A few weeks ago I bought white flour, white powdered sugar, and granulated sugar for the first time in about two years. Usually when I cook for other (read: non-real-food) people I use whole wheat flour, whole cane sugar, raw honey, and other real food ingredients. So why in the world did I go to the regular supermarket and buy these bags of white pseudofoods?
Simple. I am a little more chilled out than I have been for the last two years. I know, I know. White sugar and white flour are killing us. But I think that making three pans of mint brownies for 200 people a few weeks ago was worth going to the store, buying commercial flour and sugar, and then enjoying every bite of the one brownie I ate with my friends during that event.
Of course, if I had been making the pan of brownies for my family, it would be a different story. I would have made the real foodified recipe below. But even with the white flour brownie, I could tell I was okay: GAPS really can heal your gut. I’ve come a long way, baby!Now I also know that many of you don’t have the option of eating white flour or white sugar right now, so please don’t do what I did unless you’re ready. If you are transitioning out of GAPS, or you don’t have too many health problems, the occasional white flour and sugar will probably not harm you. You need to balance the stress of making your own whole grain sprouted, soaked, or sourdough foods with your general well-being.
Obviously this is a big step. I mean, I’ve been on GAPS, one of the most strict diets there are. But remember: how do you know you are healed after GAPS? If you try something with wheat, sugar, gluten, or another GAPS-illegal ingredient and then you have no digestive upset. One brownie, even a crappy white flour brownie (which was actually highly palatable and smooth and delicious!), didn’t hurt me.
I won’t be eating white flour very often, regardless of my ability to digest it now. I’m still going to be sprouting flour for making cookies and brownies. And everything else I hope to sourdough or soak overnight, to reduce phytates.
- saucepan and whisk
- stand mixer
- large baking dish and parchment paper
- mixing bowl and wooden spoon
- sharp knife
Chocolate Mint Brownies
for the brownies:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (buy grass-fed butter here)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (buy non-alkalized cocoa powder here)
3 tablespoons good coffee or coffee substitute, prepared (buy coffee here & Teeccino here)
2 teaspoons good vanilla extract (buy extracts here)
2 cups whole cane sugar (buy whole cane sugar here)
1 3/4 cup sprouted flour (buy sprouted flour here, how to make sprouted flour here)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (buy aluminum-free baking powder here)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional (buy soaked and dehydrated nuts here, see how to soak and dehydrate nuts here)
for the mint icing layer:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (buy grass-fed butter here)
1/2 cup set (thick) honey (buy raw set honey here)
1 teaspoon mint extract (buy mint extract here–a combination of spearmint & peppermint)
dash sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)
2 tablespoons milk (find raw milk near you here)
a few drops natural green food coloring, optional (OR 1-2 drops each yellow and blue natural food coloring)
for the chocolate icing layer:
2 sticks butter, at room temperature (buy grass-fed butter here)
1/2 cup set (thick) honey (buy raw set honey here)
2/3 cup cocoa powder (buy non-alkalized cocoa powder here)
2 tablespoons brewed coffee, cooled (buy organic, fair trade, shade grown coffee here)
2 teaspoons vanilla (buy extracts here)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a large baking dish, then line with parchment paper that hangs over the edges by at least an inch, pressing the parchment tightly into the dish. Then butter generously again. This will aid in lifting out the brownie when it’s completely cool. When you can lift the brownie out this way, it is much easier to cut when you are finished cooling and icing it.
- Make the brownie batter: in a medium saucepan, melt the butter and then whisk in the cocoa powder, coffee, and vanilla. Set aside and let cool. Transfer to the stand mixer mixing bowl. Add sugar, mixing well. Add eggs one at a time, combining well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt together. Add gradually to the mixer on low so it doesn’t blow everywhere. Stir in (optional) nuts by hand with a wooden spoon.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top to make it an even layer.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the center of the brownie batter is set when you shake the pan slightly, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
- In the meantime, make the mint icing layer: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix butter and honey on high until light and fluffy. Then add mint flavoring, salt, milk, and food coloring. Combine on low speed and then speed up to combine completely.
- Frost cooled brownies with mint icing and put in the freezer for 15 minutes to stiffen up that layer while you make the chocolate frosting.
- Finally, make the chocolate buttercream layer while the brownies with mint layer chill in the freezer: Put butter and honey into a bowl on your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk at a high speed for 3-5 minutes until well-combined and light colored. Turn mixer off and add cocoa powder and vanilla. Start mixer slow until combined, then whisk on high for another 3 minutes. Turn off, scrape down the sides of the bowl, unhook the whisk attachment and use to combine by hand.
- Remove chilled brownies with mint icing out of the freezer and frost with final chocolate layer. Put back into the freezer for an additional 15 minutes if desired.
- Remove brownies from the pan with parchment overhang, and cut into squares with a sharp knife. Enjoy!