Vegan. Grain free (paleo). Brownies.
So…. that pervasive day of chocolate and flowers is drawing near, you know the one. Here are three (generalized) camps you might park yourself in:
1. You love it, love to love it, love all it stands for, get out all the pink and red and roses and hearts and glitter and go for it.
2. Whatever, a nice meal out, drink wine, smooches if you give me flowers. Pass me the chocolate.
3. Go away. Valentines day was created by card and gift companies and has nothing what-so-ever to do with real love. Cupid, who was that anyway? Real love cannot be bought. And I don’t eat that crap.
Seriously, camp 3, lighten up and just honor the chocolate.
When I had young kids at home Valentine’s Day was my favorite. We’d decorate the windows with clear conatct paper hearts that had spoonfulls of glitter in them (that shit’s like pine needles at Christmas.. every where until next September), invite friends over and have an all out dessert (sugar) party: Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake, heart shaped cookies, homemade marshmallows, shirley temples…you know the drill. Gifts of lip gloss and underware (what? all that cute Valentine’s Day underware, how could I not?). I am so grateful for those memories
Now that my girls are grown, the meaning just doesn’t hold up for me. They were absolutely the reason holdiays were special at all. Now, whatever, I try. The man is more camp 3, though he definitely appreciates a good meal and dessert. [Also, when you’ve gone grain, nut, dairy and egg free that Cherry Cheesecake is a bit of a big challenge].
So here we are at dessert, or treats, snacks, lunch box surprises. Make these for the healthy die-hard Valentine’s Day fan. Make these for the one who likes a good sweet with out the sappy love stuff. Make these to soften up camp 3 ( give them the whole pan full).
Black Forest Brownies (vegan, paleo)
2/3 cup tigernut flour
1/3 cup good quality cocoa or raw cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 Tbsp arrowroot flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp flax seed meal
1/4 cup liquid (cherry juice for Black Forest, water or dairy free milk choice)
6 oz (1 cup) dairy free dark chocolate, either in chunks or chips
1/2 cup firm coconut oil
Optional: 1 cup thawed frozen sweet cherries, drained, juice reserved
Pre-heat oven to 350*
Whisk flax meal into a 1/4 cup cherry juice ( or chosen liquid), set aside.
Prepare a square baking pan with 2 rectangles of parchment paper crossing over each other, allowing the paper to go up the sides. Use a light coating of coconut oil to help the paper stick.
Place all remaining dry ingredients in a fine mesh sieve set over a medium size bowl, stir the dry ingredients to combine and press through the sieve, this helps remove any gritty tigernut skin out of the flour.
Melt chocolate and coconut oil together over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second increments. Stir well to combine, add flax meal mixture and stir again.
Combine wet ingredients into dry, stir well until incorporated.
Spoon batter into prepared pan, if using cherries, press approximately half of them into the batter. Bake for 15 minutes then turn pan, bake another 15 minutes. Let brownies cool then place the whole pan in the freezer until cold, this helps them keep their shape and adds to their gooey texture.
To remove brownies lift the parchment paper, loosening all four sides before lifting. Cut brownies. Store in refrigerator or freezer, they will soften at room temp.
Serve with the additional cherries and a sprinkling of cocoa powder.