Sunday, March 5, 2017

Live Hummus with Fermented foods

This is how I make hummus. All the fermented things add natural probiotics to the diet and act as a natural preservative. I recognize you might not have all these things in the house, so feel free to substitute, and tell me what happens!

*Try this with white beans, black beans, fava beans, and other legumes.

Into a food processor, add:

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic (I use pickeled garlic from making cucumber pickers)
Chop garlic with seasoning.

  • 4 cups cooked or sprouted chickpeas, a.k.a. garbanzo beans, that's two cans -
    SAVE THE WATER/cooking liquid, save a few chickpeas for garnish.
  • About 1/16 (1"x1" piece) of a preserved lemon
  • 1.5 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about half a small lemon)
  • 1 Tablespoon live pickle juice (optional)
Blend until smooth.

  • About 1/4 cup (2-3 oz) water from chickpeas
  • 2 Tablespoons Tahini paste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Garnish with with extra chickpeas, a drizzle of olive oil, and a little fresh, quality cumin or zaatar.

Chickpeas are high in fiber and iron, and have been shown to help regulate blood sugar. Hummus is an excellent way to turn some raw vegetables into a hearty snack.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Rich Mocha Fudge Brownies (Dairy Free)

Trigger warning:
My family has been eating a lot more wheat-free, no sugar added, raw, nutrient-rich things. This is NOT one of those things.

This recipe is based on a well tested recipe from America's Test Kitchen for chewy brownies. I've adjusted to make them with available, dairy free, ingredients, and more rich chocolate and fudgy.

These brownies are a real show-stopper, and they are relatively easy to make in that they don't require a mixer, separate mixing bowls, or whipping anything into "peaks."

YIELD: at least 24 very rich brownies, or one 9x13 pan or "half pan"

  • 1/3-1/2 cup (100 ml) cocoa powder (depending on your taste) (I use about 1.2 oz by weight) 
  • 3/4 cup strong coffee
  • 2 oz finely chopped unsweetened chocolate (I start with 7/8 of a 100 gram bar of 100% cocoa "Holy Cacoa")
  • 4 Tablespoons (about 1.8 oz by weight) coconut oil
  • 5/8 cup (5 liquid oz) olive oil
  • 2 eggs (whole)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar (use a little less for a deeper bitter-sweet flavor, but significantly decreasing or substituting sugar will alter the structure of the brownie
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt (less if your salt is extra fine, more for kosher salt)
  • 8 oz (250 grams) cold, high quality bittersweet chocolate chips or large chocolate chunks

  1. Have all ingredients ready, except coffee.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 C. Line a 9" x 13" pan with parchment paper (or foil) and a light coating of oil or cooking spray.
  3. Brew strong coffee, add to large mixing bowl (must still be hot).
  4. Whisk in cocoa powder, followed by chopped unsweetened chocolate. Whisk until smooth and melted. Mixture looks like ganache. Resist the urge to taste this bitter mixture.
  5. Wisk in oils, then eggs, yolks, and vanilla.
  6. Wisk in sugar until everything is homogeneous. Until this step, you don't need to worry about mixing too much.
  7. Switch to a spatula and mix in flour and salt until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  8. Scrape into oiled paper- or foil-lined pan.
  9. Cook 20-30 minutes. Checking frequently after 20 minutes or as soon as you smell them. They are done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with sticky chocolatey crumbs, but the brownies are not "soapy" or very jiggly. Remember these have a lot of chocolate and other ingredients that are liquid when hot and will cool to a solid. Do not leave them in until solid.
  10. Let cool at least 1 hour, preferably several hours in the fridge before cutting.

* Pull out as soon as you smell it.
* Double the recipe, slice into small squares, and freeze small portions. WRAP WELL because high fat foods absorb other smells/flavors. Plastic wrap just doesn't cut it.
* Serve hot with ice cream, or cold. I like them when they've been out of the freezer for about 10 minutes.
* Try adding pecans.
* For chewy, less gooey brownies, add an extra 1/4 cup flour and cook an extra 4-5 minutes.
* Try adding caramels and rock salt on top in the last 7 minutes of cooking. (Reduce salt in batter.)


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