Desserts, Snacks

144

No-Added-Sugar Brownies (GF)

My original beginning to this post was the following: Wait! Don’t run away! You saw “no added sugar” and “brownies” in the same phrase and immediately¬†got upset, right? I’m sorry, I swear this recipe is worth it!

And then I changed my mind. Why was I defending the things I made for¬†my blog¬†like there was something wrong with them? Why was I saying sorry for something I believe in?¬†Earlier this year in a class¬†we were discussing apologies, first in the context of theater, and then just in general. During the conversation one of my friends made a comment that’s stuck with me. She said¬†women apologize significantly more than men.¬†This is a¬†fact, guys. (Also, read¬†this¬†and watch the commercial; even though it’s for shampoo and is naturally a little overdone it’s kind of important.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about this and am really curious as to why it’s such a phenomenon. Why are women always apologizing? There’s nothing in our genetic makeup that scientifically says those of us with two X chromosomes will be more inclined to ask for one’s pardon before entering a room or asking a question, let alone asserting something they believe. This is something that has occurred through the bizarre way women are “expected” to interact with others. I realized I do this a lot. I say sorry to my professors before making a comment in class that might not be completely correct. I say sorry to my boyfriend for asking him something that might come off as needy or despondent. I say sorry to my roommate for asking her to clean up grease she splattered over the stove all four of us share. I say sorry to my friend for asking to borrow a bobby pin.¬†Why do I apologize so much?¬†These are not instances where you¬†jab¬†someone in the ribs with your umbrella on a crowded subway or spill a bowl of soup on the person behind you in line at the deli. For those moments of accident or plain ol’ human error we should probably apologize. In fact, I’d be pretty bummed if I tripped over your bag in the doorway and you didn’t say sorry. But I am through with apologizing for feeling the way I feel or doing the things I do. If I want to eat foods that are “good” for me, I will do so. And if I want to eat foods that are “bad” for me, I’ll do that, too! I don’t want to feel like I have to say sorry for eating almonds while you eat a Snickers bar. I wouldn’t ask you to apologize or defend your choice to me. Snickers bars are awesome, I just don’t feel like having one today.

And right now, I’m going to share with you a recipe for brownies that have no added sugar (or just a tad if you add chocolate chips, that is), egg yolk, or grain. They’re full of good fats and protein. They’re clean and they make my body feel good, but they are still just as chocolatey as the other fifteen brownie recipes I have in my rotation. I’ve never felt as healthy as I have since I started making a conscious effort to eat good food. And that’s my choice- hey, it’s my life, right? If you want to have¬†this¬†for dessert, you do it. And don’t you dare apologize. If you want to eat¬†this¬†for dessert, go ahead! But please don’t say sorry. If you agree to do this, I promise I’ll try to live my life the same way.

Brownies (adapted from Health Magazine)

1/2 c raw almonds (use sliced if you want a smooth brownies, whole if you want a little crunch)

1 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder

1 c packed pitted dates (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes)

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch sea salt

1/4 c unsweetened almond milk

2 tbsp coconut oil (solid)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 egg whites

2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and¬†coat¬†with baking spray. In a food processor grind almonds (if using who, cocoa powder, chocolate, baking soda, and salt. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Place the dates, vanilla, and coconut oil in the food¬†processor¬†(stay tuned for a very exciting how-to post on date butter!)¬†and blend until smooth. Resist urge to dip finger into results. Add almond mixture and blend together. Pour into a bowl. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with a whisk or hand mixer until medium peaks form. Fold into original mixture along with chocolate chips. Spread into the baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes (they firm up on the outside very quickly, and will likely not be done after ten minutes even though they look like they are). Let cool completely before slicing and munching!

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Breakfasts, Snacks

141

Morning Glory Muffins (V)

I love breakfast. I don’t love rushing out the door because I’ve actually taken time to eat breakfast. This usually points to muffins, as they are both breakfast and portable. I’ve had morning glory muffins many times before (except for the raisins) and always wanted to make them for myself, but I never have until now! These muffins are particularly great because there’s no added sugar happening here. And¬†as Emily mentioned, most muffins are literally just unfrosted cupcakes. And in my opinion, if you want a cupcake you should just eat a damn cupcake! You don’t have to pretend it’s a muffin in order to enjoy it. It’s okay, no one’s judging you! At least, I’m not. Regardless of which meal you want to consist entirely of cupcakes I’m going to talk to you about why actual breakfast muffins matter for a sec. As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m not living in the school dorms this year. So, when I want breakfast I have to MAKE breakfast. Which might seem like a big “duh” moment to most adults living normal lives, but let me tell you, waking up at 7:30 and making it to class by 9 is something of a challenge. I don’t know how or why it takes me so long to get ready in the morning, but it does. And since there’s no dining hall where I can¬†grab oatmeal¬†that’s already been cooked or eggs that have already been boiled or coffee that’s already been brewed this concept of breakfast becomes a faint memory. Again, I’m sure many people out there reading that are like “boo freaking hoo I get up at 5 and then walk uphill both ways to work every morning”, and to you I say congratulations, I’m really looking forward to joining you upon my impending graduation but until then just let me complain from my place of privilege, this is my blog after all!

Anyway, I’ve never been able to do¬†that¬†“complete breakfast” thing cereal commercials used to brag about -really, who eats THAT MUCH¬†at 8am??!- but this fact does not stop my stomach from growling before noon. That was a really long way of saying I’m glad these muffins are a thing. I studied a great many morning glory muffin recipes (many of which, surprise surprise, had a LOT of sugar) before making the final ingredient list. I swapped out the sugar for date paste, which sounds difficult but is not in the slightest, and used coconut oil instead of butter/canola oil because it’s just a more beneficial fat. I like to make about several batches at a time, which results in roughly 8300 muffins and then I freeze them all and defrost one anytime I need quick food! It’s so handy and there’s no dining hall (OR DIRTY DISHES!!!) involved whatsoever.

Muffins (loosely adapted from Food52)

1 1/3 c whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c pitted dates

1 banana, mashed

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 c coconut oil, melted

1 apple, peeled and diced

1/2 c raisins (or whatever dried fruit strikes your fancy)

3 carrots, grated

1/2 c walnuts (or any nuts you’re feelin’)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a muffin tin. Puree dates with 1/2-1 cup hot (not boiling) water in a food processor and set aside. ¬†Add dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together. Combine wet ingredients (including date paste) in another bowl, then add to dry ingredients and mix well. Use an ice cream scoop to fill muffin tin equally with batter and bake for about 30 minutes! If you’re saving them for an extended period of time, wrap in parchment paper and then foil and place in a freezer bag/tupperware and freeeeeze them! They’ll last for a good long while.

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