Spring is in full force in Toronto and I mean full force. Sunshine, patios, jackets left at home, people are wearing t-shirts for heavens sake! It's wonderfully unreal (although I do find global warming worrisome). Along with this sunny weather comes bumble bees and maple sugaring. With that in mind, this month's Recipe ReDux Challenge was "Stick with Maple Honey Sweetness" - cooking and baking with maple or honey to add natural sweetness to everything.
Like any proud Canadian I love maple syrup. Small amounts can transform salad dressings, baked goods, smoothies, even salmon. I do, however, have one word of caution - natural sweeteners, like maple syrup, honey, and agave nectar are not health foods. When comparing maple syrup to granulated sugar they both have about 50 calories in one tablespoon. While some natural sugars have trace minerals it's certainly not a compelling reason to "add a little extra". Enjoy your sweet treats but avoid having too heavy of a hand when adding sugars and syrups.
While cruising around Pinterest I came across a recipe for Raw Two-Bite Brownies. It immediately shot out of the printer and landed itself on the top of my To-Do List.
There are only three tablespoons of maple syrup in this recipe, however the dates provide the majority of the sweetness (along with a dose of fibre).
Recipe: No Bake Brownies
Almonds, unsalted - 1 cup
Cashews, unsalted - 1/2 cup
Ground flaxseed - 1/4 cup
Alkalized cacao powder (or cocoa powder) - 1 Tbsp
Shredded coconut, unsweetened - 1 Tbsp
Maple Syrup - 3 Tbsp
Dates (or prunes) - 10
Dark chocolate - 2 oz (about 57 grams)
Nut butter - 1 Tbsp
Almond milk (any sort of milk or water will work) - 1- 3 Tbsp
Vanilla - 1/2 tsp
1. Throw the nuts and flaxseed into a food processor and process until it turns into a flour. Do not let it process for too long or it will turn into nut butter. We don't want this.
2. Add every thing except milk to the food processor and process until all the ingredients are well mixed.
3. Add small amounts of milk at a time until a dough ball forms. It will be obvious.
4. Roll the dough into small balls (this recipe is rich and full of healthy fats so I don't recommend going bigger than 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie). Flatten to your liking. You will notice a lot of oil on the balls. This is the natural oil from the nuts. You may wish to pat away some of the oil with a paper towel although this is not necessary.
4. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
5. Eat, enjoy, and savour your delicious treat.
Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Wishing you a sunny spring and tasty days,