Kale Brownies + Chocolate Chip Cookie Spread (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Brace yourself..
but don't turn your head away, please, endure what I am about to tell you. 
As a result of volunteering at a local Rhode Island farm, I was sent home with a massive amount of veggies, greens in particular. 

I've tried everything in my power to make use of them, at least to the point where my refrigerator no longer looks as though a tree is growing from it. I've made swiss chard chips, curries, and sautéed greens. Still, the tree remains.

Here's my next course of action: baking greens in chocolate brownies. 

I promise I'm not crazy. And no, the greens didn't make me do it at stem-point or anything. I, willingly, made me do it.


Kale Brownies
Yield: One 9 x 13" pan
Adapted from: chocolatecoveredkatie

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups kale, packed 
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup coconut flour (or 1-1/4 cups all purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup cacao or cocoa powder 
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut or olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13" pan. 
  2. In a small bowl, stir the flax meal with the water and place in the fridge for 15 minutes to gelatinize into a flax egg. 
  3. Meanwhile, cut the kale making sure to discard stems. Then, blend or pulse the kale in a food processor with the almond milk, and applesauce until no chunks of kale remain. 
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  5. Add the blended kale, flax egg, oil, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir until fully combined. 
  6. Pour into greased pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. Generally, I'm supposed to advise that you let the brownies cool before cutting, but it just so happens that kale brownies taste so much better warm...so dig in. Or make cookie spread..


It's difficult to compete with the flavor of Trader Joe's famous Cookie Butter, but when the ingredient list comes into play, well, I think your body will appreciate this:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Spread
Yield: approx. 2 cups. 

Ingredients:
  • 1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed well
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips 

Method:
  1. Place all ingredients except the chocolate chips into a food processor and process until smooth. If needed, adjust sugar content to fit your tastebuds. 
  2. Stir in chocolate chips. 
  3. Spread on brownies, graham crackers, toast, etc., or just eat spoonfuls to satisfy that cookie dough craving. Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.


After observing the life of a farmer, I can tell you this. 
Living deep in the heart of a forest surrounded by green summertime trees and roots that hug and protect a home from an unknown, underground perspective promotes good spirit and the closest connection to nature that a person could ever endure. 

I tried to look at some of the challenges a farmer faces beside the typical business person. A day that begins before the sun's and a closet of work clothes with all ties and pencil skirts removed. A business woman slips on her false smile and a farmer camouflages herself in soil. A business man must walk through the office to face his worst fear, the boss. Meanwhile, the farmer rummages through spiky vines, knocking flowers that caress bees, and all he can hope is that today, the bee and him will make amens. The ceiling in the office will always be white and grey, but the clouds will keep arranging themselves into new figures. 

I know that hard labor will wear your joints, snip you with a few cuts, and blemish you with a couple of bruises. But when it comes down to working behind the safety of a desk and feeling the soil between your barefooted toes, I almost want to just give myself to nature. 




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© A Little Baker
Maira Gall