Naturally gluten-free and as near-as-damn-it to a healthy but actually nice tasting, and not entirely made of coconuts, avocados and dates, blondie as one could possibly make. Indeed, they have passed the all-important kid and pensioner test. You are welcome.
I’m not here to torture you. Honestly. I’m actually a pretty nice person. If you were behind me and my big old, filled-to-the-gunnels shopping cart, standing there with a pint of milk and a bag of apples, I would definitely shoo you in front of me and not take no for an answer. And, if you walked out of the loo, trailing paper from your shoe, I would quietly let you know. Because I would want to know.
Just as I would want to know of a blondie recipe that actually tasted good, wasn’t loaded down with tons of sugar, butter, and white flour, and gave me energy instead of making me feel like putting on my pyjamas and having a nap right then and there. A few bites of a full-on brownie or blondie are indeed very, very nice. But if you are anything like me, it’s not guilt that stops you from eating a whole slab of gooey and buttery brownie, it’s a sudden surge of lethargy and blahness.
I don’t do guilt, but I do do “blah” and “snore”. It took me awhile to make the connection and step away from the baking tin, but I’m so glad I did. And without detoxing.
I’m no saint. I can put away food with the best of them, but I tend to scoff down foods that make me happy and energised. And without sacrificing a modicum of enjoyment.
So, if you are shunning every good tasting thing out there and detoxing like mad, put down the naked kale salad and have a word with yourself. Your body detoxes itself without any assistance other than eating what we all know we should be eating – more vegetables, herbs and fruit, more whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, chugging down the water; and less of the added sugar, fat and salt. But not exclusively so. A good and balanced diet should have room for most anything you love. And your body loves. Listen to your body. Include the occasional full-on brownie or bowl of ice cream if you fancy – proper food intolerances and allergies notwithstanding.
Detox diets may be useful in their own way to get us in the right frame of mind to look after ourselves (after a fashion), get us in the kitchen cooking real food, and steer us towards a more plant-centred diet. But jeez Louise if most aren’t dull, rigid and sanctimonious.
Move more, drink less booze, eat what you love, and add in more plant food. Simple.
Now, if you will excuse me I have some naked kale salad to eat.
Matcha-Almond Skillet Blondies
Naturally gluten-free and as near-as-damn-it to a healthy but delicious, and not entirely made of coconuts, avocados and dates, blondie as one could possibly make. Indeed, they have passed the all-important kid and pensioner test.
I have used a skillet but you can be entirely normal and use a 8 or 9-inch baking tin. You will have slightly thicker blondies, so add an extra three minutes to achieve the same slightly gooey result as the skillet version. Enjoy xx
115g (1/2 cup) organic unsalted butter, softened OR virgin coconut oil, softened (half and half is nice)
100ml (1/3 cup) date syrup or maple syrup OR 2/3 cup brown sugar
2 organic medium eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
140g (2 cups) fine almond meal/flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp fine salt
1 ½ tsp organic matcha green tea powder
A squeeze of lemon juice (this helps activate the compounds in the green tea), optional but doesn’t impinge on the taste
100g (1 cup) dark chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s brand that I brought back from the US)
Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F. Line a 8 or 9-inch baking tin with parchment paper or butter a cast-iron skillet.
Use a hand-held mixer or stand mixer to blend the butter/coconut oil and date syrup or sugar until thickened. Add in the eggs and vanilla, and mix until fluffy – about three minutes.
Dry whisk the almond flour, matcha, baking powder and salt, then add to the wet mixture. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips, saving some to scatter over the top.
Dollop the dough into the prepared skillet/pan and use a wet spatula to gently smooth. Top with the rest of the chocolate chips. Bake for 20-23 minutes – check at 20 minutes. The edges should be slightly browned and the top just firm. Let the blondies cool for a few minutes before cutting into 10 slices (skillet) or 12-16 squares.
Bee pollen version: I love the distinctive taste of bee pollen. If you do too try this without the matcha, but add 2 teaspoons of crushed bee pollen to the mixture. Delicious!