Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 57: Dark Chocolate Fudgy Brownies with Walnuts for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day

When I was a child and we would go over to my Grandma and Grandpa Caponi's house for dinner I didn't realize the important lessons that were being shared. At Grandma's everything was homemade and home prepared. Looking in her pantry you would find basic baking supplies, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar and vegetable oil. Nothing came from a box or came frozen. Everything was fresh and whole.

Whole foods, real foods,  non-processed and preservative free foods are regaining their popularity. From my Grandma's perspective she found it healthier and more cost effective to feed a large family this way. She also made it a point to have not just one vegetable served, but many. A typical dinner would include; a protein, like chicken cacciatore, home made pasta with homemade sauce, a salad dressed with red wine vinegar and salt and pepper, steamed zucchini, boiled beets, and fresh cut green beans. For dessert; homemade cookies and cakes.

I truly believe eating this way helped both my Grandma and Grandpa live into their 90's. They ate a diet mostly free of processed food. I'm not saying that they didn't have the occasional bag of Lay's Potato Chips lying around or carton of Stroh's Neapolitan  Ice Cream in the freezer, but for the most part they knew what was going into their food.

I have been a big fan of Jamie Oliver since his Naked Chef days. Jamie is fighting for food reform in schools all across the USA and the UK. Adam and I were glues to his show, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on abc. Today is Food Revolution Day. A day where people can share advise about food and bring awareness to the changes that need to happen. Check out the Food Revolution Day website for some great events in your area or to donate to the cause!

Adam and I are big advocates for healthy eating and exercise. We are both currently training for the Chicago Marathon, Adam is running his first ultra marathon (50 miles!) in September, and all three of our boys run with us, play sports, and activity play outside with the neighbor kids.

All this activity would not be possible without a healthy diet. And yes, I do believe a healthy diet includes cookies! Making cookies for my family everyday gives me the control to know what goes into the cookie and to monitor the portions.

I have attempted homemade (not from a box) brownies in the past. However, they always came out cake-like. My family prefers their brownies more on fudgy side. After years of trying I resorted to using the old stand by box mix which is full of preservatives and things I cannot even pronounce! Why would I want to make these for my kids???

I finally created a fudgy, chocolaty, and wonderfully moist brownie recipe. In my opinion, this recipe is better then anything you would make out of a box.

Dark Chocolate Fudgy Brownies with Walnuts

1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup of DARK brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup of dark cocoa powder (like Hershey's 100% Cacao Special Dark)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix melted butter and sugars together.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Stir in flour, dark cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
Add walnuts if desired.
Pour batter into a greased 11x7 inch brownie pan.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool, cut and enjoy!

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