The Eating of the Green!
With St. Patrick’s day approaching, I thought I would use this opportunity to pretend to be your mom and remind you to eat your greens! 😉 One good way to make sure that you are getting more vegetables into your life is to be sure to eat at least a serving at every meal. The meal where most of us can stand to pump up the volume (of veggies) is at breakfast. If you plan enough time in the morning and prep your greens ahead (wash, chop, etc), it is a quick and easy option to saute up some greens (kale, chard, spinach, mustard, you name it!) to go with your eggs. At my house, we start the day off with at least one serving of veggies and it makes me feel like some sort of veggie superhero.
Since St. Patrick’s day is a holiday and a reason to celebrate, I have another suggestion for a green treat that doesn’t involve gross food dyes. I am a strong advocate for keeping perspective around desserts and treats. Enjoying a treat every once in a while is part of enjoying the sensory experiences life has to offer. When treats are shared with friends and family, they are even sweeter! Treats every once in a while are great and fun, but treats all the time… lets just call it what it is… a crappy diet. When we do decide to have treats, we can make them the best choice they can be by avoiding things that will just make us feel nasty later. So without further preachy ado…
Here’s a grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free (and artificial dye free!) sweet treat idea for you to enjoy this St. Patricks day! I promise you they taste better than they look… I’m an eater, not a pastry chef.
Mint Chocolate Brownies
1/4 c coconut flour
3/4 c cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c maple syrup or honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c butter or coconut oil (melted)
Preheat oven to 350*. Mix coconut flour, cocoa powder and salt. Add eggs, maple syrup or honey, vanilla and mix again. Add butter or coconut oil and mix again until smooth and incorporated. Let sit 5 minutes. Re-mix. This can all be done easily in a food processor, using a hand mixer or simply by hand.
Pour brownie mixture into an 8 in square pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Ovens will vary. Remove from oven and let cool completely before slicing. Allow brownies to sit for a few hours before covering or adding mint filling. Brownies can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator and then add the mint filling the following day. That worked out very well for me.
Mint Filling –
1/2 c melted coconut butter
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp mint extract
a few drops of mint flavored chlorophyll concentrate (to reach desired green color – use caution… this stuff can really stain!) *you will be able to find this in the health and beauty section of most co-ops and the supplement section of some grocers.
2-4 tsp water only if needed to reach desired consistency
In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the melted coconut butter, honey, vanilla extract and mint extract. Continue mixing until smooth. Add water only as needed. Once the desired consistency of the mixture has been reached (about a frosting type consistency), switch things up to mixing by hand BECAUSE THE CHLOROPHYLL WILL STAIN THE HECK OUT OF ANY SURFACE and you don’t want to accidentally whip some up onto your walls, clothes, etc. You get the idea. So… carefully add in a few drops of chlorophyll and stir by hand until you reach the desired shade of green.
Take out your brownies and if you haven’t already, cut them into bite sized pieces. Then cut those pieces in half so that there is a top and a bottom half. Spread the mint filling/frosting layer on the bottom halves, then cover with the top halves. Store in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer if you are going to have the ability to resist their minty siren song for longer than that 😉
If you make these, please comment and let me know how you like them. They remind me of Andes mints or thin mint cookies. More specifically, these took me back to a mint brownie recipe a friend of my grandmother used to make. Now I can enjoy them without all the things that make me feel like ick! I love ick-less food nostalgia opportunities and I hope you will love these cute little brownies, too!
Take Care and Have Fun,
Martha DeSante DC, CYT