Healthy Brownies recipe (flour and yeast free)

In a recent post I showed some “alternative” brownies I made as a slightly healthier variant to enjoy in these stay-indoor, low-exercise days.

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Here’s the recipe, in case you might want to try.

These are not as sweet as the store-bought ones, so you might want to adjust sweetness to suit your taste. Keep sugar quantity to a minimum for a healthier version.

It could be adapted for vegans by replacing eggs and chocolate with vegan alternatives 🙂

Makes 4 small browny loaves (like the ones in the picture)

INGREDIENTS:

> Quantities are slightly approximate as I improvised <

250g Aduki beans (Japanese red beans*)
3 eggs
50g coconut butter
100g cocoa powder
50g dark chocolate
50g sugar
1 pinch of sea salt (enhances the sweetness)

STEPS:

Prepare 4 small baking trays (each about 12 by 22 cm, 4.5 by 8.5 inches, or so) – they don’t need to be very deep, but at least 5 cm, 2 inches.

Line them with baking paper to prevent sticking. 

Cook the aduki beans in water for a long time (approximately 2 hours) until they’re well cooked and soft.

Drain them of water and let them cool down.

Preheat your oven at about 180 degree Celsius, with top and bottom heating. 

Mash them with the blender until they have a soft paste consistency and the skins are no more detectable.

The consistency should be soft but not too watery (slightly runny but not much).

Add the coconut butter and whisk, then the cocoa powder, sugar and salt, while continuing to whisk. Finally add the eggs.

When done, mix in small chunks of the dark chocolate (about half of the choc bar).

The mix is now ready to go in the lined baking trays. Distribute evenly across the trays.

Shake gently to allow the mix to settle. Spread some choc chips on top. The mix should be about 1/2 inch (1 to 1 1/2 cm) deep.

Bake in the oven until the mix is dry but not very dry (it shouldn’t be as dry as biscuits or cake, but rather still retain a somewhat spongey texture).

The baking time might vary slightly from oven to oven, for me it took approximately one hour. I checked them from time to time to assess the cooking stage. 

When cooked, let them slowly cool down.

Then cut into slices or tiles and serve. 

~ ~ ~

These can keep for some days – I stored them in the fridge, but a cool and dry area might work as well. 

If you make them, let me know how this worked for you.. hope you enjoy them!

* Aduki beans (aka as adzuki or azuki) are Japanese red beans, see https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/glossary/aduki-bean. I got these ones through Amazon (no paid link)

 

 

Brownies!

Working remotely has the great advantage of not having to spend time for the daily commute – which in large cities like London significantly eats in one’s day.

With a bit extra time in the evening, I gave a go at cooking aduki beans (aka adzuki or azuki) as a dessert (these are small red beans, traditional in Japanese cuisine) – apparently they’re rather healthy.

As usual, I like to improvise or interpret recipes with a freestyle approach.. I tweaked a vague recipe for red beans brownies to use ingredients I had at hand. I used read beans (cooked and finely mashed), cocoa powder, eggs, a few spoons of coconut butter, a few spoons of sugar and icing sugar and choc chunks

The result is rather nice and I couldn’t tell that beans are the base ingredient!

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Vintage sock… gorgeous yarn and much more (a long update)

A finished vintage sock!

Fear not, it’s not an old sock!

This is going to be a lengthy update, since I haven’t been around in a while. Grab a tea or coffee and read on..

SOCKS

In one of my usual charity shop stops I found some lovely vintage wool yarn, just a tiny quantity. The colours were lovely – you know, the kind of 50/60s shades – so I got it anyway.

Now, I’ve been wanting to make socks for a long while, but actually never gave it a go. Until, while reading my usual blog posts, a fabulous tutorial on sock making came up – just what I needed to motivate me to attempt the task!

Winwick Mum’s Sockalong is truly well done, illustrative and clear, with step-by-step instructions and tons of pictures. Just what a new maker needs! She has done a great job with this tutorial – if you plan to try sock knitting out, that’s an outstanding resource and I can warmly recommend it. Did I mention it’s free (including the pattern)?

