Tuesday, November 25, 2014

what's on my mind + fudgy pumpkin brownies

so, life's been a bit of a hurricane lately
(and i use the term "lately" very loosely...as in, the last couple of months!)
between moving, a family wedding, Daniel's birthday (which we still haven't celebrated!),
photo shoots, hosting family...life in general
has made for a super busy season in our lives

plus i'm processing a lot in my head and my heart
the Lord's been working on me, slowly but surely
He's been showing me things in my life that need to be rooted out
i'm learning about truly trusting in Him,
about making Him the foundation and source of my joy
i've really been challenged by a lot of good stuff from this sermon, actually
i've never been one to understand deep concepts right away
i sort of have to mull over all the bits and pieces
so it takes a while, and it's actually quite a draining process
but i am thankful for it.

and between all the processing and busying and living,
i carved some time out to bake these amazing brownies
(you gotta fuel all that thought with something, right?  may as well be chocolate.)
not only are these grain free and delicious
(which is not always the case)
they include pumpkin puree!

now, if you are like my husband, that statement meant nothing to you
he always asks me at this time of year
"what is with you and all things pumpkin?  i just don't get it."
and neither do i
all i know, is that i LOVE pumpkin anything:
pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin n'oatmeal, roasted pumpkin,
pumpkin fries, pumpkin ice cream...you get the gist 

anyway, back to the brownies
they're gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free, refined sugar free and dairy-free
sounds crazy, i know
but if you have a food allergy / sensitivity / intolerance,
you know it's possible to have "everything-free" food (as my family calls it) that still tastes good
hard to come by, maybe, but possible
so without further ado, here's the recipe, adapted from what runs lori


coconut oil, for greasing your pan
(or whatever other oil you like to use)

1 cup walnut butter
(i made my own, using a magic bullet + walnuts + some coconut oil)

1 cup pumpkin puree
(canned or roasted and pureed from scratch)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8(ish) cup honey - more if you like things a bit sweeter

4-5 pitted medjool dates
(soaked in hot water to soften for a minute or so)

1 tsp baking soda

a dash (or two) of himalayan pink salt

a chia egg
(1 tbsp ground chia + 3 tbsp water, let sit until it gels a bit)

a handful of chocolate chips (optional)*
* if you want to be 100% dairy/egg/other allergen free, use a brand that allows for that.  although i've not used it, i hear enjoy life is fantastic, and it's free of popular allergens including dairy, soy, nuts and eggs + more.


- preheat your oven to 350* F

- grease an 8x8 glass baking dish with your oil of choice (i used coconut)

- puree or mash your dates really well.  i prefer to mash, because you get these really lovely sweet "bits" in your brownie vs. an overall sweetness boost

- in a large bowl, combine cocoa powder, baking soda and salt

- make a well in your mixed dry ingredients and add the chia egg, honey, date "paste", walnut butter and pumpkin puree;
alternatively, mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl altogether.  i went with the former option because i like to cut out extra clean-up wherever i can!

- try to get your liquids mixed together as best as possible in the "well" you carved out, then incorporate the dry ingredients.  if you went the separate bowl route, just mix your liquids then add them to the dry bowl

- fold in chocolate chips, if you chose to add them

- pour batter into prepared baking dish

- bake for 30-40 minutes, or until you poke it with toothpick and it comes out clean

- let cool a bit, and enjoy the fudgy goodness that they are! 

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