matcha brownies (gf+df)
I've felt a little off balance the past month. Maybe you've noticed …. last post I insisted my turnip waffles were parsnip, and the post before that I left out some of the main ingredients. I also spilt an entire bottle of water over my new laptop. I needed to hit that reset button badly.
Last week, I went to go see my doctor, because on top of feeling way off balance, I've been having a weird allergic reaction to something, and a general feeling of "something is not okay". When I saw her and told her what was going on, she insisted my problems were 100% stress related and immediately (I mean, immediately) sent me to her "healer". I had no idea what this "healer" was going to do to me, but I went straight from my doctor two stops down on the subway to see her. When I arrived in the office, I felt and immediate sense of clam, and an overwhelming feeling of happiness. The waiting room was filled with bright colors, and soothing meditative music. The healer woman ushered me to the back room which was bright purple and filled with that same warm and loving energy. We talked for a bit, I told her about what craziness was going on with my life, as well as the symptoms I was having, which were very likely a result of that craziness. Then, she asked me if I had any idea what she did. I smiled and said, I have no idea.
Turns out, she is a reiki healer with extensive training in chinese medicine. Hum. Fascinating. I've always been intrigued by reiki, I even have a very dear friend who was trained as a reiki healer, however, I have never considered seeing someone for this kind of therapy. I've just always thought that I am a more hands on / need to see results, kind of person. Although I am a very firm believer in any form of natural healing over popping pills, the skeptic in me sometimes holds me back from trying things that are a little less tangible.
She explained that I was going to lie down on the table, fully clothed, and she was not going to make any contact with me, but that she was going to use her energy to replenish some of my depleted energy. Okay. I'm game. If she just gives me a tiny fraction of her positive energy, it's worth it, right? She worked her magic for 20-30 minutes, and when I walked out of there, I honestly felt as though I was walking on a airy cloud of happiness. To prove so, afterward I was standing on 6th avenue trying to flag down a cab and some aggressive driver literally almost run me over …. and I could care less. I knew it worked, and I could not wait to see her again.
During our session, my eating habits came up, and she brought up something very interesting. She asked what I ate on a daily basis, and I told her my usual, smoothie, salad, mostly raw / gluten-free / dairy-free, always for breakfast and lunch, and sometimes through until dinner. I always get the thumbs up from any healthcare-type person when I talk about my diet, however, she is the first person to have found an issue with what I was eating. She said, because it is winter and our body is in hibernation mode, I really should be eating more cooked food. More roasted vegetables, more soup, more tea. Makes sense. She told me to stop trying to focus so much on salads and smoothies, and try to listen to what my body needs. Yikes, but okay. Limiting my salads and smoothies until the weather warms up, this could be difficult, but she might be right.
She even said, I want you to give yourself a treat once in a while. Have dessert, eat something you wouldn't normally eat. Live a little. What has happened in your past, has happened. You need to start living in the present, and stop making up so many rules for yourself. Let stuff go. There's a whole life out there waiting for you to go and live. Here is your prescription for no guilt, for whatever it is you are or are not doing, so take it with you and live your life.
YES. Maybe it was those words that made me feel like I was walking on clouds. I needed someone, a outside person, to tell me this. That is was okay to let go, okay to not feel guilty. It was okay to eat dessert for lunch, if that's what I wanted to do.
So, the next day I made some brownies. I did keep the gluten and dairy out of them because that is what my body likes, but I gave myself some extra chocolate and a touch of matcha because I like my indulgence with a boost of antioxidants.
These brownies are slightly more on the bitter side than the sweet side, so if you are a dark (bitter) chocolate person, then these brownies are for you. The matcha adds to the intriguing, unexpected bite to these brownies that I really like. If you've cooked with matcha before and you love the taste (bitter with an underlying tone of sweetness), then go ahead and add two tablespoons, but if you are hesitant, then just add one tablespoon.
Another thing to note is that these brownies are on the cakey side, and I like them that way. However, there are slight adjustments you can make in the flour, butter, and sugar to get a different result. This article has the most detailed write up of how to achieve the brownie texture you're looking for, if you're up for experimenting:
Feel free to sub the brown rice flour regular all-purpose flour (1:1 …. or even take out and additional 1/2 cup of the nut flour and add another 1/2 cup of all-purpose) if you don't mind the gluten, and want a chewier result. One last thing. I tested these with both coconut oil and earth balance butter ….. the butter definitely won, but if you want to avoid any kind of butter all together, then by all means use the coconut oil. Oh …. one last thing, I promise. I used maple syrup instead of a more refined white sugar. The results are less sweet, but I also like it like this. Feel free to use white sugar (1:1) here, for a sweeter result.
about 10 brownies
2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons of ground flax seed + 4 tablespoons of water)
1 cup of brown rice flour
1 cup of hazelnut (or almond) flour
2 tablespoons of arrowroot
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1-2 tablespoon of matcha (plus more for dusting, if you like)
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 cup of apple sauce
1/2 cup of maple syrup
2 teaspoons of vanilla
for the melted chocolate
1/3 cup of butter (vegan if you prefer, or you can also sub coconut oil)
1/4 cup of hemp or almond milk (unsweetened)
4 oz of semi-sweet dark chocolate (vegan, if you prefer, 65% cacao)
- Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease a 9x9 pan.
- Make the flax egg but combining the ground flax and water in a small bowl. Stir and set aside for now.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir well to combine everything.
- Set up a double broiler, and add the milk, butter, and chocolate (in pieces), while stirring constantly. When the chocolate and butter have melted, remove from the heat and immediately pour over the prepared batter. Add in the flax egg, and stir until everything is combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the greased pan, and bake for 35-40 minutes (until a tester comes out clean). Be careful not to overcook.
- Wait at least 10 minutes for the brownies to cool before removing them from the pan. Then, flip the pan to release the brownies, and cut into square. Enjoy warm (the best), or they will keep in an air-tight container in the fridge.