After long – my spare moments are pretty limited – last night (wee hours) the first sock was ready… and fitted perfectly! I’m so happy with the results (thanks to WM’s tutorial). They’re not perfect but I think they’re pretty good – anyway, judge for yourself!

A finished vintage sock!

A finished vintage sock! (Ok, it’s not fully finished here… I forgot to take a pic after grafting the toe and the rib)

Sock-in-progress.. just the toe left

Sock-in-progress.. just the toe left. See the pretty vintage yarn?

Sock-in-progress, the heel is turned

Sock-in-progress, the heel is turned

Sock-in-progress, the heel

Sock-in-progress, the heel

Sock-in-progress

Sock-in-progress, with notions and notes!

Sock-in-progress, the heel flap

Sock-in-progress, the heel flap

My first sock, the beginnings

My first sock, the beginnings

YARN PORN

After the recent fire, I allowed myself to do some yarn shopping.. naughty of me, as I have neither space to store it nor budget, but sometimes, you know, one just needs to treats oneself to lift spirits… I think I deserved it.

So let me show you some gorgeous yarn…

Wensleydale and Shetland 4 ply by The Knitting Goddess, one skein each of Slate and Green (picture from TKG’s shop as I still haven’t the wool with me):

Wensleydale & Shetland 4 ply yarn by the Knitting Goddess in Slate

Wensleydale & Shetland 4 ply yarn by the Knitting Goddess in Green

The yarn, a blend of 85% Wensleydale and 15% Shetland, is grown, processed, spun and dyed in the UK, and has a high twist for extra strength. If I could, I would buy all of it (ok, maybe not literally ALL – there’s not enough room in the flat). Here you can see all of the available colourways.

One Farm Yarn, also by The Knitting Goddess, in Flower Power (of course, with such a name I couldn’t pass it):

One Farm Yarn 4 ply by The Knitting Goddess in Flower Power

One Farm is a genuinely Yorkshire yarn!

Here you can see the many pretty shades (variegated, solid or semi-solid) and the interesting story of the yarn and its (local) production: a journey of 72 miles in Yorkshire from sheep to dye pot. What’s not to love?

As you can see, I’m a sucker for blues and greens, although lately I’ve been lovingly looking at natural shades and tones of browns too. But budget is limited, so that was it for now.

NEW FIREPLACE

In other news, this week a new fireplace was delivered and now we need to get workers to remove the old and put the new one in. It’s limestone in Deco style. It was quite a (costly) adventure to get it from the curb side into the flat: we had to get helpers to lift and carry the dead heavy but very fragile limestone pieces. They were amazing, but it came to over £100 for less than half an hour work. There was no way we could do it ourselves, at about 100 kilos each side piece… at least, we got it cheaper because it was ex-showroom. Here you can see a showroom image of The Faulkner fireplace.

The Faulkner fireplace by Chesney’s

LAMP SHADE

Another charity shop find was a Laura Ashley lamp shade at a steal price tag, in just the perfect shade to match the curtains in the living room. The colour is actually more green than it appears in the photos.. it’s a sort of grey/dusty silver green (faded teal? a pale Jade? Persian Green? I’m sure there’s a more accurate name). Such a stroke of luck… What do you think of it?

Laura Ashley lampshade

Laura Ashley lampshade

Laura Ashley lampshade in the sofa corner

Laura Ashley lampshade in the sofa corner

Laura Ashley lampshade by night

Laura Ashley lampshade by night

BAKING

While ago there were over-ripe bananas laying around. Normally, I would eat them as my other half doesn’t like them ripe, but I’m on a low-sugar, GF diet. In order not to waste them, I thought to make some gluten-free loaves replacing sugar with some ripe fruit (there were bananas, self-picked blackberries, ginger and pears involved). The texture was not too bad for GF, but a hint more sugar would have been in order 😉 Hence the spoon of jam.

Enjoying a slice of GF, low-sugar loaf

Enjoying a slice of GF, low-sugar loaf

Gluten-free, low-sugar loaves

Gluten-free, low-sugar loaves

Well, that was it. Well done if you reached the end of this post! Thanks for joining.

How was your weekend?

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