Double Chocolate Flourless Super Food Brownies

Double Chocolate and Almond Flourless Brownies

Double Chocolate and Almond Flourless Brownies

A flourless, chocolaty, rich, moist and fudgy treat.  But, this is no ordinary brownie, what I have for you here is a big dose of super foods disguised as a delicious decadent treat.  Avocado, almond and cocoa give you antioxidants, fiber and healthy fats, serving up a treat you can feel great eating.  I promise, you will not taste or even see the avocado at all, but it adds moistness and yes, fat, while replacing more traditional and less healthful fats.   Double Chocolate Flourless Brownies

I adapted this recipe from Elana’s Pantry Paleo Brownies, mine are no longer fully paleo as I’ve replaced Elana’s dates with brown sugar, which may actually be better for those following a low FODMAPs diet who have difficulty digesting certain fruits.  I also like that brown sugar is something most of us always have on hand, which makes this a recipe you can throw together easily without much planning, as long as almond flour is one of your pantry items and a ripe avocado is on hand! And speaking of avocado, I’ve swapped that for Elana’s coconut oil, which gives you a healthful fat plus some added fiber. 

Double Chocolate Flourless Superfood Brownies topped with raspberry sorbet

mashed avocado for double chocolate flourless brownies

mashed avocado

Since this recipe was already, gluten free and dairy free, I decided to give it a test drive going completely vegan by swapping out the eggs for flax.  I give you the recipe both ways, so if you have no issue with eggs and like the idea of getting a little extra protein and vitamin D, go with the eggs, otherwise, swap out the eggs for flax and get yourself a little extra Omega 3’s with your chocolaty treat. 

flax eggs

flax “eggs”

eggs, avocado and vanilla

eggs, avocado and vanilla

I’m no stranger to subbing flax for eggs in recipes, but until now I have never made the same recipe side by side, one with eggs and one with flax, and I have to say the results were interesting and a little surprising to me.  The egg version batter mixes up moister and bakes up with a little more rise, while the flax version actually bakes up a little bit moister, even though the batter looks drier before baking.  Either way, both versions are a treat I wouldn’t turn down and I will say there were no complaints from my family of tasters when two pans of brownies came out of the oven!

Side by Side flax eggs and avocado vs. real eggs and avocado

Side by Side
flax eggs and avocado vs.
real eggs and avocado

Since I did end up with two batches, I found they stayed perfectly moist and yummy for several days, just wrapped on the counter.  Although, I didn’t try freezing these, I think they would do well individually wrapped if you’d like to stash a few for a future treat. 

Double Chocolate Flourless SuperFood Brownies

Double Chocolate Flourless Super Food Brownies

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from Elana’s Pantry Paleo Brownies

Makes 16 Brownies

IngredientsDouble Chocolate Flourless Superfood Brownies

1 cup Almond Flour

½ cup Cocoa Powder (I use raw organic Cacao)

½ cup Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon Instant Espresso Powder

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

¼ teaspoon Salt – I use a heaping amount of Flaky Sea Salt

2 Eggs – I use Extra Large OR 2 Tablespoons Ground Flax + 5 Tablespoons warm Water

½ Avocado – well mashed

2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

½ cup Dark Chocolate Chips or Chunks – Bittersweet or Semi Sweet

Optional: extra Flaky Sea Salt for sprinkling on top

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish (I use coconut oil for greasing) OR line with parchment.

IF using Flax instead of Eggs, mix together the Flax with the Water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken up.

In a medium bowl, sift in the Almond Flour.  Note: As long as most of the Almond Flour gets through the sifter, it’s fine to dump the remaining bits that stubbornly won’t go through the mesh, right into the bowl.  Sift in the Cocoa Powder.  Next add in the Salt, Baking Soda and Brown Sugar.  Mix well, being sure to break up any of the Brown Sugar clumps.  Stir in the Chocolate chunks or chips.

In a separate bowl, mash the Avocado until it’s really smooth and creamy.  Add to that the Eggs or gelled Flax and the Vanilla Extract.  Mix well.

Add the Avocado mixture to the Almond and Cocoa mix.  Stir to fully combine.

Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and smooth out so it fits evenly in the pan.

Bake at 350 F for 18-22 minutes.  Now the hard part: best to let the brownies cool right in the baking pan for about 2 hours before slicing through.  Cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!

 

Recipe notes: 

partially sifted almond flour

partially sifted almond flour

 

I keep my almond flour in the freezer which tends to make it a little lumpy.  So I don’t end up with a brownie filled with unmixed lumps of almond meal, I like to sift it into the bowl. It’s definitely worth the effort even though I never seem to be able to get it completely through the mesh of the sifter, so I just toss in whatever remains behind, which adds a nice bit of nutty texture to the finished brownie.   

 

 

Double Chocolate Almond Flourless Super Food Brownies

Double Chocolate & Almond Flourless Superfood Brownies, yum!

 

Blueberry Almond Oatmeal Scones with Blueberry Mascarpone

Blueberry Almond Scones topped with Blueberry Mascarpone

Blueberry Almond Scones topped with Blueberry Mascarpone

It occurs to me that maybe I should have named this blog Lemon & Oats or Oatmeal & Zest, considering how many of my recipes here include both oats and lemon. So, here’s one more for you… Blueberry Almond Oatmeal Scones, and yes they even have lemon zest!  I really do love scones, probably even more than muffins or cookies, they make a tasty little breakfast treat or afternoon snack.  They are delicious on their own or even better topped with a little cream cheese and jam, like the mascarpone cream cheese jam I used here.  blueberry almond oatmeal sconesFor a more substantial breakfast, serve with a side of yogurt and berries OR as a “breakfast dessert” with your eggs.  Some people in my home have even been known to top theirs with a smear of peanut or almond butter, also quite tasty.  If you’re a traditionalist or hail from the British Isles, you may question my use of the term scone here, but to me these are my perfect Americanized interpretation with a nice crumby texture, not too moist and not too dry.  I use a lot less butter than many versions, but the yogurt adds extra moisture and a little tang, plus some protein to boot.  I love scones with all kinds of mix ins and though the rest of my family will almost always opt for chocolate, I prefer a mix of fruit and nuts, which often leads to multiple versions being made all on the same morning! Blueberries and almonds are one of my favorite combinations, they just work well together and lemon zest adds a little bit of extra flair to the flavor.  I use a combo of vanilla and almond extracts here, but you could easily go with all of one or the other if you prefer.  A quick and easy recipe perfect for any lazy weekend morning.  blueberry almond oatmeal scones

Blueberry Almond Oatmeal Scones

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Makes 16 scones

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

½ cup all purpose unbleached flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 Tablespoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup natural cane sugar

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Zest of ½ lemon

 

3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter – cut into small cubes

 

1 extra large egg

½ cup plain yogurt (Greek or regular is fine, vanilla would be ok too, just a little sweeter)

¼ cup milk of your choice (I use plain soy milk, but cow, almond, etc should work just fine)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

 

¼ cup slivered almonds

1 cup blueberries – fresh or frozen

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White Beans & Cabbage with Leeks and Crispy Potatoes

 

Cabbage & White Beans with Leeks and Crispy Potatoes

Cabbage & White Beans with Leeks and Crispy Potatoes

For most of my life the extent of my cabbage eating came in the form of Chinese egg rolls and deli style mayo drenched cole slaw, oh man was I missing out!  Several years back I started experimenting with Asian style cabbage slaws and even cabbage filled pot stickers, but still it took me a while longer before I discovered a comforting, mildly sweet and delicious bowl of cooked cabbage and I haven’t looked back since.  I actually owned my copy of Heidi Swanson’s fantastic (the name alone is cool enough!) “Super Natural Every Day” for about a year before I finally tried her recipe for White Beans & Cabbage with parmesan, potatoes and cabbage.  The crazy thing is, the cover photo for the book is exactly that and it looks unbelievably delicious, I stared at that cover for a year thinking “yum” “must try”, but every time I decided this would be the day something got in the way, sometimes I had cabbage but no potatoes on hand, other days I had all the ingredients but got lazy and opted for a more familiar option to cook for dinner.  But finally one day, the planets aligned and I finally made it and oh was it gooood.  The cabbage cooks up soft and mildly sweet, but still maintains a little texture, the beans are creamy and the potatoes nice and crisp, top with some melty mozzarella and served with a hunk of crispy toasted baguette drizzled with a little olive oil and you have a perfect bowl of comfort food, yum.

