The pairing of women and chocolate is a decades-old cliche that people still joke about. Don’t know what to get your girlfriend/wife/sister for her birthday? Buy her some chocolate. Is she in a foul mood? Buy her some chocolate. Is she in that very special time of month? Buy her lots of chocolate. Is she perfectly content? Buy her some chocolate anyway–it can’t hurt. Though I definitely love chocolate, I certainly don’t covet it the way some people might. And I definitely But yesterday I was struck with an intense craving for chocolate, and had my mind fixated on only one chocolate-y dessert: fudgy brownies (why isn’t fudgy a word, spellcheck? It should be). I had recently made some delicious vegan cream cheese brownies for a party, and considered making them again. But then I stumbled across an interesting recipe for fudgy frosting in the Forks Over Knives cookbook. A VERY interesting recipe. Because the ingredients were–ready for it?–cocoa powder, boiling water, a bit of sweetener, vanilla extract, and dates. Yes, dates. Now if this sounds disgusting, don’t be so quick to judge. I probably wouldn’t have tried it, but we had recently purchased a huge container of dates from Costco that I wanted to use up. So I embarked on this bizarre frosting-making experience, planning to put the frosting on top of these brownies from Let Them Eat Vegan (minus the creamed cheese layer). I whipped out my food processor and got to work, and had soon finished up the frosting. I tasted it, and was blown away by how delicious it was! Now, I am not claiming that it tastes exactly like those cans of pre-made chocolate frosting that are sold in stores, but it had a rich and most definitely fudgy flavor that I loved. Yes, the sweetness is a date-like sweetness, so it may not be everyone’s “cup of tea,” so to speak. And as for the brownie recipe, that turned out fabulous as well. The raw batter tasted great as well, and because they were vegan, I didn’t have to worry about salmonella poisoning. After the brownies had finished baking, I let them cool for about an hour, then spread them with the frosting and chilled them in the fridge for a few hours. They made a fantastic dessert, and definitely satisfied my chocolate cravings.
On another note, I recently created another almond butter recipe to add to my ever-growing collection. It is a very simple one (actually, they are all fairly simple to make), and has a subtle vanilla cinnamon flavor. It is perfect for spreading on top of pancakes, waffles, or toast, or as a dip for fruit.
Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Butter
One-third a cup of almond butter
One third a cup of vanilla soy or almond milk
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract
Simply combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
And to get off the topic of food for now, I went on a lovely bike ride this morning to a lake nearby our house. It is supposed to get up to 90 degrees this afternoon, but the weather this morning was perfect–sunny, breezy, and not too hot. On the way there, I spotted two large turtles on the side of the path; they appeared to be snuggling down into the cool earth. Spotting them made me extremely happy for some odd reason, and it really was the highlight of my bike ride. Yes, I know that turtles are not exactly exotic animals, but they are amazing to look at, in my opinion. Here are some pictures of one of the turtles, as well as some other scenic photos from the ride. I love riding my bike when I have the chance to, since it is almost impossible for me to feel upset, angry, or anxious when I am out in nature.
I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!