You know, years ago - literally years ago - when I first published the brownie pizza recipe below, I wasn’t a mostly vegan eater. I was under the mistaken notion that I could eat just about any chocolate deliciousness in the name of research and get by with it.
National Brownie Day - that’s today - would have been a cause for much celebration, plenty of decadent brownie recipes, and a dollop of ice cream for good measure.
Enter the myriad health challenges that I’ve been dealing with in the past year or so. Achy joints. Angry skin flare-ups. Angsty heart issues. The works.
Naturally, I attributed this to signs of aging. Happens to the best of us. I tried to largely ignore them, but the joint pain eventually made it nearly impossible to sleep.
Curing Eczema And Other Ailments Through Diet
On a whim, I decided to change my diet. I figured it couldn’t hurt, and maybe some of my health issues would go away. I didn’t hold out great hope. After all, when I went to the emergency room to deal with my eczema AND the doctors didn’t really know what it was NOR did they really know how to treat it, I kinda figured being well was a lost cause.
But I tried a new diet, anyway. Those of you who know me really well know that as a result of this change, I’ve experienced a miracle at the end of my fork. It didn’t happen right away. And I experienced some detox symptoms, which made my health issues worse for a time.
Thank God, I pushed through all that.
Today, the arthritis symptoms are gone. The eczema is gone. The flip-flopping hormones have disappeared. (That’s saying something when you’re a 50-year-old gal…)
I did experience some bumps along the way. I learned pretty quickly that animal foods (meat, cheese, etc.) cause inflammation in my body, which in turn aggravates the joints and the skin. I also figured out that I can’t have gluten nor dairy.
All of this makes for some pretty interesting experiences when I’m trying to eat.
To better learn how to tackle this, I’ve started writing more about food and more specifically, alternative recipes. That’s why nowadays on my blog, you’ll see recipes like the one below - a classic brownie recipe with a twist - but you’ll also see some vegan, gluten-free, and other offerings on my blog posts.
Here’s the thing. I get that not everyone is ready to be a vegetarian or even a vegan. It isn’t my job to make that choice for them. I only strive to offer alternatives to the people who want them.
I believe that the foods we eat say a lot about us. And when we eat together, we build bonds that are not easily broken. As a life-long foodie, I would never want to prevent anyone from experiencing culture and friendship through food.
So with no further ado, here are a couple of brownie recipes to help you celebrate National Brownie Day!
Brownie Pizza (Made From Boxed Brownie Mix)
Brownie recipes from a box can be just as tasty as a homemade dessert if you know how to dress the recipe up a bit; this brownie pizza recipe starts off with a simple boxed chocolate brownie recipe. (You can use regular or gluten-free brownie mix--your choice.) It combines the mix with some decadent ingredients like cream cheese, almonds and grated dark chocolate for an impressive looking and tasting dessert you can make in under an hour. You can combine this with fruit for a lighter dessert or go for a really delicious treat by making a peanut butter brownie pizza.
It's definitely one for the chocolate cookbooks of the world.
Brownie and Fruit Pizza
• 1 box brownie mix • ½ c. almonds, sliced • 16-oz room temperature cream cheese • ¼ c. sugar • 2 tsp vanilla extract • 20 maraschino cherries, no stems, halved and patted dry • ½-oz grated dark chocolate
1. Heat oven to 350ºF. 2. Add butter or cooking spray to a pizza pan to prevent the brownies from sticking to the bottom. 3. Mix up the brownies according to the instructions on the brownie box. 4. Spread the mix into the pizza pan and insert into the oven. However, only bake the brownie mix for about half the time. (If the instructions call for 20 minutes baking time, bake for 10 minutes.) 5. Allow the brownie pizza to cool completely. 6. Get out a dry skillet and prepare toasted almonds. Stir the almonds often. Opt for a medium heat for best results. The almonds will turn brown and become fragrant when they're done. 7. Allow these to cool as well. 8. Make a frosting mixture for the brownies by mixing together sugar, vanilla and whipped cream. Whip this until the mixture is smooth. 9. Add it to the crust, spreading the mixture evenly. 10. Decorate the brownie pizza recipe with cherries, sliced strawberries, almonds and chocolate shavings. Tips: • Be sure to include the ingredients for the brownies in your ingredients list. You'll find these on the side of the brownie box. • Makes 12 servings.
Healthy No-Bake Brownies (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
I'm turning to Hot Chocolate Hits on YouTube for this vegan brownie recipe. She gives instructions on how to make it in the video below.