Chocolately Quinoa Brownies
Who knew quinoa could make a good brownie? I have to thank my friend, Jillian, for first introducing these to me. While the version I made was a bit different than hers, I enjoyed them both. Quinoa has all the essential amino acids our bodies need for energy and strength, and includes many of the B-vitamins, as well as a number of anti-inflammatory compounds. (There is rumor that quinoa is a rare plant source of B12 as well, but I'm still working on confirming that information through a reliable source.)
What I enjoy best about quinoa is that, unlike brown rice, it's ready in 15 minutes!
Make extra quinoa when you make these, and have the extra for lunch, sauteed with veggies, or in soup, or as breakfast with maple syrup, fruit, cinnamon, and nuts.
Note: When Jillian made these, she used coconut butter instead of cacao butter (also called cocoa butter), which she found in a tub at Whole Foods. It does make a thicker frosting, so use if you prefer and can find. Click this link from Amazon to find the best prices.
1 cup cooked quinoa 1 cup pitted dates 1/4 cup cocao powder 2 tablespoons cocao butter (melted) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Note: I tried substituting raisins for the dates, and it made the brownies way too sweet, I thought. Didn't give it the chocolatey taste I got with the first batch.
2 tablespoons maple syrup 1 tablespoon cocao butter (melted) 1 heaping tablespoon cocao or carob powder 1 teaspoon vanilla
Blend brownie ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth. Using a spatula, spread into a square baking dish. Mixture will be sticky. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
While brownies are cooling, whisk together frosting ingredients in a small bowl.
Spread on brownies after they have cooled a bit. You can spread while brownies are still warm, and have more of a hot-fudge effect, as seen in photo above. Store in fridge or freezer. Brownie frosting will harden as it settles.
These were kid-tested and approved! Please let me know what you think! :)