My day was pretty good thanks to an afternoon baking session – I baked the best gluten-free brownies EVER! Not even kidding. Actually, they are pretty much the best brownies ever, gluten-free or not. I’m so excited to share the recipe with you and hope you love them as much as I do!
Other than baking, I got lots done today like a drug test for work, called to make sure my cert is good to go and had a conference call. I also LOVED reading your comments on this morning’s Focus On: Tracy Anderson Method post and I want to take a moment to respond (keep scrolling down for the brownie recipe to skip this).
My Response to Your Comments
Since there was a lot of back and forth (which was civil and polite – you guys are awesome), I thought I’d throw in my two pesos:
1) I haven’t tried any of her workouts, so can’t give an educated opinion of them. From what I’ve seen, they’re super low weight and high rep (similar to Physique 57, which I can’t rave enough about), and the dance moves are a little funky, but still look like fun.The main thing I think she’s accomplishing are burn out and muscle confusion, which both promote results. Quite a few of ya said that Tracy has claimed “no woman should lift more than 3 lb weights” and preached that “heavy weights make you bulky.” As we all know, this isn’t true, and many people see fantastic results from lifting heavy weights.
Weight lifting is also critical for bone health, and it’s also been said that Gwyneth Paltrow is facing early onset osteopenia, which some believe is due to a combo of extreme dieting and not enough weights. Tracy is capitalizing on the myth that women will get bulky by lifting heavy weights, and by doing so, she’s appealing to many gym-goers who may not have the fitness education and background that many of us have.
As with anything *new*, chances are that you’ll see results from it. You’re taking your body out of it’s cruise control and as I always say, change creates change. I don’t see any prob with trying this or any new fitness program as long as you check with your doc and practice safely. I also believe that high-rep low-weight can definitely shape an awesome physique (just look at barre!) and would certainly give this program a try (minus the diet plan!!)
Remember, different strokes for different folks. My personal fave: moderate weight and moderate rep. Switching things up is the key to success.
2) As far as the “diet plan” goes, it’s just that: a diet. It’s NOT a lifestyle, and doesn’t provide the nutrients and fuel for laying in bed all day, let alone working out as she suggests. I think it’s wise to separate her workout plan from her diet plan and see them as two different entities – one that I personally support (but may not float everyone’s boat) and one that I think is a load of trash (her diet).
As always, I really enjoyed your discussion this morning. <3
Now, let’s talk brownies…
Best Gluten-Free Brownies
When my little brother started taking his gluten-free class, I was scary excited. Like I said, Monday night I was waiting for him to get home (like a total creeper) so I could have first dibs on his latest baked creation. Last week, he made the best brownies I’ve EVER tasted. When I asked him for the recipe, I tried to throw it in casually, because like a typical chef, he’s sometimes stingy with his recipes. 😉
I was SO stoked when he tossed a paper at me with the recipe for these brownies AND a flourless chocolate cake recipe. It was my lucky day, for sure.
And maybe it will be yours too??
Here’s the brownie recipe:
- 2/3 C brown rice flour mix (see below) OR 1/6 tapioca flour + 1/6 potato starch + 1/3 brown rice flour
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t xanthan gum
- 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
- 4 oz semisweet chocolate
- 1/2 C unsalted butter (or vegan butter)
- 1 1/4 C granulated sugar
- 2 t pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs (can also use flax eggs)
- 3/4 C chopped toasted walnuts (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 325. Position rack in lower-middle of oven.
- Line a 8 in square baking pan with foil and grease with cooking spray.
- Combine flour, salt, baking powder and xanthan gum in a small bowl and set aside.
- Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or melt in the microwave for about 45 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds).
- Whisk in sugar, vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Continue to whisk until mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Add flour mixture and whisk until incorporated.
- Stir in nuts (if you wish to add them).
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with wet crumbs.
- Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes.
- Remove brownies from pan by lifting up foil and cool completely on rack.
- Cut into squares or triangles.
Check out this cute little hedgehog:
After melting the chocolate in the microwave (for about 45 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds), I whisked in the sugar, butter, egg and vanilla until thoroughly combined and shiny.
Then I added the flour mix. I like to keep a gluten-free flour mix on hand (recipe below), but you could also wing it on the spot. I filled a 1/3 measuring cup halfway with potato starch and halfway with tapioca flour, then filled another 1/3 measuring cup with with brown rice flour.
Whisked it all together
Then poured the batter into a greased baking dish.
There’s a trick you can try that will save you cleanup and help you cut your brownies better: Line the baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. When they’re done and have cooled for a bit, you pull the whole thing out – aluminum foil and all – let it cool, then cut it up.
Either way, you’ll have delicious, fudgy gluten-free brownies.
These gluten-free brownies are especially delicious with a scoop of coconut milk ice cream on top. 😉
Your family might just go so nuts over these that there will be very little left to enjoy the next day. 🙂
Gluten-Free Brown Rice Flour Mix
Now here’s that gluten-free flour mix I promised you.
- 2 C Brown rice flour
- 2/3 C Potato Starch (not flour)
- 1/3 C Tapioca Flour (also known as starch)
- Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container to use as needed.
Looking for a flourless brownie? Here’s a sweet potato brownie recipe to try!
If you’d like to satisfy your brownie craving in a less treat-like fashion, try these brownie batter protein bites.
Not in the mood for brownies at all (I don’t understand, but we can still be friends 😉 )? Have a muffin! A delicious and healthier vegan, gluten-free banana almond muffin.