I have tried several raw brownie recipes so far and liked them all, but most of them taste overwhelmingly of dates and nuts. This isn’t a bad thing – I love dates and nuts, but I wanted a raw brownie with less of a crunchy texture and more of a fudgy texture. I also wanted them to taste primarily like CHOCOLATE. Not dates, nuts and a bit of cacao – like CHOCOLATE. So off I went to the kitchen and after some playing I came up with these:
The texture is phenomenal – soft, squidgy, fudgy….I mixed some walnut chunks in at the end to give a bit of crunch here and there in between all the fudginess – awesome move. The chocolate ganache frosting is sweet, rich, silky and creamy and makes the perfect topping for this brownie. As usual, your body will love you for eating these as the ingredients are full of healthy (non-cholesterol causing) fats, fibre, vitamins and antioxidants.
Ingredients (makes 8 small brownies)
- 2 cups walnuts
- 1/2 cup fresh dates
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons raw cacao (or cocoa powder)
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup (or agave)
- 2 tablespoons dessicated coconut
- 1/4 cup walnut pieces to stir through (break whole walnuts into smaller chunks)
- 1/2 avocado (ripe)
- 4 tablespoons raw cacao (or cocoa powder)
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup (or agave)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Place 2 cups walnuts into your food processor and process until almost a flour. Don’t over process and get nut butter! There will still be tiny nut chunks in it – you just want it reasonably smooth in order to create a fudgy brownie rather than one with big nut chunks throughout the batter. Now add the dates and process for a minute. Proceed to add all other batter ingredients and process until a sticky, well-combined lump has formed. Taste. This batter should be pretty sticky at this point. Add walnut pieces and briefly pulse so that it gets distributed into the batter, but the chunks stay in tact. Press this mixture into a small parchment lined dish. Use a small dish so that the brownies are nice and thick. Pop into the freezer for 20 minutes to set. Then remove and put into the fridge.
Add all ganache ingredients into a small blender/food processor or use an immersion blender to process it into the smoothest, bestest ganache you have ever tasted! Try really hard not to eat all the ganache before it reaches the brownies. If you succeed in this (well done!), spread the ganache nice and thickly over the brownies and pop back into the fridge for 4 hours or so to set.
Slice and enjoy! They last a week in the fridge in an airtight container or you can freeze them and just thaw before eating.
The title of this post may seem a bit confusing – how can you make fried rice without rice? You’d be surprised….If you have not eaten this before, you are probably thinking I’m a bit “special” right now, but don’t judge until you have tried it! This dish blows my mind – it tastes JUST LIKE normal fried rice, but the secret ingredient is actually cauliflower. And it really is a secret ingredient. The first time I made this I gave my husband some to try. He tasted it, said it tastes like normal fried rice, but that the texture wasn’t exactly like normal rice. I asked him to tell me what I had used instead of rice and he simply couldn’t. You should’ve seen his face when I told him it was cauliflower!:)
At this point I would like to point out that I have never been a cauliflower fan. I don’t hate it, but I really don’t like the smell of it once it is cooked and I have never been crazy about the taste either. But because this is stir fried instead of cooked, it doesn’t get that awful smell of cooked/steamed cauliflower and the taste completely vanishes. Obviously the texture of the grains is not exactly the same as rice. Rice has a glutinous, squishy texture while this has more of a crunchy, fresh texture, but the taste is identical, the calories are ridiculously little and the health benefits are amazing. This has become one of my favourite movie dinners because it takes 5 minutes to throw together and I end up with a HUGE bowl of delicious fried rice which is full of amazing veggie vitamins, but doesn’t taste healthy at all.
Everyone likes fried rice a little different. I like mine with loads of onion, garlic and soy sauce, my mom likes hers spicy….Some like it with a honey/ginger/garlic sauce. Use this recipe as a template and adapt it by adding your preferred extras to make it perfect for you.
- Cauliflower (I use 1 large head for 2 servings)
- soy sauce or tamari
- olive oil
- chopped onion
- crushed garlic cloves (fresh garlic is so good here!)
- add ins: I usually use frozen sweet corn, peas and carrots. In this picture I used frozen sweet corn, peas and spicy salted red kidney beans.
