Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Let’s have a brownie! It’s the Wednesday before Christmas and I would love nothing more than to sit with a brownie, a cup of coffee and hang here with you. If there’s one thing that I dislike about this holiday season, is that everything seems so rushed. The moment Halloween is over, it feels like a mad dash to the end of the year.
This year, I’ve intentionally set space for not doing that. Mostly that means that I’ve given up certain expectations that I’m supposed to do. I cut down my gift-giving list to just a handful of people and I said no to various parties and gatherings.
Not having to do so much during this time of year means I get to focus on more of the little things- like spending an evening looking at Christmas lights without any guilty ‘I should be doing this‘ feelings and baking brownies in the middle of the work-week!
Swoon. These brownies. If there’s one dessert I’m known for, it’s my brownies. Even before I had Vander, one of my goals in life was to be known as the mom with the good brownies. I know. It feels silly to even type it. However, 25 years later and I still remember who had the best chocolate chip cookies on the block. My guess is that you know who that was too.
I want to be that for our crew. The house with the bomb brownies.
Getting there means lots of trial and error. And lately, that means swapping out my most-trusted, bestest-brownie recipe for a vegan version. Have you noticed that I’m slowly transitioning most of our desserts to vegan versions? Though we aren’t a vegan family, I like the added challenge of crafting dairy-free and egg-free desserts.
Plus, vegan desserts mean it’s OK to eat the raw batter. Can you imagine baking brownies and not licking the spoon?
We’re using Pacific Food’s plant-based oat beverage in these. If you’re a regular reader, then you know how much I love swapping in oat beverage in my vegan baked goods.
Why? Well, oat milk is higher in carbohydrates (read: sugars) than almond or soy and this is a very, very good thing in baking.
The reaction behind every cookie, cake and brownie is known as the Maillard reaction. Catalyzed by the heat in the oven, reducing sugars with amino acids (protein!) yields a golden brown exterior and that characteristic ‘something is baking‘ aroma.
You need two things in order for this to happen: sugar, usually in the form of sugar in the recipe and/or ingredients like milk, and protein, usually in the form of milk or eggs.
This is why, in making vegan baked goods, removing both protein (eggs/milk) and reducing sugar can lead to pale baked goods. Tastes fine, but the color is off. That’s where Pacific Food’s oat beverage comes in! Oat beverage is naturally higher in carbohydrates than almond, making it a superior choice to getting a beautiful golden brown color and ‘baked good’ flavor.
Pretty cool, right?
These brownies have it all! Crackly crust top, chewy edges and a fudgey middle. If you too want to become the house on the block with the best brownies well, these are a good first step.
P.S. You can find Pacific Food’s oat beverage in most grocery stores in the pantry baking section or near the refrigerated milk section. If your store doesn’t already carry it, ask them to.Print
Vegan Espresso Brownies! These espresso brownies are so rich and chocolatey! Perfect for gift giving and dessert!