Note: in order to understand the title of this post, you have to know that the word quinoa is pronounced keen-wah. So remember all those quinoa recipes I posted last week? Well…I tried my first one: quinoa brownies! Even better? I had a snow day to bake them on! I am not thrilled that we got snow/ice at the end of March, but it gave me a day off work to bake, so I can’t complain. Better still? My sister (also a teacher) was staying at our house, so we got to bake the brownies together.
So…here’s the recipe. It’s kind of unusual, in that you cook the quinoa, let it cool, then just throw it and all the other ingredients into a food processor and puree (see photos above)…but I’m game for anything. I made the recipe as directed, except I didn’t use the PC Organics Quinoa or Omega 3 eggs….and shockingly, the brownies still turned out (bold move using other brands, I know ). Also, I used a 9 inch square pan, not an 8 inch, and cut the brownies into 16 smaller squares, not 9 BIG ones. And there was one final addition (you’ll see it if you look in the photo on the bottom right)…remember those cocoa nibs I bought in London? I’ve been itching to try them out, and after searching the internet and not coming up with much, I decided to go my own way…I sprinkled some on top off half of the brownies. So, what’s the verdict (on both the brownies and the nibs)?
I liked the brownies. They are SUPER-moist, and the quinoa adds just a subtle nutty flavour. The texture is not quite like regular brownies, but I don’t mind it. I gave a few to my mom’s assistant (she’s a regular reader…hi Julia )…after visits with a naturopath, her and her son are cutting out several foods and so are looking for flour alternatives. In her son’s words the flavour was the “best of all the “alternative” brownies”…but he didn’t love the texture. I think I enjoyed these best on the day they were made, not the day after.
And the nibs? I think I will become a big fan of these things! They are not sweet at all (so if you don’t like really dark chocolate, I’m not sure these are for you), but they have a great crunch and a deep cocoa flavour. I really like the crunchy texture they gave the brownies. I think they would be good in a nice hearty oatmeal cookie with some dried fruit…will keep you posted if I try. If you look in the top right, you’ll see that the nibs and the brownies made their way into a TASTY sundae on Friday night. It started with a scoop of light vanilla ice cream, then I drizzled with sugar-free chocolate syrup, one crumbled brownie, fat-free Reddi Whip (both this and the ice cream were from my Buffalo trip) and some more nibs. Oh my goodness…SO GOOD! Again, the nibs added great crunch and a deep chocolate flavour. I can’t wait to think of more ways to use these delightful little gems. And the bag says they’re a Mayan superfood, so I can’t go wrong, right?
Have you ever tried cocoa nibs (or any other Mayan superfood)? Are you a dark or milk chocolate person?