 Cabbage and White Beans with Olive Oil Soaked Bread

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Maple Drizzled Gingerbread Scones

 Maple Drizzled Gingerbread Scones

maple gingerbread scones with maple drizzle

maple gingerbread scones with maple drizzle

Happy 2015 to you all, and to start off the New Year, here’s another taste of the holiday season with these maple gingerbread scones. maple gingerbread scones

I love making gingerbread cookies this time of year, something I was introduced to when I spent my first Christmas Eve with Colin’s family way back when we met in college.  A few years later, my mother in-law “faxed” (that gives you an idea of how very long ago this was…) me a recipe she found for a very traditional Scandanavian gingerbread complete with cardamom and then she gifted me my first jar of the very same spice, a rare and expensive find at the time.  I’ve seen so many recipes for various gingerbread cookies, cakes, etc that do not include cardamom, but to me gingerbread just isn’t the same without.  It is an intense spice, a very small amount is all you need and if it’s not to your taste or you have trouble finding it, you could certainly skip it.  If you like Indian food, cardamom pods are those strange looking green things found in many restaurant’s “fragrant basmati rice”.

When I saw Pinch of Yum’s recipe for maple glazed gingerbread scones, I knew I just had to try them, since I both love gingerbread and scones!  Of course I changed up the recipe a bit, adding oats as I seem to do with almost every baked good and of course adding in cardamom as I do with my gingerbread cookies (you’ll have to wait until next Christmas for that recipe!).  I also cut back a bit on the butter and sugar and swapped out the milk for buttermilk.  What you end up with is a dense, cakey textured scone (which is just perfect to me) with a good hit of spice.  The scones themselves are just lightly sweet, so the maple drizzle adds a nice extra bit of moist sweetness without making them cloyingly so.

heart shaped cookie cutterThese maple gingerbread scones make a nice breakfast treat with a little side of yogurt if you like.  Also perfect for an afternoon snack.  I like to make mine with a heart shaped cookie cutter, but you could use a square or round cutter if you prefer or even just cut them by hand into squares or triangles. 

maple gingerbread scones

Maple Drizzled Gingerbread Scones

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from “Pinch of Yum” Maple Glazed Gingerbread Scones

Makes about 11-12 scones

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all purpose unbleached flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 Tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¾ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)

4 Tablespoons frozen unsalted butter – grated

1 extra large egg

¼ cup real maple syrup

¼ cup molasses

½ cup buttermilk (I use lowfat)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies

These cookies have a rich chocolately flavor, reminiscent of a brownie with a moist cakey texture. The cocoa is just intense enough so you don’t really taste the banana and the coconut flavor is very subtle, but I really like it with the almonds.  For the almonds, I used the sliced ones with the skins still on and left them as is, if you prefer chop them up into smaller pieces, you could even chop up whole almonds if you like.  Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond CookiesFor the chocolate chips I like 60% or above cocoa and you could even use bar chocolate cut into chunks.  Vanilla extract was added for flavor but I think almond extract would also work well.  And there’s enough oats so you can feel healthy and indulgent all at the same time, yum….I can’t get enough of these, the only taster who was a bit luke warm on them is my five year old, normally lover of all things baked (that is cookies, muffins, pancakes, etc), I think I just needed to add a few colorful m&m’s and he would have been sold!

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies, yum!

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies, yum!

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Almond Cookies

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Unbleached Flour

1/2 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

½ teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) of unsalted Butter

2 Tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

1/4 cup granulated Natural Cane Sugar

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1 Egg – I use X-large

1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 large ripe Banana – mashed

1/4 cup cocoa powder – I use a mix of Natural and Dutch Processed

1 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1/2 cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips – I use 60% cocoa or above

1/4 cup slivered almonds

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