Double Dark Chocolate Cacao Chip Brownies with Coconut-Vanilla Icing

Some of the world’s best inventions are by accident.

Post-it notes. Popsicles. These brownies.

In cleaning out my kitchen for an upcoming move (more about which I will share soon), I’ve been emptying my cabinets and trying to creatively use all my ingredients. There were a few flops, a few recipe makeovers, and then there were these.

I tried to make some chocolate granola bars to bring road-trippin this week. But the granola bars were just too good. So good, I decided to slather them with icing, thus converting them from health-snack status to divine, decadent desserts.

Scrumptious, sweet, satiating, and shareable. Very, very shareable. So shareable I had to take them into work, and then bring them on my road trip to ensure all of my friends were able to sample these little delights, and couldn’t take proper pictures at home. So shareable that I had to share them with you.

Double Dark Chocolate Cacao Chip Brownies with Coconut-Vanilla Icing (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

For the brownies:

Ingredients:

Start by making date paste: In a food processor, combine 3/4 cup pitted medjool dates and 2 tbsp filtered water, adding more water and combining as long as needed to achieve a nutella-like consistency. (Optional: combine in this mixture 1 tbsp bee pollen. 1 tbsp sprouted flax, 1 tbsp hemp or chia seeds, 1 tbsp maca… it’s easy to sneak a few superfood goodies in here!) Date paste acts as a great fruit-based sweetener and binding agent, and if you make extra it can be saved in the fridge.

Leave the date paste in the food processor and then add:

1/2 cup cup walnuts

1/2 cup macadamia nuts

1 cup oats (I used gluten-free)

3/4 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in the food processor until the “dough” starts clumping together and forming a large ball. Transfer out of food processor and press dough into a pyrex tray, flattening with hands.

For the vanilla frosting:

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut butter

1/4 cup agave or honey

2 tbsp vanilla

dash of sea salt

Directions:

Make a “double boiler” by placing coconut butter in a small bowl and placing the bowl of coconut butter in a tub of hot water. Stir the coconut butter to aid its melting—it should be pudding-like, not runny. Stir in the agave, vanilla and sea salt, and while the mixture is still hot spread evenly over the top of the brownie base. Sprinkle with cacao powder and store in the fridge so the coconut butter doesn’t melt. Mine made 20 small square brownies.

These are dense and quite filling which is why I highly suggest them for sharing! Or, if you want some bite-sized goodies for later, do the opposite—put the icing at the bottom of a shot glass and top with brownie base. Put in the fridge for a few hours and pop out of the glass with a knife when you are ready to eat—brownie thimbles!

Cool Eats, Cool Treats, Treat your Body Right! (With a Secret Ingredient)

He Toronto, remember yesterday, when we broke yet another heat record, hitting above 36 degrees with a humidex of UNREAL?

Call me crazy, ’cause I love it. Or maybe I just eat a high-raw diet that is very cooling and keeps my internal temperatures on the low. (Last week, I ate a full fried Chinese meal for lunch and I swear I might have died.)

It’s a great excuse to eat delicious creamy ice pops.

Oops. Ate that one before I could grab a photo. Guess I’ll have to have another…

That’s more like it.

Avocados unfortunately are not much of a farmer’s market fruit in Canada, but they’re a pretty essential and awesome addition to a mostly vegan diet. Great healthy fats, helping to nourish your skin and keep your hair healthy. Who needs moisturiser anyway? Plus it’s anti-inflammatory, making for excellent post-workout recovery fuel. Or for life-recovery too. Good fats are happy brain food, peoples!

Avocados are on the Clean 15 so I rarely worry about buying them organic, budget considered. So when NoFrills puts them on sale for five gloriously ripe ovals of splendidness for just $2.98, I usually buy a bag. Or two.

Avocados are my favourite food group. When you buy them in packs of five, that’s considered a group. Right? Right.

Get your fix here, combined with some ancient antioxidant goodness.

** revision 12:30 pm E.T.

oh lordy me, I forgots to add my *secret* ingredient!! Spirulina, a dark green algae, is a source of complete protein as well as a whack of other vitamins. It kinda smells like wet dog, but get over it, cause not only is it green (and adds a great depth of colour to the popsicles) but it will make your body into a mean fighting machine. 🙂 Add as much of it as you can handle!

This is my submission to Grillin’ and Chillin’.

Superpowered Green Tea Creamsicles (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free)

Adapted from Munchin with Munckin

Ingredients:

3 ripe avocados, pitted

1 can coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp matcha green tea powder

1 tbsp spirulina (or more, if you can handle it!)

1/3 cup agave syrup (or to taste, I like this recipe on the sweeter side)

Directions:

In a food processor and process avocados and coconut milk until smooth. Process the remaining ingredients till the colour and texture are uniform. Pour into popsicle moulds (I got mine at Loblaws for $2) and freeze overnight. Should make about 10 popsicles. (I had leftovers after filling the above mould. You can guess what I did with that.) And if you wanted to add blueberries that would probably taste really awesome too. Happy lickin’!

A Blizzard Good (for you) Enough for Breakfast

Guuuuuh. Soooo. Good.

For the first time probably ever, I was able to hold off an ice cream craving long enough for it to pass last night.

Long enough, at least, for me to whip out the food processor and make my own.

My first experience a few years ago with Banana Soft-Serve was a flop, one I’d account to a crappy blender and a poor ratio of nut milk to frozen banana. This time, however—a grand success! Nothing easier than a frozen banana with a splash of almond milk (or coconut, for extra creaminess) and a splash of maple syrup, just process and serve. Soft-serve for softie chefs. Simple, and so seriously perfect.

Layers of silky chocolate sauce and chewy cookie dough don’t hurt either.

This Raw Cookie Dough Blizzard is actually about as healthy as most breakfasts I eat. Just a restructuring of the same ingredients. (Kinda like this, but good for you.) Thus, I deem this a worthy hot-weather-worthy brunch. Rolled oats (I used gluten-free!), nuts, coconut, raw cacao in various forms, banana, and a little maple syrup or honey—sounds like the perfect granola, but believe it or not, it’s just the rearranged ingredients for the above parfait.

Wish I could say this combo was my idea, but it seems to be a popular blogosphere idea. Rawified makes it super-simple (like five-minutes simple, hence why I used her recipe!), Angela‘s dished her own interpretation,  and VeganLisa demoed hers at last summers Toronto Vegetarian Festival.

Now you have my blessing. Go forth, be fruitful (bananas!), and multiply (make extra cookie dough, and save some for me!).

 And to those of you who have shared their recreations of my recipes and posts…. thank you!! It does truly make my day when someone has been inspired by, helped by, or even just enjoyed reading the blog. So please keep it up, feel free to comment, abuse my Facebook wall, Twitter handle, etc. It is all much appreciated 🙂