I’ve got a special Valentine’s treat for you today!
My favorite “trick” with all baked things chocolate is to combine both cocoa powder AND a chocolate bar. I just don’t think cocoa powder alone is chocolatey enough. I do this with my chocolate soufflé, which I have yet to share on the blog, even though it is my most requested dessert by Enrrico and my family in NJ!
I figured I’d give this chocolate powder + bar trick a try with a brownie recipe.
Enrrico and I looooove chocolate. So I figured why not feature the ingredient we both love so much two times on the blog for the big V-Day?
Speaking of V-Day, I hope you’ll join me in One Billion Rising. One Billion Rising is a movement to stop violence against women. One in three women will experience violence in her lifetime, which equals 1 billion women on the planet.
As a nutritionist who works with a lot of women who have food abuse issues and poor body image, I am extremely passionate about standing up for the rights of women and empowering them to care for their bodies.
It seems to me violence, objectification of women’s bodies (men’s, too), and an attitude of ownership from men towards the women in their lives is what has made this startling 1 in 3 statistic a reality. Violence and objectification is so normal we don’t even think of it as wrong or upsetting. It just exists, and not enough people are questioning it.
I also feel that violence against the planet and animals is something that is commonplace and even systematic in our culture. I was very excited to see this interview with Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and creator of One Billion Rising. In the interview she connects the dots between violence against women and violence against the planet, which is an important point for all of us to see, I think.
Chocolate Bar Brownies (Vegan and Gluten Free)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree
1 cup flour of choice (I used oat flour, which is my favorite gluten free option)
1 three ounce dark chocolate bar of choice (I used Green and Black 85% cocoa content)
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup almond milk
1 cup organic unrefined sugar (for an even fudgier version, use half a cup sugar and half a cup maple syrup, but then decrease the amount of almond milk by 1/4 cup)
Melt the chocolate bar over low heat with the coconut oil.
Stir this with the pumpkin, sugar and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients and stir together well. Spread mixture in an 8×8 inch glass pan either oiled or lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
OK, it’s moments like this where I honestly wonder if I should be sharing recipes for baked things.
I have made these brownies at least 5 times in the past two weeks, and I do not know how long I baked them for. I do know it was around thirty minutes, more or less, but since I am always multitasking I never seem to remember the time and never use timers while baking.
I do check on my baked good very frequently while they are in the oven. I usually take them out when they are still just slightly undercooked (I like brownies fudgey and eaten with a spoon and I find that cookies are perfect when you let them sit on a hot cookie tray for a few minutes to finish baking – otherwise I find that they get too hard and crunchy, which we don’t like in this house). Also, depending on what type of oven you have, how old it is, how powerful it is, and your altitude, baking times can differ.
So my advice to you is to keep a close eye on your baked goods, and don’t rely on me for very accurate baking times.
Raspberry Gelato (Vegan and Gluten Free)
1/2 cup organic, unsweetened coconut flakes
1 and a half cups water
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp maple syrup
stevia if desired
Blend and strain this mixture. Discard the coconut solids and return the liquid to the blender.
Add a 10 ounce bag of frozen raspberries and blend again. Taste and see if you’d like added sweetener.
Then you can process this in an ice cream maker according to the ice cream maker directions, or you can pour this into an ice cube tray (this will fill a 14 cube tray), freeze for about 3 hours, and then run through a food processor or high speed blender.
If you do the latter, you will probably need to add some more coconut milk, maple syrup, or both, to really get the gelato moving in the processor or blender to have the gelato consistency.
Place a scoop or two of gelato alongside and on top of brownie, and enjoy!
So this post was a strange mix of chocolatey yumminess and feminist/animal rights/planetary activism! Even if you’re skeptical, please read the interview with Eve Ensler. It’s a quick but powerful read.
Now it’s your turn: What are your thoughts on the one in three statistic? How do you think self love and respect, with something as simple as what you put on your plate, could change things?
Or do we have to be much more outspoken?
Sometimes I feel like my hands are tied. The one in three statistic scares me. It should surprise me, but it doesn’t. I feel like these unpleasant topics are often simply brushed under the rug because nobody wants to think about them.
We need to talk about it, all of it, the ugly and bad stuff doesn’t go away when we ignore it, it gets worse. We need to raise awareness about it in any and every little way we can.
If you are passionate about this topic, can you share what you do to raise awareness about violence against women? I’m very interested to see what others are doing to raise awareness and bring an end to the violence.
P.S. – If you’d like a completely raw version of the chocolate brownie sundae don’t forget about my raw brownie recipe!
P.P.S. – I’d like to apologize for the lack of good food photos lately. The sun is finally starting to show it’s face again, so it’s been a long winter of really bad lighting. :/ As pretty as raspberry gelato on top of a brownie is even in the worst of pictures, this photo does not do the dessert justice!