Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Good old basic brownies and chia seed jam


I haven't been cooking a ton because of kitchen renos  - The Husband has been working on getting rid of our 80's pink laminate countertops and replacing them with concrete, also installing a new sink and faucet. Next, a tile backsplash. I'm so excited!

I did make some brownies the other day though. And not a "healthified" version either - just good old basic brownies. I do believe that when you eat well most of the time, there is definitely room for some butter, sugar and chocolate in your diet!

Good Old Basic Brownies:

- 1/2 cup butter
- shot of espresso, or 1/4 cup brewed coffee
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 oz coarsely chopped baking chocolate, or 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a square pan with parchment paper (2 criss-crossed pieces make it easier to lift the brownies out). I also sprayed the parchment paper with olive oil as an added precaution!
In a medium-size pot on medium heat, melt the butter until slightly brown (about 10 minutes). Add the espresso, sugar and cocoa powder. Take off the heat and mix well - the mixture will be a bit dry and crumbly. Let cool for a few minutes. 
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing vigorously before adding the other. Once the mixture is smooth and shiny, add salt, baking powder, vanilla and flour. Stir until no streaks remain. 
Fold in the chocolate chunks and pour into prepared pan. 
Bake for about 25 minutes (mine took a little longer because of the glass pan). Cool in pan on rack before lifting out and cutting into squares. 



I had a bunch of strawberries sitting in the freezer, so I decided to try a chia seed sam. Chia seeds form a gelatinous coating once immersed in liquid. Works like a charm! They add fiber and protein to this jam, while reducing the need for sugar. 

Strawberry Chia See Jam:

- 1 lb  frozen strawberries, washed, leaves removed (duh!)
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Simmer everything on low heat for about an hour, mashing the strawberries with a potato masher. 
That's it!

Have a lovely week!

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