I'm not sure what to write about. There are so many things happening right now and it feels flippant and ignorant to talk about a recipe when Turkey just had a failed military coup, with hundreds of deaths and over a thousand injured (in case you forgot, the Turkish president is a total asshole and likely won't deal with this very well). Almost a hundred died in Nice. We still don't really know what's going on in Syria, and much of South Asia is in turmoil. Donald Trump has announced an anti-LGBT, anti-choice, anti-immigration nutcase as his running mate, which means that the US could easily become even more insane than it is now within months.
The US election might not seem important compared to what's happening on the other side of the world, but keep in mind that Trump wants to close immigration for Muslims, which would effectively block refugees from entering the United States. If that sounds strangely familiar to you, it's worth remembering that Canada and the US (and many other countries) refused Jewish refugees before and during WW2 because of antisemitism in those countries, effectively assisting in the deaths of millions of people. The second world war largely came about because of ridiculous ideas regarding Jewish people, and there's a similar state of mind toward Muslims now. It's horrific.
So can I talk about strawberries, despite all of this? Can I ignore the outrage and despair that I feel over the state that our world is in to talk about a recipe? I'm not sure. I feel powerless, and consequently deeply frustrated. I don't think that this blog has ever been just about recipes, though, and hopefully it never will be. Maybe all we can do is address that these things are happening and do what we can, which might just be to talk about it. I'm not sure.
Food isn't meaningless, though. It helps to ground and connect us. When I'm feeling hopeless, I turn to the kitchen. There are worse things we could be doing.
I know strawberry season is just about over for many of you now. We're only in the second week or so here, though, so I've been going full tilt with strawberry recipes for the past little while. I'm going to be sharing three this week. The first is this double strawberry brownie, which uses strawberries in the batter as the main sweetener. They're topped with roasted strawberries for a little more summer with your chocolate. The brownies are very fudgy, because apparently that's what people look for in a brownie, and not overly sweet. There's no oil added to the recipe and just a touch of coconut sugar.
I've chosen to use some rye flour in this recipe because I like the combination of rye and dark chocolate, and some almond flour to add extra richness. I think it would be quite easy to make them gluten free but I haven't tried. If you do, please let me know how it goes in the comments. You won't, of course, get the chewy crispy edge that unhealthy brownies have, as that comes from the high sugar content. You also won't get a headache from eating these. I ate the plate of brownies in the pictures half an hour before teaching a yoga class and then attending a yoga workshop, and stayed pretty full without feeling at all sick. That was about four hours of yoga. How can you not want a brownie you can eat before working out?
The one downside to these is that they don't last very long on the counter and must be frozen or refrigerated if you're not planning on eating them within a day or so. I had them on the counter for less than two days and there was a spot of mould on the last one. It was very hot an humid, but just to be on the safe side I recommend that they be stored in the fridge.
Makes 12 brownies
1/2 cup dark rye flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pureed strawberries (use a blender or mash with a fork)
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line a baking pan* with parchment paper.
Combine the rye flour, almond flour, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the pureed strawberries, coconut milk, and vanilla. Add this to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Don't over-mix.
Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and smooth it out with a spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the centre is set and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Let the brownies cool in the pan for 15 minutes before letting them cool completely on a rack. Place the rack on top of the brownie pan and gently flip them out onto the rack to help keep them from breaking.
Store in the fridge or freezer.
For the strawberry sauce:
3 cups strawberries, washed and hulled
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
Coat the strawberries in the coconut sugar and vanilla, and then bake in a high-sided baking dish for about 30 minutes at 400F/200C. The strawberries will be soft and there will be quite a bit of strawberry juice at the bottom of the dish.
Serve warm with the brownies.
1. I used an 8x6 inch brownie pan for this recipe. If you use a different size of pan just keep an eye on them to adjust the baking time accordingly.
2. If you're going to try making these gluten free, my first choices would be buckwheat or oat flour in place of the rye. You can also substitute spelt flour for the rye (not gluten free) if it's what you have on hand.
3. The brownies will rise significantly in the oven and then fall once you take them out - don't worry, that's supposed to happen!