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HECK YA Healthy Brownies (GF, Paleo, Nut-free)

When you bake to give, you bake and get… really YUMMY, HEALTHY TREATS!!!

This was prompted by my dear mom’s birthday. She enjoys chocolate, but I don’t want to give refined sugars to those I love if I can help it.  The constant challenge? … reinvent standard, sweet-tooth comforts with good-for-you options that taste great!

and TA-DAAAAAA:

Introducing–HECK YA HEALTHY BROWNIES–all whole food ingredients you can feel great about baking with, devouring, and sharing (if you have any left!)  20160305_232906.jpg

Happy to be sharing this 1st time successful baking run of these Gluten-Free, Paleo, Nut-free, Soy-Free Brownies.  These are light in texture, but become dense and chewy as they feel like they are melting in your mouth.  These have no added refined sugars, especially if you omit the optional stevia-sweetened chocolate chips used in the topping-layer baked in.  DO NOT TRY THESE IF YOU NEED A SUGAR HIGH– you won’t get such a high except for the good for you happies from whole food sourced ingredients. Then, again, there is that cacao that can lift your mood, though.

What you need (go organic, local, farmer market sourced!):

  • 2 medium purple sweet potatoes 2-3 cups when grated
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup of date paste moistened with coconut milk and blended to thick syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder, sifted with next 3 ingredients (sift 2x’s) (replace with carob, if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2½ tablespoons coconut flour
  • Himalayan pink salt – few dashes and one dash cinnamon
  • Mix stevia chocolate chips (optional) into ½ cup date paste mixed with melted coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of mesquite (top later of brownies before baking)

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 365 °F .
  2. Combine grated sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, date paste and coconut oil in a mixing bowl and stir together until well mixed. Then add sifted powders cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, and coconut flour and hand mix. (I really like when the powdered ingredients are sifted 2x’s for lighted consistency.)
  3. Line springform pan with parchment paper and grease sides with coconut oil.
  4. Pour into 9×9 springform pan
  5. Cook for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, undo springform, cut into nice pieces. Add other toppings as you wish! This would be fantastic with raw banana ice cream or coconut ice cream.

So delectable!  I actually took a huge bite out of this fresh out of the oven.  I don’t have much patience to wait for baked goods to cool! LOL… It wasn’t a bite, it was several spoonfuls shared by a friend:)

Note: if you are not a bittersweet, dark chocolate lover like me, replace raw cacao powder with dutch chocolate and omit baking soda.  Here’s an in-depth article explaining why: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/08/difference-dutch-process-natural-cocoa-powder-substitute.html why dutch cocoa

Regardless of whether you use carob, cacao, or dutch chocolate, ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY!

Happy birthday to my beloved mom…:)

Take 2!  I liked this version better because it was fudgier…the 1st version above was lighter and more cake like…

  • 3 1/2  cups of sweet potato grated
  • 1 cup of moistened (with coconut mylk) date paste blended to thick honey consistency
  • dollop of vanilla paste to mix into moistened date paste
  • 3 small eggs
  • add 1 teaspoon of lucuma and mesquite to batter
  • ½ cup coconut oil melted
  • ¾ cup cacao powder; ¼ cup baking chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder and baking soda each
  • 2 ½ tablespoon coconut flour (sift all dry ingredients 2xs)
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • For topping, use ½ cup of moistened date paste with vanilla paste and coconut oil, add 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and mesquite and mix in stevia chocolate chips… layer on top of batter…. follow ingredients above and bake!
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Any time is right for LEMON-y LOVE with Jane’s Paleo lemon loaf!

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NO JOKE… THIS WAS A HIT ON ONE OF MY FILM SETS THIS YEAR AS I LIKE TO BAKE FOR MY FELLOW CAST AND CREW FAMILY. I believe every set should have healthy options for everyone that taste super!!!

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cup cashew flour

¼ cup arrowroot powder

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

1 ½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

3 large organic eggs

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

¼ cup honey

½ cup freshly pressed lemon juice (this is essential that is freshly squeezed!)

zest of 4 lemons—don’t skimp on this!

1/3 cup nondairy milk of choice. I use almond

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Magic drizzle

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon almond mylk

½ teaspoon vanilla bean extract

2 tablespoons coconut butter

½ heaping tablespoon of coconut oil

¼ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut (can opt for lighter in fat version)

What to do:

-Set oven to 370 to warm up as you prep rest

-Grease up the inside of your loaf pan, preferably silicon one recycled cardboard

-Combine all the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder & soda, salt)

-Whisk up eggs, coconut oil, honey, lemon juice, zest, and almond mylk

-Combine wet with dry ingredients

-Pour in pan and bake about 45 minutes until edges welcome you by browning

-Check to see if the inside is set by poking with a chopstick or similar

-If it’s not ready and set enough in the middle, cover with foil and leave another 5 minutes

-Take out of oven and let set in pan until cooled.

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-Combine all warmed and softened ingredients in small bowl

-wait until thick enough to drizzle and spread on top of bread that is cooled

-press in the coconut shreds to fully set the frosting onto the bread…

-leave in fridge until ready to eat.

Slice up and devour… but share, too!. .. It’s okay to drool… this is a decadently fresh bit of baking goodness!

For more delightfully delicious, sustainable, and good for you delights, follow my other passion project http://www.EATScommunity.org … and find the community on social media @EATScommunity !  Thank you:)

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Maru now open!

