Eat.Pray.Heal


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Vegan Chocolate Chip Brownies

I have several recipes for vegan brownies I use when I have a chocolate craving, but I found this one in Sauce Magazine.  The recipe comes from Beth Styles, who is not even vegan, but her brownies are awesome!  I made a couple of minor changes, which I’ll share with you at the end.

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup applesauce

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

8 oz. dairy-free chocolate chips, separated into 7 oz. and 1 oz.

8 Tbsp Earth Balance

3 Tbsp cocoa powder

1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease an 8×8 inch square pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, sugar, vanilla, and salt until well combined.  Set aside.

Melt 7 oz. of chocolate chips along with the Earth Balance in a small saucepan over low heat, being careful not to burn.  When it’s completely melted, whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth and remove from heat.

Whisk the chocolate mixture into the ingredients you already combined.  With a spoon, stir in the flour until just combined (don’t over-stir or it will become cakey when it bakes), and then stir in the remaining ounce of chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the pan, smoothing out the top.  Bake for 35-40 minutes on the middle rack.

 

My Slight Changes:  I used raw turbinado sugar instead of granulated white sugar, which does give the brownies a unique taste, but it’s healthier and I like the flavor enhancement it brings.  I also stirred in 1 ounce of dark chocolate chunks instead of regular semi-sweet chocolate chips (although I did use regular chocolate chips for the other 8 oz.).  My variations really didn’t change the final product much, but my husband and I truly enjoyed these brownies.  They are very moist and gooey.  Just how a brownie should be!  I made these in honor of my husband’s first day at his new job today!!

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Coconut Kale Smoothie

Kale Smoothie 2

I love adding superfoods to my diet.  Just knowing they are labeled by important sciency/doctor type people as a superfood makes me feel really healthy and strong eating them.  Many superfoods, such as sweet potatoes, are incredibly easy to add to my diet since they are SO good, but then there are other superfoods, like kale, that are not so easy for me.  Kale often tastes bitter, although marinating the kale before eating it as a salad as well as adding fruit (my favorites are apples and oranges) does help diminish the awful bitterness found in every bite.  But, I don’t eat marinated kale salads everyday, because I like to switch up my salads.  I hate for food to become boring by eating the same things the same way every single day.  So, I decided to experiment with my daily smoothie and try creating a kale smoothie that didn’t have even a trace of bitterness to it.  I am proud to say, I was successful!  And it’s a good thing, too, because kale is one of those foods many doctors and nutritionists say people should consume on a daily basis.  It’s packed full of vitamins (the most notable being vitamins K, A, and C and manganese) and antioxidants.  The vast number of flavonoids and carotenoids found in kale have amazing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers that lower cholesterol levels and lower a person’s risk for cancer.  In addition, a major note to vegetarians who are continually told the only way to get omega-3’s are through fish:  100 calories of kale provides us with 25-35% of our daily omega 3 need.  That paired with the high vitamin K content of kale works as a major anti-inflammatory in the body, making kale an excellent detox food and vital for our daily consumption.  So, if you are like me and find it hard to swallow the bitter leaves of kale, then give this Coconut Kale Smoothie a try.

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk (I use vanilla)

2 cups dinosaur kale

1 chopped apple (I use Red Delicious, but any kind is fine)

1 banana (preferably frozen)

2 Tbsp shredded coconut

2 Tbsp chia seeds

1 Tbsp coconut oil

4-6 ice cubes

Add all the ingredients to the blender, making sure to add the coconut milk first so it blends well.  Blend until smooth.  This recipe makes 2 servings.

Kale Smoothie

Sources: The World’s Healthiest Foods


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Study Shows Bottlenose Dolphins Call Each Other by Name

9797235-a-group-of-bottlenose-dolphins-performing-a-tail-stand

According to a recent study by the Indian Institute of Science published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Bottlenose Dolphins actually call each other by name…well, sort of.  “Bottlenose dolphins develop their own unique identity signal, the signature whistle. This whistle encodes individual identity independently of voice features. The copying of signature whistles may therefore allow animals to label or address one another.”  As part of the study, researchers would choose a particular dolphin and play his/her unique whistle, and that dolphin would actually call back in response to hearing his/her “name”.  When the dolphins heard the whistle “name” of another dolphin, they did not respond.  This suggests that Bottlenose Dolphins actually learn their identity signal (“name”), and use their names as a way to label and identify one another.  In fact, Bottlenose Dolphins are already known for forming cliques (Natural News), so this idea of identity signals explains how they are able to differentiate one dolphin from another in order to create their circle of friends.  Bottlenose Dolphins appear to be highly advanced in communication, especially for a nonhuman species, so I have a feeling scientists will continue to study them further after this incredible discovery.