Friday, February 4, 2011

Well deserved brownies after shoveling out of the blizzard (and no artery clogging)

The essential ingredients-dairy and artery clog free
 After trying to shovel our way out of 20" of snow, I had a serious craving for brownies. Fortunately brownies of convenience are out of the question for me due to Jordan’s food allergies (dairy or made in a facility with nuts).  So I’ve been experimenting with some brownie recipes over the past few years.  Even pre EE and food allergy days, I really didn’t want to use a brownie mix.  Most recipes of course call for butter.  Not an option here anymore.  Even if Jordan wasn’t allergic to dairy, I would no longer use butter in my cooking.  Necessity is the mother of invention.  I learned how to get rich creamy flavor without butter.  I’ve sometimes referred to myself as the “Paula Dean of soy butter” (without the weight, wealth and the southern accent).  For some reason we all love a creamy texture.  So after shoveling, I decided to make some brownies.  My constraints were:  I will only make it with Droste cocoa powder (childhood favorite), will not use over processed sugar or over processed flour-and of course it needs to be dairy free.

I actually found a great Alton Brown recipe and converted it with my constraints/choices.

We ended up with delicious brownies and did not increase our chance of heart disease. 

Here are some interesting quotes on why even if you aren’t allergic to dairy, you would make these substitutions.

"...There's a lot of money in the Western diet. The more you process any food, the more profitable it becomes. The healthcare industry makes more money treating chronic diseases (which account for three quarters of the $2 trillion plus we spend each year on health care in this country) than preventing them. "

Whatever I make, I keep this in mind and use the least processed ingredients.  Also,

"You are what you eat eats."

And since I’m not a vegan at this time, I buy the cage free eggs (more nutritious…. because the chicken’s diet is reflected in the eggs nutrition value).  If you are a vegan, then you can use an egg substitution.  When we avoided eggs, I used Ener G egg replacer or the apple sauce mix that is substituted for like eggs.

These brownies are delicious and they will not make you feel guilty about all the processed flour and saturated fat you ingested.

Note: these brownies have a rich robust flavor.  As much as I LOVE chocolate and sweets, I no longer enjoy the flavor of processed brownies-they have a thin flavor.

As I’m writing this blog, I hear on a heart disease focused show that the #1 killer in the U.S. is heart disease, and half of us will die from it.  We cannot control everything (genetics, stress, jobs, etc.), but we can control what we eat and put in our bodies.


Soy butter to grease pan
Flour (organic whole wheat pastry) to dust the buttered pan
4 large eggs
1 cup organic cane sugar sifted
1 cup brown sugar sifted
8 ounces of melted soy stick
1 ¼ cups of cocoa sifted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup of organic whole-wheat pastry flour
½ tsp. kosher salt


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Soy butter and flour an 8-inch square pan.

In a mixer, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy (sort of frothy) and light yellow.  Add both sugars (gradually.  Add the remaining ingredients (gradually) and mix to combine.

Pour the batter into the soy buttered and floured pan (I actually forgot to flour the no stick pan and it still worked) and bake for 45 minutes.  Use the toothpick method (insert and see if it’s clear) to make sure it’s done.  In my convection oven, it finished in about 40 minutes. 

Cool thoroughly.  I sifted powdered sugar on top while hot.  It could also be frosted with a Spectrum based frosting (after it cooled).  I was too tired with an impatient child to make frosting.  These were also delicious the next day…..the flavors combined perfectly.

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  1. This couldn't come a better time for me. I need to make some allergy free deserts for the wedding. My nephew's girlfriend (who he's been with for a long time now) has severe food allergies. I never asked her if she has EE, but from the way she describes her diet sometimes, there is a real possibility. My mom originally said she'll pay for what Kirstin (my nephew's girlfriend) brings to the wedding, so she'll have something to eat. But, I don't see why I couldn't make these. I'll make sure I talk to her ahead of time to let her know I'm 100% aware of the danger of cross-contamination, so the kitchen will be well sanitized (not just germ free, but allergy free) before I start baking anything.

  2. What are her allergens?
    That's very considerate of you to think about her; especially when it's your big day.

  3. My old roommates dad has chickens in his backyard in Grayslake and gives away his eggs. I've got eggs in the fridge that I collected myself two days ago from his chickens!

    I can't think of any ways that wouldn't be kind of awkward for you to get in touch with him and get some of his great eggs but if you're interested I can give you his information.

  4. I do not like to use any type of shortening in my baking. Even if they are trans free and vegan, because if it is solid at room temp, it worries me. I use organic, all natural applesauce only. For chocolate recipes, I sometimes use olive oil. They work beautifully in any recipe. The applesauce keeps the fat level way down, another plus..more guilt free :)

  5. Naila-Yes, that would be great. I have to search really hard to get real cage free eggs. Many of the big brands that claim they are cage free are not (Cornucopia Institute did a study). Can you send me message on facebook with the info. Fresh eggs taste the best.

  6. Kelly-Yes, the oil/applesauce combo would work and have no fat (plus be top 8 allergen free). When my son couldn't do soy or eggs...that's exactly what we did (and even gluten free version at one time). I have my old recipes for that still. I used the flavorless expeller pressed canola oil. Once we got soy back for my son's diet, he really wanted this version over that one. So the soy sticks still provide some of that creamy texture with not too much guilt. :)
    Personally, I love the flavor of cocoa. In fact when I was little my mother would throw cocoa powder/sugar mixture over some rice pudding to make me eat it. She was trying to fatten me up along with some dairy-I already had a repulsion for dairy back then. Who knew that later on I will have a child with a dairy allergy.

  7. That is interesting about your childhood repulsion for dairy and your son's allergy to it. Maybe some connection?

    Have not baked this week and I need to get moving. This winter is getting me bla. That is alot of snow you shoveled!

    Been making a delicious potato soup in the crock pot. Going to start another batch now. Sooo good. Have a great day!

  8. Yes, same here...haven't baked anything for Valentine's Day yet.

    Potato soup sounds good! Because we are dairy free, unless I make it, I can't have any good cream type soups outside anymore.

  9. Thanks for reminding me about Valentine's Day! The potato soup is dairy free and very simple. Just cut up potatoes, veg. broth and water to cover, chopped or sliced carrots, a small can of pureed pumpkin and a can of cream style corn. Spices to taste and another can of corn the last half hour. I love the crock pot b/c my energy level is highest in the morning, get it going, bam, dinner is done. Today is a minestrone! Have a great Sunday.