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Zucchini Brownies with Spiced Almond Butter

Natascha Brandt

Food Photographer & Stylist, Bite of Light

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Instagram: @biteoflight | biteoflight.com

What has made a big difference in your life?

The moment I left my homeland, Venezuela. Leaving my family and friends to move to Europe was one of the most difficult compromises I have ever made. But I have to say, it was, for sure, one of the best decisions in my life.

 

How has food impacted your life/health?

Since I started eating healthier, meaning more vegetables and fruits, avoiding processed products, I have been seeing a big difference in, for example, my energy, mood and even my health. As we know, food is linked to emotions, so I try to eat always consciously and mindfully. Food makes my life filled with energy and love. Not only do I love to eat and cook, but food has an even larger impact, because it is also present in my professional life. As a food photographer, it is my work/passion to admire food, its beauty and magical energy, and capture it forever in a photo.

INGREDIENTS

Brownies

13½ oz buckwheat flour, rinsed

4 cups zucchini, finely shredded

14 oz coconut sugar

10½ oz vegan chocolate chunks

6¾ oz coconut oil, melted

2 oz unsweetened cocoa powder

2 oz vanilla extract

3 tbsp baking soda

¹⁄³ oz sea salt

 

Spiced Almond Butter & Caramelized Almonds

¹⁄³ cup almond butter

¼ cup almonds, roughly chopped

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon powder

1 tbsp anise powder

½ tbsp ground cardamom

Sea salt, flakes

 

METHOD

Brownies

Preheat oven to 355°F. In a large bowl, whisk oil, sugar and cocoa powder until well combined. Add vanilla extract. Stir well. Fold into flour, baking soda, chocolate chunks, zucchini and salt. Mix well, but remember not to over mix. Pour batter into a parchment-lined 7½x11-inch pan. Using the spatula, smooth batter into an even layer. Bake for 40 minutes.

 

Spiced Almond Butter & Caramelized Almonds

Combine almond butter with half of the given quantities of spices together with 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil. Combine well and set aside. (If you want the almond butter more liquid, add into hot water.) In a pan, heat rest of coconut oil. Add almond chunks together with rest of spices. Cook until lightly caramelized. When brownie is baked, remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Spread almond butter over the brownie. Sprinkle with caramelized almonds and sea salt.

What does wellness mean to you?

I believe that wellness defines our health, taking care of our physical, intellectual, spiritual, interpersonal and mental health. It is being proactive in finding the balance between them. It is the harmony between the healthy and happy life—being conscious and mindful about everything we want, we believe and we are.

 

Cooking Recommendations

I recommend that you try to make your own herb-infused oils at home. You will notice the difference right away. They are wonderful to cook with. Good choices include garlic, dill, mint and even dried berries. Delicious!

 

Wellness Secret

Mix of olive oil and avocado will make your hair grow faster and stronger; and it will make it shiny as well.

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