Fantabulously fresh farmers market produce and the finest selection of sushi and savory hot kitchen entrees. Oh, and who can forget the desserts?!

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For those who have been craving Chef Jason Park’s desserts from the former Ramekin, your wait is now over!  His new restaurant Maru is now open for lunch (Tue-Fri) & dinner (Tue-Sun).  Featuring his French-inspired Japanese cuisine to traditional omakase, the food will not disappoint!  And to finish the meal?  Superb desserts of course!  Be sure to try your old favorites like berry cobbler, chocolate bread pudding, homemade ice creams, seasonal Farmer’s market tarts & much more!

Click on the EaterLA link for pics of this gorgeous restaurant!  http://la.eater.com/2015/10/26/9616584/maru-west-la-new-opening-french-sushi-photos#4864159

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PALEO-FRIENDLY BANANA DATE “CAKE” LOAF

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I used to bake standard gluten-filled, sugar laden, and sour cream-filled banana nut bread, but this higher protein, no-gluten version TAKES THE CAKE! This one is FLUFFY LIGHT as a loaf YET DECADENT IN TASTE. PLUS, MY FAMILY ENJOYED THIS AS MY DAD’S HEALTHY BIRTHDAY CAKE OPTION and am now posting it because I made it again and it turned out just as delightful!:) mmmmm…. happy birthday to a friend and to meeee bellyyyy:)

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas (1 frozen from overripe and 2 ripe unfrozen yet…. or just do 3 ripe of any kind)
  • 4 free-roaming hen eggs
  • 3/5 cup coconut flour
  • 3/5 almond meal (not blanched)
  • 4 melted overflowing tablespoons of melted coconut oil
  • 3/4- 1 cup of mixed variety date paste broken up into chunks for mixing ease
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 dollop of vanilla bean paste
  • several dashes of Himalayan Pink salt
  • small capful of apple cider vinegar
  • unsweetened dark chocolate (I used what goes into making mole sauce for spice and depth)
  • 1 cup of more of pecan pieces
wpid-20150814_183206.jpgInstructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Combine your frozen bananas, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, cider vinegar
  3. Once all of your ingredients are blended, add in your coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and sea salt and mix well
  4. if you are using 2 unfrozen bananas, then slice super thin and mix into batter .  if using only room temp or only frozen, just mash and mix into wet batter in step 2
  5. then mix date paste into batter into well mixed, but not overly so
  6. Pour your batter in a loaf pan
  7. mix your coarsely crumbled chocolate and pecan pieces into top 1/8th of loaf pan batter b/c this will form a delicious crust
  8. You will bake for 40 minutes, then cover the top to prevent the crumbley choco-pecan covering from burning with some foil.  Put back into over let bake another 12 minutes.
  9. All done when a chopstick inserted into loaf comes out clean.
  10. I had enough batter to make a small mini loaf of this… for me…HEE HEE!!!wpid-20150814_161413.jpg

BTW– you can opt not to do the pecan and chocolate topping, but it made it so rich in look and flavor that I would recommend you add the flourish!

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…and I do love using a silicone loaf pan… avoid metal toxicity whenever possible (Aluminum in our systems is just bad news for our brain and studies have shown some links to Alzheimer’s Disease.

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HAPPY ORGANIC (& Discounted) SHOPPING at www.OPENTASTE.com …


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WOW…This bag of Leeks had 4 which were almost as long as my arm … or as you can see… as long as my ankle-to-calf-to lower thigh in length…. really wild!

I happen to be having a bowl of leek and sweet potato soup as I write:) …How did I discover this photographed leek-y wonder?!

Well…. letting my body rest has it privileges it seems! I was letting myself take a breather after months of go-go-GOing and figure I would shop a bit online to check out what is healthy and convenient.  I found a new online ordering, produce, and miscellaneous grocery delivery service and tried it out!  I loved that I could get most of what I wanted to try the next day or same day, but decided to go for 2 days from ordering so i could try bunches of produce… and I mean BIG BUNCHES!!!

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My list was long, but what I received via drop off at my front door blew me away… I believe it was the organic farm sampler box for 29 dollars that brought my bounty to overflowing!!!  I was not sure if I would like their products because I love grocery and farmers market shopping and the entire process of handpicking my own goodies while getting to know the people behind the produce, but I did!

This service cuts out the middle man of a grocery store and brings selected items to me.  The only down side is that the fruit I would pick would be a bit more ripe, but I understand that delivering very ripe items like nectarines and peaches would make them mushy and bruised.  So, on the days and weeks I cannot make it to the market or to see my regular farmers, this is one great option I will look forward to having as a plan B:)

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some of the leaves in my poorly lit photo look yellowish, but they were not really so much…!

Gosh, the asian sweet potatoes are also humongous and the cilantro is so fresh, it filled my kitchen with its peculiar fragrant scent… Love that!  The fruits and tomatoes will hangout with my avocados to ripen and soften, so I will be happy happier in a just a couple days:)  The cantaloupe however, was super ripe and large.. and less than $2.  YAY!

Oh.. and there is an incentive for you and me… if you use this code, you get $15 off your next purchase and I get $5.  I love bargain shopping!  

Here’s my promo code : (1C68A5)

Thanks http://www.opentaste.com for the successful shopping experience!