So I have a bit of a problem. I have lost something this winter. It’s called motivation. I have been suffering from a severe lack of motivation. To put on running shoes, that is. Well, to put on running shoes and actually leave the house, to be exact. I have no problem with the actual putting on of the running shoes. I can do that rather well. The leaving of the house with the running shoes on? Yeah, I’m not so great at that one lately.
I have officially commenced operation ‘please just run around the block’ five times since New Year’s Day. Five. Times. Yes, I do realize it’s only the first week of February.
The problem is – and I’ve said it before – I have a highly overactive imagination. The streets are covered with a light dusting of fluffy white snow, and I imagine a sheet of ice lurking underneath. I slip on a bit of slushy stuff, and I immediately stop the running and walk home, black ice and a broken leg the only things on my mind. The winter wind rushing past my headphones is, of course, a hungry coyote growling at me. All that cold weather makes them extra hungry, doesn’t it?
What have I been doing instead of running? Eating brownies, which is an extremely worthwhile pastime. So today I have a recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip brownies for you. I have absolutely no problem putting on my running shoes and eating these brownies. No problem at all. Or should I say brownie, one solitary brownie. Not the whole pan of brownies. That would be wrong, since I haven’t run further than the length of my street in over a month.
Getting back to the brownies, these little guys are grain free, gluten-free, oil-free, dairy-free and egg-free. Whew, that’s a lot of free. They are fudgy and moist, and sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup. Want your brownies free from refined sugar as well? Simply omit the chocolate chips or substitute 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts.
You know, if I go for a run, I could probably justify eating the whole pan. Excuse me for a moment. I think I might put on those running shoes.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies
Makes one 8-inch pan
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup) gluten-free and vegan chocolate chips
Combine peanut butter, maple syrup, applesauce and vanilla in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop the batter into a parchment-lined 8-inch square pan, spreading evenly. Bake at 160C (325F) for 18 to 20 minutes, or until just set. Your finger should leave a slight dent in the top of your brownies. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing.