When Todd and I first decided to do an elimination diet to try to help alleviate his Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), gluten was the first thing to go. We wanted so badly for gluten to be a sort of scapegoat for his flare-ups. At the suggestion of a co-worker, we had high hopes that eliminating it would really help. However, the lack of gluten didn't make a different from him at all. Regardless, I am eternally grateful for that trial period. That's what really got us to look into diet and how it can affect RA.
What followed the gluten trial was the elimination of meat and dairy, two of the biggest dietary triggers for RA. Google "Rheumatoid Arthritis and diet" and that's what you'll find. Avoid meat and dairy. So, that's what we did. And boy did it help. Then, I discovered nutritionfacts.org and I cannot tell you how instrumental that website was to our vegan journey and still is! I researched eggs, as essentially that was the only animal product we were consuming at that time. I had no idea how inflammatory they were and we eliminated them from our diet immediately. Being completely vegan relieved his worst RA symptoms incredibly. We were both so surprised at how substantially diet impacted him, with regards to the arthritis.
I became very interested in a vegan diet due to the benefits that myself and especially Todd experienced, that I began to research nutrition and food every free minute I had. That's when I really discovered the horrors that are inflicted upon animals, the environment, and surprisingly our own bodies with implementation of an omnivorous diet. I was shocked.
*Reader Discretion Advised - Strong Language and The Truth* What scares me the most is how our
food animal friends come to be on our plates. I can't even really admit that I turned a blind eye to it all, I just simply didn't have all the facts. I suspect that's how most people go through their dietary life and that's very upsetting. The meat and dairy industries work tirelessly to hide their transgressions. Plus, don't you know how hipster bacon is you guys!? I'm not sure about you, but I (along with the rest of the world) yearn for fried, decaying pig carcass strips on EVERYTHING.
At least try to make the connection. Or, read this story on how dead piglets are ground up into a "smoothie" and fed to their mothers. If you still want bacon armed with that little piece of knowledge gold...that's f*cked up. That's a blind eye. Hey, sometimes even I have to get all serious and bitchy up in here.
People! That's really happening. That's not vegan propaganda. Pigs are held in such monstrously, horrible conditions because of our insane demand for bacon and pork, that this is now what has to be implemented to keep other pigs from getting sick. If that completely disgusts you gastronomically (and hopefully ethically), sign the petition at the bottom of this post. Great, now I ruined my day.
Anyways, I bet you're asking what in the hell my angry little story has to do with these brownie bites. Well, they are made with coconut flour. Which is gluten free. Yes, we're back to the very top of the post now. I can hear my dad now, "Get to the point, Katie." I tend to feel the need to explain everything. You see, the fact that gluten never bothered Todd, means that we have an abundance of different gluten free flours and coconut flour is just one of them. I absolutely refuse to waste them! So, I decided to set out on a coconut flour brownie adventure!
I'm not even going to try and hide it, when I pulled these bad boys out of the oven and saw that they were all sunken...I was mighty sad. Then I thought...wait a minute...I just made strawberry jam a few days ago and these have bananas in them. Omg, I'm going to fill those sunken bits with jam! And the rest is brownie history. These super gooey brownie bites are made with coconut flour and no oil! Filled with your favorite jam, they delight!
ChocoCoco Strawberry-Banana Brownie Bites
Notes: These brownies are very gooey. That's just how coconut flour is, in my experience.
- Flax Egg:
- 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. water
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp. corn starch
- 1 Tbsp. vegan sugar
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 ripe medium bananas, sliced
- 1 cup cartoned plain coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp. vegan chocolate chips
- jam, of choice (I used homemade strawberry - recipe below)
In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flax and water. Allow to rest in fridge until ready to use.
In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
Preheat oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, mash the sliced bananas very well with a fork. Add the remaining wet ingredients except the chocolate chips and stir until well combined.
Add the wet ingredients and the flax egg to the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Coat a muffin pan with a nonstick cooking spray. Divide the batter evenly, until the cups are about 3/4 full. My batter resulted in 11 brownie bites.
Bake for 60 minutes at 375 F. Allow to rest in pan for 10 minutes after baking, then remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack to rest another 10 minutes.
Pour jam into the top of the brownie bites before serving.
Listening to: Ok Sweetheart – Traitor
German Word of The Day: Flour --> Mehl (pronounced: mell or meel) I didn't know that one!
Good Deed of The Day: I shouldn't have to convince you to head on over to Care2 and sign the petition to ask the USDA to stop feeding dead piglets to their mothers. It only takes 5 seconds and you'll see me there!LiRecipe Card
[yumprint-recipe id='106']See the post on the Strawberry Basil Jam/Sauce, here.