By Jennifer Kurdyla
Herbalism is as delicious as it is healing. Try these vegan Adaptogenic Double Chocolate Brownies from Root & Nourish for the sweetest form of stress management.
Whether you’re heading to a celebration with loved ones, or just want to celebrate yourself, these delicious brownies have everything you need to feel at ease and nourished, thanks to a healthy dose of adaptogens. Cacao nibs mixed into the batter gives the brownies a nutrient boost, whereas the dark chocolate chunks on top deliver on eye appeal and sweetness. Warming, tonifying, and detoxifying, the herbs used in these ultra-fudgy brownies promote longevity, so the effects of these treats last long after you lick the last crumble out of the pan.
Adaptogenic Double Chocolate Brownies
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 30 minutes cooling time
Cook time: 35 minutes
Makes 9 large brownies or 16 small brownies
1/4 cup flax meal
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
1/2 cup non-expeller pressed palm shortening, melted
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend (King Arthur brand preferred) or all-purpose flours
2 tablespoons apoptogenic mushroom powder (reishi powder, or a blend like Anima Mundi’s Adaptogenic Powder or Four Sigmatic’s Adaptogen Blend)
Scant 1 cup raw cacao powder (Anima Mundi brand preferred)
2 teaspoons raw cacao nibs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup dark nondairy chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8-inch square pan with reusable parchment, letting the parchment overhang two sides by 2 to 3 inches (so it’s easy to lift out the brownies when they’re done).
- Stir together the flax meal and the warm water in a small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
- Add the coconut sugar to the bowl with the flax and whisk to combine with the melted shortening. Stir in the vanilla.
- Add the mushroom powder to a 1-cup measuring cup, then fill the rest of the cup with cacao powder. Add to the bowl with the flour blend, then add the cacao nibs, baking powder, and salt. Stir until just combined. The batter should be very thick. Fold in ó cup of the chocolate chips or chunks.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and evenly smooth it out to the corners using a spatula or your hands. Sprinkle the remaining ó cup chocolate chips or chunks over the batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes—they will still look a little underbaked and fudgy when they come out of the oven. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
- Using the overhanging parchment, carefully lift the brownies from the pan and set them on a flat surface to cool for another 15 minutes, or until they firm up. (This double cooling helps the brownies achieve the right texture.) Slice into squares and serve with your favorite glass of plant mylk.
Adapted from Root & Nourish: An Herbal Cookbook for Women’s Wellness by Abbey Rodriguez and Jennifer Kurdyla (Tiller Press, 2021).