Inspect the cauliflower and cut off any yucky brown bits. Now chop off the florets – you can set the core and stems aside for use in soups. Place the florets into a food processor and process until you have rice size bits. Do not over process to the point of pulp. This is your rice! Set it aside. If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the rice on your grater – works just as well.
Chop one large onion or 2 small onions for every head of cauliflower that you use. Crush the garlic cloves. I like lots of garlic and use about 4-5 cloves per cauliflower head. Get your add ins ready.
Pour 1 teaspoon olive oil into a wok or a large non-stick frying pan and heat up on high. When oil is hot, add the onion and stir fry until nicely browned. Add in garlic and stir fry for another minute. Add cauliflower rice and mix through the onion/garlic mix so that the rice absorbs these delicious flavours. Add in frozen veggies/fresh veggies of your choice and stir fry. Pour soy sauce/tamari over and mix through (I start with 2 tablespoons per cauliflower head and work my way up from there). Taste and add more soy sauce until it is salty enough for you. Don’t cook your cauliflower into a pulp – you want to stir fry it so that it is still crunchy. When soy sauce is nicely mixed through and the frozen veggies (if used) are heated through, dish fried rice into a large bowl and tuck in!
Yesterday was a rainy, cold Sunday afternoon and I was in the mood for chocolate….Even more than usual. This is my usual recipe for when the urge for moist, rich, chocolate cake with delectable lumps of melted chocolate strikes – I thought it is only kind to share the recipe;)
I have adapted this recipe.
- 4 tablespoons of gluten-free self-raising flour (The flour you use really makes a difference. In South Africa, I recommend Glutagon Self-raising. If you are not gluten intolerant, use wheat flour.)
- 2 tablespoons agave granules or coconut sugar (use normal sugar if you prefer)
- 1.5 tablespoons raw cacao (or cocoa powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (you can use any neutral tasting vegetable oil too)
- 1.5 teaspoons vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (or extract or essence)
- 2 x 70% lindt squares broken into pieces (or use chocolate chips or your favourite dark chocolate broken up)
Mix all dry ingredients thoroughly in a mug. Add wet ingredients and mix until well-combined. Stir chocolate chips through. Microwave for 1 min 30 seconds. Leave in microwave for another 30 seconds.
- PS: Microwave times do vary so increase or decrease accordingly. If you overbake it, it becomes very dry. If you bake it just right, it is fluffy and soft. Play until you get it perfect:)
My friend Rencia has a special gift – she manages to come up with the most incredibly good tasting recipes using only a few ingredients while spending only a few minutes in the kitchen….She came over for supper one evening and brought me some cookies – I instantly loved them. Happily, she shared the recipe with me and I am now sharing it with you:) They are not gourmet fancy cookies – they are simple, delicious homemade cookies that you can enjoy daily with your coffee/tea without any guilt. Refined sugar, bad fat and refined carb free.
These cookies come out completely differently depending on the kind of syrup you use. My favourite version is to use maple syrup as the cookies come out flat and crispy and actually remind me very much of a brandy snap. My husband and parents are also huge fans of the maple syrup version. The other option is to use honey. As honey is much more viscous than maple syrup, the batter is much thicker. The batter therefore spreads much less with honey than with maple syrup so you end up with a slightly thicker cookie. With honey, the texture of this cookie is not the same crispy, snappy texture (brandy snap type texture) that you get with maple syrup. Honey makes it have a much softer and chewier texture – in fact, the texture is similar to a soft (slightly underbaked) oat crunchy. I like both and often make a batch of each at the same time.
- 3 cups oats ground into a flour in your food processor
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 cup maple syrup (for brandy snap texture) or honey (for soft, chewy texture)
- If making it with honey, try adding in dried cranberries or goji berries for variation. Maybe even some crushed nuts
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and immediately scoop equal size portions onto a parchment-line oven tray. I used a heaped teaspoon sized scoop for the cookies seen in the picture. Bake cookies for approximately 15 minutes, but be aware that oven times vary. Start checking on them from 10 minutes. The longer you bake them, the crispier they become. Play around with different baking times to see which texture you prefer.
Happy cookie making!