baking/ gluten free/ little bites of goodness/ traditions and rituals

Hazelnut, Dark Chocolate and Blackberry Nut Butter Blondies, with Lime

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My yoga studio is collecting dry goods for people in need this Christmas, but because it’s a yoga studio the suggestions are a little bit different to the usual. They have asked for things like nut butter, coconut oil, dark chocolate and maple syrup, as well as the usual range of tinned and canned goods. It made me realise how lucky I am that I can have these foods any day. Everyone can benefit from good, nourishing food. I’m totally giving someone some delicious nut butter, as well as that tin of fish that will come in handy for a quick meal. I hope that jar gives that somebody a re-energizing spoonful, whenever and where-ever they need it – I know a little scoop gets me through when I need to keep going.

Speaking of little things that can make life feel better, the other day, parked on the street, I saw a mobile laundry for the homeless; a van that blew bubbles from it’s roof, and had a name that would make you smile. It was just an ordinary van that had a couple of washing machines in the back and was free for anyone who needed it; such a simple idea, but one that would make a huge difference to you if you hadn’t had clean clothes in a while.

Kindness, and small acts, can change a day.

A few years back I did a photoshoot where I made a whole lot of cakes. At the end of the shoot I had this huge table laden with 12 full sized cakes, each one with just a slice out. We cut the rest up into slices and bagged them all, and took them down to the local soup kitchen. They handed them out with dinner that night. I couldn’t think of a better home for a slice of cake.

Life can feel a little different with something delicious and healthy to fill your belly.

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Giving feels good. And this is the time of year when we think about giving, but wouldn’t it be great if we all thought about it a little more often? It doesn’t have to be something big, small things can make  a positive difference to someone’s day too.

Give someone some love. Or kindness. Or a good ear that really listens. Share freely your spirit. Give someone a compliment or a smile (a really proper genuine one); lend a hand, or spare some time (if you have any). If you’ve got the resources, then you can share some of those too. And hopefully at the time when you need a little lift, someone will give to you too.

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I made this recipe with a special friend in mind. She has given me many great gifts over the years; gifts like reality checks and perspective, and little nudges in the right direction – even when it’s not been the easiest one. She has fixed my body and my mind, and helped my family and my friends. So to say a little thanks, I made her some blondies.

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Hazelnut, Dark Chocolate and Blackberry – Nut Butter Blondies, with Lime

I think the lime zest adds a sophisticated edge, but by all means leave it out if it’s not your thing (or don’t have the lime). Orange zest would also be an excellent substitute, taking the blondies into heavenly Jaffa territory.

Adapted from Chocolate Chunk Nut Butter Blondies from My New Roots

2 eggs
1 cup (190g) nut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
10 drops liquid stevia
1/4 cup (100g) maple syrup
3/4 cup (130g) dark chocolate – 70% or 85% – roughly chopped (I used vegan 70% to keep it dairy free)
1 3/4 cups (200g) blackberries
zest of 2 limes (or one large orange) – optional

Preheat your oven to 160°C fan forced / 180°C conventional / 350°F / Gas mark 4. Line a brownie tin with baking paper.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, nut butter, vanilla powder, stevia and maple syrup until thoroughly combined. Fold through the chopped chocolate, blackberries and citrus zest if using.

Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the blondie mixture is golden and has puffed up.

Allow to cool in the tin, before turning out and cutting into squares.

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Hazelnut, Dark Chocolate and Blackberry - Nut Butter Blondies with Lime

Print Recipe
Serves: approx 24 squares Cooking Time: 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (190g) nut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 10 drops liquid stevia
  • 1/4 cup (100g) maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup (130g) dark chocolate - 70% or 85% - roughly chopped (I used vegan 70% to keep it dairy free)
  • 1 3/4 cups (200g) blackberries
  • zest of 2 limes (or one large orange) - optional

Instructions

1

Preheat your oven to 160°C fan forced / 180°C conventional / 350°F / Gas mark 4. Line a brownie tin with baking paper.

2

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, nut butter, vanilla powder, stevia and maple syrup until thoroughly combined. Fold through the chopped chocolate, blackberries and citrus zest if using.

3

Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the blondie mixture is golden and has puffed up.

4

Allow to cool in the tin, before turning out and cutting into squares.

Notes

• gluten free • grain free • dairy free •

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