One nice thing about going away for some time is that I now look at Barcelona with different eyes, not taking everything for granted. I miss the rhubarb and blueberries of course, but I live in a beautiful city, it’s sunny and warm and now in summer there are the fiestas mayor: every neighborhood in the city and every village around Barcelona has it’s own party which lasts several days. When I came back from Australia, the fiesta of the neighborhood Gràcia was about to start and I was watching the people sitting outside, working on the decorations, having lunch together at large tables put in the middle of the small streets. The street with the most beautiful decoration wins a price, so people of all ages start working and transforming the streets into a fantasy world weeks before the actual fiesta starts. In general, in Spain apartments and houses are not as big and nicely decorated as in the more Northern European countries, but there is so much more life outside. I still remember that when I arrived here 11 years ago, I was puzzled that there weren’t any taps for taking your coffee away with you. Certainly not with an opening to drink from. That is because nobody has a coffee while walking. Even if it is for five minutes and standing at the bar, people have their coffee at the café.
And here summer is not yet over, the biggest fiesta mayor of the city center is still to come and I hope there will still be plenty picnics and beach days. Actually a little less sweating pedaling up to my flat on top of a hill might be a relief. There has to be a cost for a view all over the city and even the sea.
But before I forget, of course I want to share a new a recipe. One I have been making over and over again in the last weeks. 3 ingredients, 5 minutes, no special equipment needed.
You know that feeling right after dinner or in the middle of the afternoon, or after lunch or in the morning… well any time!…of suddenly wanting something sweet and chocolaty? I certainly do. A deeply chocolaty, fudgy brownie is my favorite way to healthy chocolaty satisfaction lately. Curious? Here you go:
- 12 fresh dates or 8 Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup pure cacao (use raw cacao for a truly raw Brownie and a great amount of antioxidants)
- 4 tablespoons almond butter
And now the list of optionals for variations:
- 1 tablespoon coffee instead of 1 tablespoon almond butter
- swap half or all the almond butter for coconut butter
- add 1/4 cup cacao nibs or chopped nuts for some crunch
- add 1/4 cup inflated brown rice and 1 tablespoon almond milk
- 1 tablespoon cognac instead of 1 tablespoon almond butter for a boozy version
- add a pinch of sea salt
- add seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- coat with grated coconut
- …if you have great ideas for even more variations, put them in the comments!
Throw all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and knead with your hands until homogeneous. Put on a sheet of parchment paper and shape into a square or rectangle. They brownies are firmer and better after they sit in the fridge for at least an hour, but I suggest you to generously cut the edges for a perfect rectangle as a perfect excuse to have a bit of it right away. Sprinkle with cacao if you wish. Cut the brownie into little squares and store whatever is left in an airtight container in the fridge. They will stay well for a long time (more than 2 weeks, although for me they’ve never lasted that long).
These fudgy raw brownies works also perfectly well as an energy bar before, during or after long workouts!