Sunday, February 12, 2012

Luscious, raw sweetie-pie brownies

Nika hopes for a morsel or two.
Do you sometimes think animals have things figured out better than people? Misha, Nika, Kona and Bailey, my pets, offer me a lesson in this every day.

Valentine's Day is an opportunity for people to treat others in a special way. Amazingly, my canine and feline members of the household do this everyday.

Misha and Nika are polar opposites when it comes to eating. If the Dyson Animal Vacuum makers had a prototype, it was Nika. She vacuums up everything in sight leaving no morsels behind.

Misha, on the other hand, is like no dog I've ever had. We call him Ridalin Dog because he is hyper (synonymous with the Husky breed) but he's an "I'll eat when the mood strikes me" kind of guy. If he were a person, he'd need his cup of joe to get him started in the morning and the sight of breakfast would turn his stomach. Sometimes it takes him two hours to wake enough to eat breakfast while the other pets polished their's off right away.

These two different styles could create issues. But animals have a way of working things out. Nika, Kona and Bailey politely wait nearby which provides the subtle encouragement Misha needs to finish up his chow. Seriously, there could be blood shed as much as Nika loves food but it's never happened.
They've just adapted to each other's differences, needs and wants.
Could you spare a crumb?
Hide and seek
Bailey, a dimutive eight pounds of cat, is tiny when compared to the 160 pounds combined weight of our three pooches.The dogs could easily tear Bailey to pieces but he gets away with things you'd never imagine could happen. Recently, I unsuccessfully attempted to photograph Bailey chewing on Ridalin Dog's ears. Bailey was doing this chewing while perched on top of the napping Husky. In the photo above, Bailey messes with his canine pals's minds by playing hide and seek. A slightly ajar closet door provided the perfect place for him to hide.
Raw sweetie-pie brownies
My animal buddies are kind of Valentine's Day gifts that keep on giving. They give me lots of love. I wouldn't trade them for anything but that doesn't mean chocolate isn't still welcome for Valentine's Day.

I found the most amazing recipe for raw chocolate brownies on
and I started drooling, almost as badly as Nika does over food. I had to adapt the recipe to make it allergen and ACD-friendly for me but it worked. The result was luscious, decadent and okay for me to eat (in moderation). I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to shape the brownies into hearts.

Raw Sweetie-pie Brownies
(makes 8 small brownies and 4 heart-shaped brownies with tidbits leftover)

Ingredients for the Base Layer:
  1. 1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  2. 2 T. unsweetened sunbutter
  3. 1/3 cup cacao
  4. Stevia to taste
Ingredients for Frosting:
  1. 2 avocadoes
  2. 2 T. yacon, coconut or agave syrup
  3. 1/3 cup cacao powder
  4. pinch of sea salt
  5. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  1. Blend the base layer ingredients in a food processor. The "dough" will be crumbly but cling together.
  2. Press the "dough" into an 8 X 8-inch pan.
  3. Place the pan in the freezer to start firming up the mixture.
  4. Without washing the food processor, prepare the frosting. Blend all the ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  5. Remove the pan from the freezer. Spread the frosting evenly over the top of the base layer.
  6. Return the pan to the freezer until the brownies are fairly firm.
  7. To make heart-shaped brownies, press the cookie cutter through the firm dough.

Your sweetie pie will love these brownies. I like them served somewhat frozen.

Nika dreams about food while napping.

You can probably guess Nika who drools at the thought of food was right by my side while whipping up these brownies. I think it wore her out waiting for something to be dropped. She fell asleep after all the clean up. She even used the kitchen dumbbell for a pillow. (We had to put heavy items in strategic places to keep her and the others from burrowing under the kitchen counters in search of who knows what).

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