Keeping Things ‘Regular’ With Delicious Salted Fudge Brownies

Before we get into the recipe for these delicious salted fudge brownies, we need to talk digestion. More specifically, poo. We never talk openly about poo, but maybe we should! Did you know that slow digestion affects millions of people worldwide and is one of the most common reasons that people seek medical attention? If constipation is familiar to you, you are not alone; and now that you know that you are amongst friends, let’s talk about how we can keep things regular.

You probably guessed it, our diet makes a significant impact on our elimination habits. Ideally, you have at least one bowel movement each day, with ease. In fact, ideal transit time (the time in which food moves into your mouth and out your bum) should be 18-24 hours. A fun way to test your own transit time is to eat beets or sesame seeds and see how long they take to re-appear.

If your transit time is on the slow end (pun!), chances are you’re:

  • not having a daily bowel movement
  • straining during bowel movements
  • having lumpy or pebbly stools
  • feeling as though elimination is incomplete

These things are not only annoying; they are also hazardous to your health! Health starts in our gut. When food sits too long in the colon, it begins to ferment and putrefy, contributing to a whole host of nasty things including further constipation as the stool dries out, yeast overgrowth which can contribute to the dreaded “leaky gut”, ongoing inflammation in the colon, and the formation of haemorrhoids.

So, if your transit time is more than 24 hours, you know that you need to speed it up. You can do this by making some pretty simple changes to your regular diet, like trading refined grains for whole grains, adding more fruits and veggies, and incorporating more legumes in place of animal protein. One creative way of doing this is using fibre-rich flours in baking. The following recipe uses BOB’s RED MILL Black Bean Flour in place of white flour. This ups your fibre intake, reduces your consumption of refined grains, and still manages to keep your sweet tooth happy. Best of all, you won’t believe these tasty treats are good for you!

Salted Fudge Brownies

Delicious, gluten-free, fibre-rich brownies that will fool all your friends!

Course Dessert, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 9 large brownies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup cacao
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/2 cup black bean flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup good quality, gf chocolate chips (divided) (I use Enjoy Life mini chips)
  • 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt (for topping)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper

  3. In a medium sized saucepan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat

  4. Remove from heat and whisk in the cacao

  5. When fully mixed, add the sugar

  6. When fully incorporated, whisk in the eggs and vanilla

  7. Add flour and sea salt

  8. When just combined, add ¼ cup chocolate chips

  9. Pour batter (it will be quite thick) into parchment lined loaf pan

  10. Scatter the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips on top of the brownie batter

  11. Bake for 20 minutes (brownies will still be gooey at this point)

  12. Top the brownies with flaky sea salt immediately after they come out of the oven

  13. Let cool before cutting

  14. Hint: for the tastiest brownies, put them in the fridge before serving!


Crumbly Bumbleberry Breakfast Bars

In my quest to find desserts that double as acceptable breakfasts, I revamped Cam’s grandma’s tasty Raspberry Bars. They are one of my most favourite treats; but they are super addictive because of all the sugar. I have quite a sugar addiction, and when I made them the original way, they would actually call my name alllll day and I found them so irresistible that the batch would be gone before dinner time. Then I would feel shaky, super thirsty, and irritable for days. Not a good thing.

So I changed them up: I got rid of the conventional sugar, made it gluten-free and amped up the fibre. I also subbed the conventional jam filling for a homemade chia jam that has no added sugar, but has chia seeds to bind it together and increase the fibre even more. The result: amazingly delicious breakfast bars that could double as a healthy dessert :)! They are super tasty, but not addictive. There is no post-raspberry bar energy crash and no ensuing irritability. They leave you satisfied instead of insisting that you eat all of them, immediately. Hope you like them too!

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Crumbly Bumbleberry Breakfast Bars

Delicious, crumbly, fruit forward breakfast bars. They also happen to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar free (but no one would notice!).

Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (just grind the oats in your food processor until they resemble a course flour)
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 cup butter, ghee, or coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 batch chia jam (recipe to follow)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375

  2. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.

  3. Mix the oats, oat flour, buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, palm sugar, baking powder, and sea salt in a mixing bowl.

  4. Add melted butter/ghee/coconut oil and mix together using a spatula.

  5. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the parchment lined baking pan.

  6. Top with chia jam. Using a spatula, spread the chia jam all over the oat mixture.

  7. Mix the almonds with the remaining 1/3 of the oat mixture.

  8. Use your hands to crumble the remaining oat mixture over the berry filling.

  9. Bake for 25-30 mins, or until the top is begins to brown.

  10. Let cool before cutting into the bars (if you can stand waiting!)

 

Bumbleberry Chia Jam

Versatile, delicious, protein and fibre-rich jam for your morning oatmeal, fancy dessert, or eating with a spoon!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups frozen raspberries
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

  2. Add the berries and chia seeds.

  3. Stirring frequently, cook until the berries begin to burst and release their juices.

  4. Add the lemon juice and vanilla. Mix together.

  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer until you have a thick, jam like sauce.

  6. Dig in!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

I have been trying to come up with some fun sample ideas to lure folks down to see me at the GreenZone Grocer on Saturday mornings. Last week, we used vanilla chia pudding and chocolate chia pudding samples to encourage folks to stop by. When we offered folks the cute little samples that were sitting on the counter, I was completely surprised by the number of people who had never even heard of chia pudding (what!??!). Then, lots of folks on Facebook confirmed that they, too, had no idea about this scrumptious (and healthy!) treat. I was, again, flabbergasted. So this recipe is for all of you who are brand new to chia pudding. You can start out with something more basic and layer it with apples and walnuts. Or, you can go really crazy and puree the pudding wth nut butter and chocolate (which is what I am going to show you how to do today). But first, why should you even eat chia pudding (besides that it is delicious)?

Chia seeds are super nutrient dense, with a good amount of protein and fibre, and omega-3s. So they are going to help keep your blood sugar stable and your brain healthy. Plus, they gel up when soaked and have a soothing effect on your digestive system. And a fun fact: chia seeds aren’t only good for you – they are also good for growing chia pets. Yep, they are the same seed!

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A quick note on the other ingredients: I used peanut butter here because I was out of almond butter. I should say here that I don’t think peanut butter is the best nut butter in the world (more on that another time), but I went ahead with good old PB this time. But, hear me out, if you are going to use peanut butter, please use one that has peanuts and salt as the only ingredients. You don’t need sugar and trans-fats in your PB. To sweeten this, I used maple syrup (the good quality stuff!), but you could also try mashed bananas or dates instead. I used raw cacao for the chocolate-y goodness. Raw cacao is unprocessed chocolate and it is high in magnesium (to help you chill out) and antioxidants. You can sub it with regular cocoa, which is easier to find in BL,  but you’ll lose some of those nutrients. Anyway, on to the recipe!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

Gooey, creamy chocolate chia pudding topped with sliced bananas, nut butter, and chocolate chips.

Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups nut milk (I used homemade almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup cacao
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup (depending on your preference)
  • 2 tbsp nut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder
  • pinch or two of sea salt

Top with sliced bananas, a dollop of nut butter, and some chocolate chips!

Instructions

  1. Put everything into a medium sized mixing bowl.

  2. Mix. This will take a bit because the cacao is hard to stir in, but it will eventually come together.

  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 4 hours, until it resembles a pudding-like consistency).

  4. Stir it up! 

  5. If you like a more tapioca pudding-like consistency, then keep it as is (my personal choice. Plus, I am kind of lazy), dish up, and top with the fun stuff. 

  6. If you like it creamier, then blend it up until it is smooth and creamy, adding a bit more milk if you need. Then dish up and sprinkle with toppings.