One very good aspect of our Australian adventure last December was that my sister, Paula, introduced us to home masticating juicing. I know – doesn’t sound so appetizing… masticating – but that aspect is key in maintaining the enzymatic benefit and nutrients of the fruits and vegetables. The product is not heated at all in comparison to centrifugal juicers which raise the temperature of the product through the mechanical juicing process. This rise in temperature denatures precious proteins and alters the nutritious value of the juice.
Upon returning to Canada, I did some of my own research and ended up buying the Salton low speed, wide mouth juicer. At first we juiced all sorts of things – and then we tried a banana. Not a good idea. We decided to read the manual at that point and be less cavalier with what we’d juice.
Over the past few years, Eric has taken on a number of athletic disciplines. It all began with rowing and eventually evolved to include swimming and now cycling. Part of his regime is to replenish nutrients after these workouts – which usually involve some amount of almond milk. Being inspired by Kim, I decided to try my hand at making almond milk now that we had this fancy juicer. It turns out, making almond milk is super simple. Soak some almonds, rinse and run them through the juicer with some fresh water – add some vanilla (if you’d like) and a pinch of salt. Homemade almond milk doesn’t stay homogenous like store-bought but I sort of like that. It is less processed and simple to whip up. Plus, the juicer extrudes what we’ve colloquially called almond poop. It is the fibrous mass left after the juicing process. It is very tasty and slightly damp. Easy to eat by sprinkling on cereal and such.
However, I found something even better to do with the almond poop… Almond poop brownies! These are made with coconut oil – another trendy ‘health’ ingredient and topped with cocoa nibs. Together, these two ingredients convince you that there are huge chunks or flakes of coconut. A very tasty and fudgy treat.
Note: If you don’t have any almond pulp – feel free to substitute with almond flour. Finally, just make sure not to overbake. They are truly more decadent that way.
Almond Pulp Brownies
- The almond pulp can be slightly damp, similar in texture to clay. Squeeze it out if necessary.
- Use a 9″ square pan – however, a 8″ pan will yield thicker brownies – bake the batter in a round cake pan and serve wedges on plates topped with whipped cream, if desired.
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (7 ounces / 200 grams) unrefined sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces / 110 grams) extra-virgin coconut oil
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed (6 ounces / 170 grams) moist almond or other nut pulp or almond flour
- 1 cup (3.25 ounces / 90 grams) cocoa powder (preferably dutch-processed, though natural or raw will work, too)
- 2-3 tablespoons cacao nibs
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF (175ºC). Line the bottom and sides of an 9″ square baking pan with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the eggs, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Meanwhile, gently melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan set over a medium-low flame. Add the nut pulp and stir to combine. Continue to heat, stirring frequently, until the nut pulp mixture is warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. (This prevents the batter from seizing up when all the ingredients are added.)
- Turn the mixer to low, and add the nut pulp mixture, stirring just to combine. Sift the cocoa powder over the egg mixture and mix on low until just combined; the batter will deflate a lot.
Spread the batter in the lined pan, sprinkle with the cacao nibs, and bake until the brownies are matte on top, slightly puffed, and a tester inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging, 15-20 minutes. Don’t overbake.
- Let cool completely, then lift the brownie out of the pan and cut into 16 squares. The brownies keep well, airtight at room temperature, for up to three days.