Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Quinoa Brownies

It's one of my last CSA veggie pick ups today.  It's been a great season of growing and I'm thrilled to continue supporting a local farmer in her quest to provide us with organic local produce.  Stopping by each week to select veggies for our family is a highlight.  It's never easy choosing what produce we want to bring home and planning meals around them.  I'm lucky that our CSA allows for choice as I know so many simply provide you with your standard box and off you go.  There are always some items we have no choice about, but for the most part I have the option to choose.  Don recently asked that I quit choosing kale (can you believe it?), but I suppose after 14 weeks straight of the green in the fridge, he might have had a point.

Perhaps you're wondering what all this vegetable talk is about on a post about chocolate?  You see, the other bonus at my pick up is a lovely business selling baked goods.  I'll be honest, I don't purchase baking from many sources.  Mostly I feel I can do it better or I dislike the use of refined sugars and flours too much. Not so with Karen who amazes me each week with her creations that are reliably healthy and tasty.  My routine on Tuesdays is to eat a smaller lunch with anticipation of trying one of her treats later in the day.  Her selection varies and there are few repeats, but the quinoa brownies keep showing up.  And for good reason: they are mighty tasty!
Karen was kind enough to share her recipe for these and it's just in time.  I don't know if I could have gone all winter without this option once and awhile.  The chocolate flavour is intense and surprisingly, the quinoa flavour is almost non-existent.  You will need to plan ahead; the quinoa soaks overnight.  I used 85% cocoa for the ganache on top, but you could easily use a chocolate that is less.  They are a rich and decadent treat. Perfect with a strong cup of tea or coffee and ideal for your gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan friends.

Quinoa Brownies

recipe adapted from Little City Farms

1/4 cup quinoa
2 Tbsp chia seeds
scant cup of water
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup coconut oil
100 gram bar - 85% chocolate
pinch sea salt

Combine the water, chia and quinoa and allow to soak 8-12 hours (overnight). 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 8x8 square baking pan with coconut oil or line with parchment paper.
Puree quinoa water mixture until smooth in blender and pour into large bowl.
Add coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, sea salt and baking soda.  Stir to combine.  Pour into prepared pan and bake 35-45min.  Remove from oven and cool.
In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil and chocolate together.  Stir in salt and remove from heat.  Place in fridge until cold and starting to thicken a little.  Pour/spread onto cooled brownies and return to fridge until ganache hardens.  Cut into squares and serve immediately.  Store any leftovers in fridge, as the ganache will melt in a warm kitchen.

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