I like to keep a well stocked pantry. Alas, sometimes I run out of stuff. I hate going to stores, so when this happens, I improvise. We had some pals coming over for dessert yesterday, and knowing that they are severely allergic to gluten and love brownies, our gluten free brownies were a no-brainer. And then I realized I had about 3 tbsp of coconut sugar left, and that's all. Fortunately, I had coconut nectar, and I thought the fudgey consistency of brownies and rich dark flavour would only be celebrated by this thick, sticky, low glycemic sweetener. In the interest of exploring my nut-free avenues, I decided to make them out of sunflower seed flour instead of almond flour. (I made this myself by grinding raw sunflower seeds very finely in my small grinder (it's a coffee grinder that I use for seeds etc). Anyway, I used the remaining coconut sugar to sprinkle on top before baking (this is a little bit magical, keep it up your sleeve for future baking references), and reworked our fave brownie recipe as follows. Entirely delectably wonderfully successful. And now I have a fridge full of brownies. Tea party, any one?
Vegan. Gluten-free. Cane Sugar Free. Nut-Free. Grain-free. But wholly BROWNIE.
Sometimes people are surprised that -- not having allergies -- I force this gluten-free-ness on my poor family. They think I've drunk the kook-aid (bless you auto correct, that's so much better than kool-aid,) and have jumped thoughtlessly and mindlessly on the gluten-free bandwagon. Not so. I actually happen to believe that things like almonds, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, and chia seeds contain more goodness than refined white flour. And if food doesn't send your blood-sugar sky-rocketing, that it is doing better for you than food that does. And that for a child, maximizing the nutritional content of their food can only help them. And there's the matter of how delicious it all is ... My non-conventional ingredients have the benefit of yielding moist and delectable baking. And that, my friends, needs no convincing.
1 1/2 cup pitted honey dates
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1 cup coconut nectar
2 tbsp arrowroot flour
1/4 cup chia seeds, finely ground
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp ground vanilla
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup sunflower seed flour
1/2 cup ground hemp hearts -- should practically be a paste
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup coconut flour
coconut sugar to sprinkle on top -- use plenty, it's awesome that way.
preheat the oven to 345
1. pour the hot water over dates in a bowl, and let sit for about 10 minutes to soften, along with the coconut oil, so it can melt
2. add the coconut nectar, then puree the whole thing with a hand blender (immersion blender)
3. add in the apple cider vinegar, the ground chia seeds, arrowroot powder and the cacao, and mix very well
4. add in the vanilla, and sea salt, and mix well
5. add the ground hemp seeds
6. add the sunflower seed flour
7. add the coconut flour and the baking soda
8. mix well and thoroughly and rapidly
10. divide the mixture into 2 square silicone baking pans
11. sprinkle the top with a little coconut sugar (or a lot)
12. bake at 345 for 60 minutes
13. allow to cool in the pan before removing