I know the title to this post must have grabbed your attention – Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies! Rarely do I post sweet recipes, but when I find one that’s healthier than most, I have to share it with you.
Today, I have a special treat – I’m sharing this gluten-free and healthier brownie recipe with you from one of my favorite author’s newest book – Rebecca Katz’s The Longevity Kitchen, Satisfying Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to get a review copy of this book, which not only showcases a collection of healthy recipes that boast the power of yum! but also a ton of information about natural, whole foods to keep your body humming. As some of you know, I have a special interest in Food as Medicine, so this book is right up my alley.
I have been a huge fan of Rebecca Katz ever since I acquired her book a number of years ago, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen. My copy of this book has dog ears and stickies on more pages than you can imagine from all the recipes I’ve made for friends with cancer. Not only is Rebecca a nutritionist, but she’s a chef – an unusual combination of talents – so she is able to translate science onto the plate for all to enjoy. I have made countless pots of Rebecca Katz’s Magic Mineral Broth for friends undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment, which has literally made the difference between someone eating and not.
So, onto Rebecca’s newest project, The Longevity Kitchen. As I curled up on the couch to read this new book, I was engrossed in the first part of the book, which talks about the connection between what we eat and epigenetics (an emerging field of science that studies the factors affecting genetic expression). Did you know that you can alter your gene expression through your food choices? Everything you eat has a direct impact on your gut, liver, kidney, brain, heart, bones and muscles, and your immune, respiratory, circulatory, nervous and endocrine systems. Not surprising if you stop and think about it.
The information and recipes in The Longevity Kitchen draw upon the knowledge of numerous physicians (including Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, Jim Gordon, and Dean Ornish), nutritionists and researchers who have delved deep into the science of nutrition and longevity.
Rebecca does a fabulous job of helping the layman understand the interplay of food and each of these organs and systems in a fun tone, and once you understand the relationship between food and each of these, you will be chomping at the bit to not only read about the benefits of the Super Sixteen (foods that offer the highest levels of antioxidants), but you’ll want to learn about every ingredient in her Culinary Pharmacy (80+ ingredients), which describes the healing power of each of these foods.
One of the principles that makes Rebecca’s cooking style so successful is what she coins FASS (fat, acid, salt and sweet), the four tastes that work together to make food taste their best. In the section Balancing with FASS, you’ll learn about Rebecca’s pantry staples to get just the right balance of flavor in any dish and how to create your favorite global “flavorprints” using a unique set of ingredients.
The Longevity Kitchen has eleven chapters, the first three of which are dedicated to giving the reader the groundwork necessary to fully appreciate the healing, nourishing power of each of the 80+ ingredients sprinkled through the 100 recipes (most of which are gluten-free) in the next eight chapters. You’ll find recipes that are best as immune boosters, stress reducers, mind enhancers, blood sugar regulators, liver boosters, LDL cholesterol reducers, heart strengtheners and more.
Here’s a glance at the chapters:
- Food, Nutrition, and Your Body
- The Healing Power of Food
- Making the Most of This Book
- Life-Enhancing Soups and Broths (including Magic Mineral Broth 2.0, a jazzed up version of Rebecca’s Magic Mineral Broth from her first cookbook. I know I’ll be making this staple over and over again.)
- Vital Vegetables (The Sweet-and-Sour Asian Cabbage and Kale is on my list to try next)
- Generous Grains (The Hot-and-Sour Sesame Soba Noodles were really good)
- Protein-Building Foods (Good Mood Sardines were my breakfast one morning)
- Nibbles and Noshes (Rebecca recommends the Sweet Potato Bars for something delightfully different)
- Dollops and Yum! (I can’t wait to try the Indonesian Drizzle and Pomegranate Glaze)
- Invigorating Tonics and Elixirs (I’ll be making Hibiscus Pomegranate Cooler this summer)
- Sweet Bites (Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies were a huge hit with kids and adults alike!)
I would highly recommend The Longevity Kitchen to anyone who is interested in living a healthy long life while enjoying foods that are full of the “yum” factor. Each and every recipe in this book is full of nutrient dense ingredients, and once you learn how to build your culinary pharmacy and what each of these ingredients does to help prevent chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation, arthritis), you’ll feel empowered to take charge of your health.
I already have stickies all over my copy of this book ;).
And now for the giveaway! Rebecca Katz has generously offered to give two (2) autographed copies of this book away. So, there will be two winners!
- ⅔ cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 8 ounces dark chocolate (68 to 72% cacao content), chopped
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 organic eggs
- ⅓ cup Grade B maple syrup
- ⅓ cup maple sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional), toasted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan (see note) with two pieces of foil long enough to overlap on all four sides. Lightly oil the foil.
- Put the almond flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.
- Put half of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat, stirring often, just until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the olive oil.
- Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk until frothy. Slowly add the maple syrup and maple sugar, whisking all the while, and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla extract, then gradually add the chocolate, whisking vigorously all the while, and continue whisking until smooth and glossy.
- Add the flour mixture and beat for about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining chocolate and the walnuts. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature in the pan, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting into 16 brownies.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group.