Thursday, March 17, 2011

Incredible Fudgy Yummy Brownies - grain free & refined sugar free!

I love to make really great food.  Not "really great food for being gluten free", but really great food that I can feed to people and they love it, regardless of whether they need to eat gluten-free or not.   I want people to love the food that I feed them and I especially want my guys to love the food that they are eating every day.
 Sometimes I think people might get the idea that our food is no fun.   When I tell people that we don't eat any gluten (and also no grains right now!) or no refined sugar,  or corn, or anything with food colorings, etc...I often get asked "Wow, then what DO you eat?".     Honestly, there is a ton more that we do eat than what we don't eat.    You can see from reading past posts that we eat a great variety of delicious foods, including treats.  We love treats, it's just that we are fully aware when we eat them that they aren't our everyday food.

I was part of an interesting conversation today, where someone was asking for a healthy cake recipe.  I laughed out loud, thinking that there is no such thing.   There really isn't.   You can use ingredients that will make it not affect your insulin, or your gut, or your blood pressure, but cake is not a health food.  And it shouldn't be.  It should be one of those foods that are reserved just for our pleasure - for fun, and for celebration.  I think if we could learn to put foods in their proper perspective,  and eat what we are supposed to eat when we are supposed to eat it, then many many health issues would just disappear.  Have your cake and eat it too - just don't try to delude yourself into thinking that it's a health food!  Enjoy it for what it is!   And whatever you do, don't take out the FAT!  It's the fat in the dessert that provides satisfaction, and keeps you from eating the whole thing!

Today, my little guy and I experimented in the kitchen.   We wanted to make chocolate mint brownies (TREAT!)  for St. Patrick's Day, and so we started cruising the internet, looking through different websites to find a grain-free brownie that sounded good.   I found several, but none of them were screaming "pick me, pick me!  I'm THE one!"   Until that is, we found one that wasn't grain free.   It was this one dark chocolate brownies from The Gluten Free Goddess.   I didn't have everything that she used in hers, and I also wanted to make them grain free,  so we let the experimentation commence!    We switched a Ghiradelli Baking Chocolate Bar (unsweetened) for her Belgian chocolate, then we used Palm sugar in place of the brown sugar, blanched almond flour, and quinoa flour to replace the rice flour.  (quinoa is a seed not a grain, and it's very high in protein.) I also added a couple things, as you'll see in the recipe.   We were so happy with our final product, and I would serve these to guests proudly!

So, totally inspired by Karina's recipe, but then I put my own twist on it...and here it is!

Incredible Fudgy Yummy Brownies

4 ounce bar of Ghiradelli's Baking Chocolate Ghirardelli Unsweetened Chocolate Baking Bar (12x4 OZ)
1/2 cup butter 
2 Tbls. raw honey, or agave nectar
2 organic free-range eggs
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla plus 1 teaspoon peppermint extract for mint brownies)
1/2 cup chocolate chips to sprinkle on top, or a 1/2 cup of chopped nuts - or both!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.   Line an 8x8-inch square baking pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick spray.

Melt the chocolate bar, the butter, and the honey or agave nectar together.  The little guy did this in the microwave, and then used a small scraper to mix it all together.  (He then confessed to having had a little nibble of the chocolate before melting it, and said it was much better mixed with the butter and sweetener.  "It's amazing how much better it tastes with just a touch of sweetness, Mom.")

In a large bowl,  beat the eggs with a hand mixer on medium high till frothy. Add the palm sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth.

Add in the almond meal, and the salt, baking powder, and baking soda, beat for about a minute.

Add about half of the melted chocolate mixture into the flour/egg mixture a little at a time - incorporate it slowly- and beat well for a minute. Then add in the quinoa flour, and then slowly incorporate the rest of the chocolate mixture, and mix again until fully incorporated, and then add the vanilla, and the mini chocolate chips, and beat for another minute or so.

Pour into the pan, and bake for 30-33 minutes.  Don't overbake!  Make sure they are set in the middle, but it's better to have them a little under-done than a little over-done.    Let them cool and then cut and serve. 
We had ours while still warm...oh my!  What wonderful, dark chocolate fudgy goodness.   We throughly enjoyed our dessert tonight!
 This post is linked to Fight Back Friday at The Food Renegade      - Check it out for some really great real food recipes, and articles!
This post is also linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.   Great site with lots of information on different types of gluten-free flours and how they work together!


  1. Those sound really good! Too bad I can't have sugar at this point. Can't wait until I get the go ahead on that! I'll be making these, for sure.

  2. Next time I make these, I'm going to leave out the mint extract, and add in a half a packet of the Starbucks instant coffee. Mmmmm...