Fudgy Breakfast Brownies

March 29, 2018

So, breakfast brownies. You can totally have brownies for breakfast, right? In this case at least - these are vegan, gluten-free, made with oat flour and sunflower seeds, and sugar-free, using dates as sweetener. With the oats, seeds, and coconut, it's pretty much granola and that's totally morning appropriate. BUT there's chocolate in there (also healthy), and so much more fun than normal breakfast foods, obviously. These aren't classic crinkle-top brownies, but they're very good healthy ones, and something you really can feel good about having first thing in the morning.

I have tried these out without adding actual chocolate, just using the cocoa powder, and they're still good. If you're a bit of a breakfast purist and don't think you should have chocolate in the morning (but you should) then you can leave it out, the brownies are still tasty on their own. About the strawberries, they're from Spain. I just couldn't resist the one time and now I'll wait until proper spring arrives! But if you have some berries kicking around definitely throw a few on top, they make everything better. 

Happy Easter and Passover if you're celebrating! I'm going to a brunch at friends' on Monday and bringing a couple challahs, this hummus, and this one. Sometimes you just want to be sure you'll have something to eat, right? Just in case everything else is cheese. I might end up taking the full four days off, I haven't decided yet. It's an extra long weekend in Germany so Graham has free time and I'm helping with his final grad school applications. I'm not sure if I can not work for four days though. 

By the way, we're finally getting married for real. It only took a year to get all the paperwork, hah. 






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Fudgy Breakfast Brownies
Makes 16 small brownies

100 grams / 1 cup rolled oats
75 grams / 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
45 grams / 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
40 grams / 1/2 cup cocoa powder*
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
50 grams / 1/2 a bar dark chocolate, chopped
125 grams / 1/2 cup packed soft dates*
80 grams / 1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature
180 ml / 3/4 cup nondairy milk (oat, almond)

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and line a square* baking tin with parchment paper.

Add the oats and seeds to the base of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend on high speed until a coarse flour forms, then place the flour into a large bowl. Add the coconut, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir to mix, then stir in the chocolate.

Place the dates and coconut oil into the food processor and blend until a smooth paste forms, a minute or two. Add the milk and pulse until combined (slowly or the milk will splash everywhere), then use a wooden spoon to stir the date mixture into the dry ingredients until no streaks of flour remain.

Turn the batter out into the prepared baking tin and use wet hands to press it down into an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan before carefully removing and cooling fully on a wire rack. 

To serve like the photos, cut into 16 pieces and top with melted chocolate, coconut yogurt, berries, and coconut.

Tips:
• You can still make these without a food processor - just use purchased oat flour and substitute almond meal for the sunflower seeds.
• Chocolate chips would also be good, they're just crazy expensive here!
• There's no fear of over-mixing here since it's gluten-free, so stir away.

Notes:
1. I usually use cacao powder because it's what I have, and darker cocoa powder will make deeper flavoured and coloured brownies.
2. If your dates are on the dry side, soak them in hot water for half an hour before blending. If they're too dry the mixture won't hold together properly, so this is an important step.
3. My tin is 20cm / 8 inches. Any bigger won't really work (too thin), but a little smaller will be fine, just adjust the baking time accordingly.

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