I am not a food blog, but I occasionally play one on the internet – Raw Brownies!

ground walnuts raw brownies

I promise this is not the same picture as my ground almonds!

I really like food. I do not like to cook, but I like to partake. My food board on Pinterest is somehow my largest board, much more so than any DIY, decor, furniture, etc boards of mine.

That being said, I cook for my family most of the time, and I buy organic when I can. And avoiding processed foods is something really important to me. We’re in the middle of changing our eating habits, which were not bad to begin with, but we’re trying to cut down on as many animal products as we’re comfortable with. We’re not sure where that point is yet, but that is for another post.

Anyway, I have been intrigued with the concept of raw foods for awhile and alternative forms of sugar. I eliminated white sugar and high fructose corn syrup from my diet years ago and have used evaporated organic cane juice instead – white sugar now gives me a pounding headache – but my husband is far more sensitive to sweeteners than I am, so we’re playing with cutting out more sugar and perhaps replacing fructose with glucose where we can. Enter dates.

I found this video which addresses different types of sweeteners from a health perspective. Point of my blathering: date sugar is the healthiest form of sweetener. So my husband asked me to start buying dates, which then made me remember this recipe for raw brownies that I saw awhile back. I didn’t know where I could buy medjool dates at the time (affordably) so it didn’t cross my radar, but I recently saw that my Costco began carrying them in 2 lb boxes for about $8, so I went for it. Plus I have a weakness for brownies, my favorite recipe being Mark Bittman’s from his How To Cook Everything. The blogger discusses the various health benefits of medjool dates so I won’t cover that here, and I also have not tried to make date sugar to date.

So tonight I desserted on raw brownies after priming an ugly dresser.These are VERY rich and moist. They’re actually pretty amazing. No dairy, no sugar, no gluten. I think this may be heresy to raw food enthusiasts, but since I didn’t have raw cacao on hand, I used this organic cocoa powder my MIL sent me that she bought at her church. Which still bests Hersheys by far.

Here is my modified recipe that I made in my blender. The original is made in a food processor, but mine sucks so I used my blender.

Raw brownies for slightly more than 1

Ingredients:
1/2 cup whole walnuts
6 Medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup organic cocoa powder

1. Place walnuts in the blender. Blend at speed 3. It should be ground to a fine powder.

2. Add cocoa powder and dates.

3. Pulse 3-4 times, about 5 seconds each. Consistency should be very cakey and moist.

4. Mash it into a bowl and put it in the refrigerator to set. Go sand and prime some furniture.

This batch didn’t grind all of the walnuts to a powder, but I kind of liked it with the chunks.

raw brownie gluten free dairy free

I cannot for the life of me figure out how food bloggers make the most beautiful pictures of brownies, but that is why I am not a food blogger.

organic fair trade baking cocoa

This is the cocoa I used. Yum.

Note: this is the second time I tried this today after tweaking the blender settings. The first time I made half this amount, and I used almond flour that I had on hand instead. It was still good, but much more crumbly. Whether it was the almond flour or not enough dates I don’t know, but this version is far and away superior to my first attempt. Also, if it’s not sweet or moist enough to your liking, add another date.

Let me know in the comments if you try this and what you thought. Til the next furniture redo – cheers.

Edit: This is why I should never post after midnight. I am incapable of differentiating between ok pictures and crappy pictures.

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Little almond milk update

Once again, here is Blendtec’s almond milk recipe with my own modifications:

3/4 c. raw almonds

3 1/4 c water

1T sugar (I use organic evaporated cane juice)

dash salt

splash of vanilla

Throw in the almonds and blend at speed 10 for 30 seconds. Stir up the grounds with a spoon and pulse for 10 seconds as needed to get a pasty consistency, usually just once for me. Add in the rest of the ingredients and hit the “Whole Juice” button.

My Blendtec Total Blender broke about a month ago as I was making almond milk. Something clunked loudly as I was pulsing, then rattled when I picked up the base to see if it was ok. We had to send it in for repair and went without it for 3 weeks. First world problems, I know.

We also use it to make green smoothies every day with spinach, kale, and fruit, and felt crummy the whole time without them – tired, lethargic, and grouchy.

The point of all that is to say that we went with store brought almond milk, the unsweetened vanilla flavor. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t come close at all to fresh almond milk when we got our beloved blender back. There’s just no comparison.

On other things, I was straining the grounds from the milk while my 3 year old little boy watched me. As I scraped the grounds into a container he said, “Bird poop.” On the menu for next week: bird poop brownies.

Next up: an aqua vanity and more drawers used to hold liquids! Stop using your drawers for liquid storage, people! I’ll even add “please.”

almond grounds blendtec almond milk

“Bird poop.”

Almond milk

I originally started this blog to document my furniture and house deuglyfying adventures. I’ve since found that my blog has attention span issues.

My friend Pamela graciously invited me to guest post at her home on the web, Red, White, & Grew. It’s a post about….almond milk. And why we’ve decided to make the switch from cow’s milk.

So go show her blog love and read about making almond milk and what to do with the leftover almond meal.

Gender and Betty Crocker (Or, This is not a political post)

So we’re a couple of 30-somethings and are pretty modern in I guess most respects. My husband is very supportive of me and contributes to the daily grind of childcare and most household duties. I really have no complaints about that.

My mother-in-law told me a story about my father-in-law, who died in 1986. They were in the kitchen together, drying dishes. A knock came at the door and FIL immediately threw the dish towel to MIL and told her, “Don’t let anybody know I was helping you.”

She also told me stories of how she would look out the window as he was returning home from his job as a meat cutter to see him accompanied by a coworker or two. On entering the house, he announced that Mr. Coworker was having dinner with the family. This is not how my family operates.

So this week, I rooted through her cookbooks and stumbled onto this glorious finding, Betty Crocker’s 1961 edition of her cookbook. It provided me with an evening of entertainment and thanking God for not putting me here on this earth in the 1960s when gender roles were much more categorized. Because you all know how much I love my power saws. Did I mention my husband has a vast collection of essential oils?

Betty Crocker's New Picture Cookbook 1961

Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cookbook 1961 in Technicolor!

So here is a quick tour for your enjoyment.

Betty Crocker says Refresh Your Spirits before you cook.

Not those kinds of spirits!

Betty Crocker kitchen

Stepford Wives working in the test kitchen

Let the Family Help You!

Let the Family Help You! Specifically, not your husband. And be sure to wear comfortable clothes, like your pearls and a dress.

Random picture

A random picture of a cherub to help you learn the first 2 letters of the alphabet.

reduce recipes

Only if you are good at math. Don’t even bother otherwise. “Math is hard!” says Barbie.

For those home-ec emergencies

For those home-ec emergencies. Mine is, “Order pizza for you two and I’ll see you when I get back from Olive Garden.”

How to freeze food.

How to freeze food. If you’re not an Eskimo and don’t live near a frozen body of water, it’s a lot more complicated, so tough.

A $.02 Lemonade Stand

Back in the day when lemonade was spelled with an “i” and cost only $.02.

(PS – I’m sure the recipes were fabulous. I’m dying to try the stuffed beef heart!)