Essential Omnivore

Pumpkin Brownies



A slight onslaught of sweeter recipes has hit my blog recently (hi, hi, hi and hi). With the posts I write, I try to keep them full of real food; imitations or endless treats just don’t seem satisfying, though I surely see their appeal. So I find myself second guessing before I hit “post” on those–are they real enough? Are they trying to address something other than hunger?

While I have no answers, it brings forth another subject that has piqued my interest for the past year and half. What happens if you follow your cravings? What if you allow yourself to crave certain foods? Does that create body trust? Does our culture need more of that? I’ve worked in settings where cravings are seen as something to be extinguished, something to feel guilty about, something to overcome, something that makes you the full embodiment of gluttony. I see others and involve myself in the delicate trap of explaining, validating, justifying what we eat. I’ve follow enough dietary protocols to know that yes, you can override cravings, and that has its place. And yes, cravings arrive on a continuum and not all are created equal. But I’ve also learned that your body is a kind, caring creature, and will lean into happiness if you just allow it.

So, here’s to you, kind physical self who happens to tie so effortlessly into my mental self (why do I expect anything less from you?) Sometimes you just want chocolate, or none at all, and for that you are dearly exquisite.

Pumpkin Brownies

1 cup almond butter (or nut/seed butter of your choice, or coconut butter)
1 cup pumpkin puree (from a can or homemade)
1 egg
1/3-1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon leftover coffee (optional)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter (or oil of your choice) an 8×8 baking dish. Combine all wet ingredients. Stir until combined. Sift in the cocoa powder and baking soda. Gently incorporate the chocolate chips if using. Pour batter into the tray and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool, or don’t. Eat piping hot, served with something whipped and cool, or maybe take a big, chilled slice from the fridge the next day, with a cup of coffee, reading the comics and enjoying the morning sunshine. Serves 6-8.

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