Sunday, December 25, 2011

Gluten-Free Chocolate Sauerkraut Brownie Drops

I know what you're thinking. Sauerkraut? In a dessert? With chocolate?

Well, we ended up having a crapload of sauerkraut leftover from Christmas dinner. What to do? Obvious answer: make something yummy! I call these brownie drops because they looked like tiny bite-sized cookies, but the texture reminded me of a moist and rich brownie! Also, these require at most 4 Tbsp of honey and not that much butter - and they were still a big hit with the husband! I didn't tell him it was made with sauerkraut until he inhaled about 4 of them.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Sauerkraut Brownie Drops *
(Will satisfy any sweet and chocolate cravings you have in no time, and better for you than a regular piece of brownie / cookie!)

*Adapted from Joanie Grow's recipe. I used her recipe as a base, but changed most of the ingredients and added my own. I cut her recipe in half, substituted a bunch of ingredients for others to make it more primal, and since we were out of eggs I mashed up half a banana and used that instead. I cut down on a lot of of the sugar / honey, since I try to avoid high spikes in blood sugar when possible. Plus, you'll get extra sweetness from the banana. I'm so glad I used the banana instead of the egg - banana and chocolate go SO well together. I also cut down on the butter. You seriously do not need that much butter!

 What you'll need: 
  • ~ 1 Tbsp butter
  • ~ 2-4 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut, rinsed, drained well, and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup uncontaminated rolled oats, coarsely ground (or almond flour, if you're strictly paleo / primal)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. instant coffee (optional, but I strongly recommend it - gives it a nice kick and more complex taste! I tend to always add some coffee to recipes that use bananas. They just go so well together, at least for me).
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. First, cream together the butter and honey. I didn't measure out the honey, I just sort of eyeballed it and drizzled it in, probably used at most 3 Tbsp. Add enough to your liking.You don't need to add a lot, since honey is very sweet and wetter than sugar, and you're also getting extra sweetness from the banana. You'll also be able to taste it later and adjust accordingly.
  2. Add the mashed banana to the creamed butter and honey, and mix together.
  3. Add the sauerkraut and vanilla extract and mix together (make sure you dry the sauerkraut well with paper towels).
  4. Mix the ground oats, almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the instant coffee together in a separate bowl. Then stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just well blended. The good thing about this recipe is that there are no raw eggs, so you can taste the batter and add more honey if you think it's not sweet enough.
  5. Drop into round little balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or onto a nonstick cookie sheet). Bake at 325 F for ~12 - 15 minutes (mine took about 14 minutes). Top with your choice of nuts, if you want.
Makes about 20. Alternatively, you can make little muffins out of them, which is what I ended up doing for the second batch after my husband tasted them. He expected them to have the consistency of a cookie but when we bit into them, they were incredibly soft and tasted more cake/brownie-like. The sauerkraut added a luscious, moist texture to them, and it doesn't taste anything like sauerkraut at all! It was so chocolately and practically melted in my mouth. Perfect with a glass of milk. Seriously delish.

I know the recipe isn't exactly primal / paleo because of the oats, but I have not been able to cut out oats completely from my diet yet! I think using all almond flour would work just as well (if you don't have almond flour and you're not eating paleo / primal, using all ground oats would work just as well or all-purpose flour).

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