Paleo – Grain Free – Vegan
Preparation Time – 15 minutes; Cooking time – 15 minutes; Fridge time – 1 hour
When I was pregnant everyone always used to warn me about any expectations associated with my post baby bod. They all said – “your body won’t just bounce back straight away”. I nodded politely but internally I was thinking… “Pfft – I haven’t gone mad with food during the pregnancy, I’ll snap back like an elastic band dammit”. Unfortunately majority won and I have been left with a little bit of a shock. I guess cultivating a human for 9 months does slightly affect you – who woulda thunk it! As such I have committed to giving the Paleo diet a go. This diet hinges on a high protein intake, lots of leafy greens, no processed foods and – the most important part – no grains whatsoever! One could be fooled into thinking this diet makes coffee and cake with friends impossible never fear – baked goods are actually surprisingly easy to Paleo-ise.
Almond Meal is a Paleo Bakers friend! Almond Meal is made from ground almonds and therefore is sometimes referred to as almond flour. It lends a moistness to any dish you use and is a high protein alternative to your standard nasty white flours. And the kicker… it partners especially well with chocolate! Zing zing zing! If you would like to make your own Almond Meal the Delighted Momma provides a fantastic tutorial here. (note: she specifies almonds without skin, but using ones with their skin on is completely fine!). Here is the recipe for my incredibly well-received Fudgy Banana Brownie. YUM.
*note – if you don’t like banana substitute the 2 mashed banana’s for 1 free range egg. This will obviously mean the brownie is no longer vegan though!
½ cup coconut oil (solid)
½ cup organic raw cocao powder (this is different to cocoa in that it is a superfood but you can substitute if need be)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup (can use honey or agave nectar)
2 mashed ripe bananas (I always keep a stash of frozen ripe bananas in the freezer… cut into chunks)
1 cup almond meal
Raw Ganache Icing
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160° Celsius (325° Fahrenheit)
- Mix the coconut oil, cocao powder and cinnamon in a bowl and combine well.
- Add the coconut milk, maple syrup and almond meal and mix until combined.
- Mash in banana (if using frozen I microwave it until it is mostly defrosted. This works really well and means you will have amazing delicious banana chunks in your brownie!)
- Line a small brownie tin with baking paper. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the surface of the mix.
- Place in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes. Insert a chopstick/skewer to check – the stick should come out with a bit of the mix on it. This means extra fudginess once it has cooled! Remove and allow to cool to room temperature (if you can resist digging in straight away!).
Raw Ganache Icing
- Remove 2 teaspoons of your coconut sugar and keep aside (this will dust the brownie!).
- Combine remaining coconut sugar with cinnamon.
- Whisk the cacao powder and coconut oil together until smooth .
- Add cinnamon coconut sugar mix and mix well.
- Pour on top of the brownie and refrigerate immediately.
- After 10 minutes remove from fridge and sprinkle on remaining coconut sugar. This will give a beautiful caramel fairy dust effect!
- Serve with strawberries!!!