Brownies are a girl’s best friend.

browniesbaby

 

2 Tbsp. flax meal + 3 Tbsp. water ( combine in a small bowl and let sit for about 10 minutes until it becomes gelatinous)

11/4 cups white flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 cup coconut sugar

3/4 tsp. Himalayan salt

1 cup brewed coffee (strong and hot)

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

2 Tbsp. canola oil

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

 

Whisk flours, baking soda, cocoa,sugar and salt in a medium bowl.  In a large measuring cup, stir the coffee with the chocolate chips until they melt and then pour into the flour mixture.  Scrape the flax “egg” into the mixture and stir to blend. In the same measuring cup, blend the applesauce with the oil. Scrape into the bowl with the chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended. Add an extra spoonful of oil if the batter is too dry.  Fold in the cranberries and walnuts.

Bake in a square pan, lined with parchment paper (criss-crossed pieces with excess folded over the sides) in a 350° oven for 35 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Lift the brownies out of the pan with the parchment paper ends. Cut into squares and sink your teeth into them!

 

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Breakfast of “Survivors”

brekkie

My daily breakfast consists of two pieces of Silver Hills sprouted grain toast, one with peanut butter, the other with peanut butter and Crofter’s organic fruit spread, 1 cup organic fair-trade coffee with So Delicious coconut milk, either an apple or more often, a banana and a few vitamins and garlic.

 

I’ve heard whispers of this persistent challenge to vegans.  It’s one of those knee-jerk responses that rise to non-vegan’s lips. It’s their coup-de-grace:  “What if you were on a desert island, and you were starving and could only eat meat?”

Hmm.  Well, here’s what I think about that.  I watch “Survivor” every season, and with regard to diet, I remark on a few things:

1. In the face of hunger, someone will always step up to wring a chicken’s neck.

2. When there are food rewards, people are just as excited about the non-meat items.

3. Almost everyone is dying for some peanut butter.

I’m not “Survivor” material at all.  I hate camping, preferring my own bed and the luxury of my fridge close at hand, but if I were to find myself—say, as the result of a ship-wreck—on a desert island, I would not be looking for meat.  I would be scouring the island for anything the indigenous plants could provide, and if I were lucky enough to find some kind of nut, I would be pounding it rock-against-rock at the first opportunity so I could make some kind of nut butter.

If I had been the outdoorsy type, and landed on “Survivor”, I am absolutely certain it is peanut butter that I would miss over everything.  I cannot start my day without some kind of peanut butter on toast for breakfast.  If I am forced to do so, I will be a grumpy character until I get some (ask my spouse). I do like almond butter, and cashew butter as alternatives, but it is good old peanut butter that really satisfies. And don’t get me started on peanut butter cookies or peanut butter cups, or we’ll be here all day!

I didn’t take my lunch to school very often when I was a kid because I lived within walking distance of my house.  I used to come home to a hot lunch and watch “The Flintstones” on our old Electrohome T.V. and then head back to school in time for the afternoon bell. When I did take my lunch, I always wanted peanut butter and jelly, or peanut butter and banana, or better still, peanut butter with sliced apples.  I loved peanut butter, and that wasn’t even the GOOD stuff; it was the icing sugar-laden, high fat, Kraft peanut butter with the golden teddy bears on the front. Imagine, how my life kicked up a notch when I discovered organic, pure peanut butter; it was heaven!

Interestingly, I recall an episode of “Lost” (the ultimate desert-island scenario), where the young pregnant woman is gifted an imaginary jar of peanut butter, by the junkie-guitarist and they both pretend to dip their fingers in the jar and then stick them in their mouths and savour its goodness.  I could so taste that, couldn’t you?

Both my husband and I are big lovers of the creamy, or crunchy deliciousness, and we both agree that hypothetically, if we were forced to forgo food for any length of time, it would be this that we would crave, not burgers, not hot dogs, not steak, not even pepperoni pizza—no!  It would be the humble butter of the peanut.

How about you?

 

Some of my favourite peanut butters:

President’s Choice Organic

Compliments Organic

Maranatha Organic

Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Spread*

 

*to. die. for.