Then, discard vanilla bean and make the ice cream according to your machines’ instruction.
7.  Just before ice cream solidifies, add chocolate chunks to the ice cream maker so that it mixes evenly throughout.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Energy Balls

This is a great, super easy snack…. It’s filled with good stuff, doesn’t require any baking, and is good for the kids and adults.  I usually make a batch or so a week and keep them in the refrigerator to grab when we are on the go or trying to get out the door in a hurry.  This
recipe is really flexible and you could easily change it up…. different nuts, dried fruit, more chocolate, etc….

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup old-fashioned organic oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (toasted)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup flax seed meal
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks
METHOD:
1.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and chill for 20 minutes.  This allows the mixture to set a little bit so that it is easier to roll into balls.
2.  Remove from refrigerator, and roll into balls, approximately 1″ round.  These keep for approximately one week in air tight container in the refrigerator.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.