Luxurious (nut free) Saffron Brownies

Posted by: on Dec 14, 2012 | 26 Comments

Crazy nervousness and a fireplace

+ How bringing shining light can be closely related to both of those things. Who would have guessed, right?… and yes, the saffron mini brownies plays a big role in this story too.

If you’d have popped by our home at 07.27 this morning you would have found me standing (very close) to the fire, wrapped in a big blanket singing ”Holy night” into the flames. Why? Because I was disappointed in myself for forgetting an insanely important thing (and then the wise solution is of course to sing ”Holy night”, duh).

The 13th of December is the day of St Lucia in Sweden and it’s also a day very much celebrated in my family. Dark, cold mornings filled with dressing up in long, plain white gowns, glitter and crowns of lights. There was always singing, Swedish saffron buns, hot chocolate, candles and of course the weeks of chorus practice before the actual day. Oh, and the nervous excitement in school when the girl who was supposed to be ”Lucia” was chosen.

That Lucia thing is in other words big over here, and who can blame us? It´s pretty damn dark up here this time of year and the day of St Lucia marks the return of the light – the days become longer again. I don’t know how it all turned into a slight hysteria of blond girls with angel voices, red ribbons around their waists and a crown of candles (that sometimes make them faint). But I do know that my own blond mess has served me well in that department. Bringing light, songs and beauty to anyone is well worth the crazy ass nervousness.

So how could I forget to wake up Fabian with at least one song and a little candle? I don’t know. To my defense I did feed him quite a few of these filled-with-light- saffron brownies AND I did give a performance to the fire. Fixes everything.

Fun & Fabulous Facts

I have to be honest here. One of the greatest things about celebrating Lucia is still the saffron buns and apparently that has been my firm belief ever since I got started on solid foods (yes, there is photo evidence of that). I even dare say that few swedes eat saffron in any other way on any other occasion, which is such a loss. I mean – what about these brownies!?

Other things can be said about the greatness of saffron, like how sensationally beautiful it is that it’s actually a precious part of a crocus flower, Crocus Sativus, and how it’s medicinal benefits, flavor and cosmetic value has been loved since the tenth century BC. Medicinally Saffron is used as a blood cleanser but the glorious spice also aid digestion and calm nervousness and anxiety (ha!) . It is said that saffron increases sperm production and works as an aphrodisiac too. Phew, what a mix.

Add the high amount of antioxidants and the fact that this spice is a tridoshic (good for all three auyurvedic doshas) and I bet we can come to the conclusion that this spice is quite the golden ticket to all kinds of good stuff.

Luxurious brownies with saffron and bee pollen

These little gems are very much a boost of pure goodness during wintertime. They are not fully raw (the coconut cream) or vegan (bee pollen), that being said you can without any problem turn them both raw & vegan with simple steps like using raw coconut manna and perhaps decorate with some beautiful black sesame seeds.

Approx 20 mini brownies 

Brownie
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp whole hemp seeds (not hearts)
2 tbsp tahini
8 soft large dates, pitted
3-4 tbsp raw cacao
1/2 tsp pure vanilla (not liquid)
a pinch of Himalayan salt
1 tsp date molasses (can be excluded)

1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a firm dough has been formed. To dry? add a tsp or two of pure water.
2. Press the dough onto a form/small cutting board/plate covered with plastic film and put in the fridge.

Saffron cream
2 cans of organic coconut milk
0.75 g (2/3 sachets) good quality saffron
2 tbsp coconut nectar/sugar/granulates
2 tsp bee pollen (for decoration)

1. Put the cans of coconut milk in the freezer for 2 hours, then open and scoop out the top layer of creamy white coconut (save the liquid on the bottom for soup).
2. In a mortar, mix saffron and coconut sugar then spoon it into the creamy coconut until fully incorporated and bright yellow.

Assembly
Upon serving, use a spatula to spread the saffron cream onto the brownie square, sprinkle 2 tsp of bee pollen over the Christmas flavored creation, cut and enjoy with a cuppa chai tea.

So while the light returns to this corner of the earth I´m going tho enjoy the new moon of today plus go watch The Hobbit! Yay!

Now I know that we are all from different parts of the world here, what flavor pops up in YOUR mind when feeling the holidays draw near? To you have any family traditions of your own? Get on and share it in the comments below <3 Let’s inspire each other to new things!

Take the world by storm, babayyy and see you at Twitter & Facebook!

°°Elenore°°

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26 Comments

  1. A tasty love story
    14 december, 2012

    Hi Elenore.
    I am getting so very intrigued by this saffron theme going on in Sweden right now. I must admit that I haven’t done much cooking with it, but that is definitely gonna change now. Your brownie recipe looks absolutely amazing, and I think it will be on the menu this week (my boyfriend is sitting nooding like crazy here – he is in).
    Have a wonderful day…
    All the best and tons of good kama
    Josephine!

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      14 december, 2012

      Haha, you two make me laugh so hard! Go shop for some saffron right away and you will LOVE them!

      Ps. congratulations again to the gorgeous auntie;)

      Reply
  2. nirrimi
    14 december, 2012

    I wish I was in my kitchen making these this very moment, but unfortunately I’m holidaying. You’ve really outdone yourself my lovely friend!

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      14 december, 2012

      I wish WE were in the kitchen making these;) Someday, love!

      Reply
  3. Liz B
    14 december, 2012

    So Golden and gorgeous and beautiful! Like you! ehehe!
    xxx Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  4. Sam
    14 december, 2012

    Peppermint reminds me of the holidays! Soo many cookies of christmas past :)

    Reply
  5. Sofia
    14 december, 2012

    This looks amazing, Elenore!
    I love saffron in desserts, but don’t use it nearly often enough (and haven’t had it with chocolate). Thanks for the beautiful inspiration. Happy Holidays!

    Reply
  6. Caitlyn
    14 december, 2012

    Gorgeous post. What a sweet story. I love hearing traditions of other countries. It is incredible the stories of coming together, carrying something on year after year. While we celebrate Christmas here in America, unfortunately we lack something it seems many other cultures have….some culture behind it. Here it is just so commercialized.

    And these beauties sound divine. I will try them. I make some raw brownies that are delicious, however they are nut based so awesome to see this recipe :).

    Lovely, I posted this on the chocolate kale and chai oat, neglecting the fact that the post is a year old. I’m never sure if it is okay to still post comments u see those (meaning if you get them?)? Or if it is better to post here? Please do let me know and forgive the double posting.

    I’m Caitlyn by the way, nice to meet you :).

    ”Hi beauty,
    So, ha, I went to make the oat chai (because I LOVe chai and love oat milk….I’ve done chocokate chai, almond chai, hazelnut chai but never oat…genius!) and it turned into something totally different. I put the ingredients in a pot and before it even got to a boil I noticed a thick sludge. I stirred it and it became pudding of sorts. Think oatmeal pudding. It was delicious (cool discovery) but obviously not the drink.
    I’d like to try again. I wonder when you make the oat milk, do you use the rolled oats (what people use for oatmeal)? Or oat groats (the ones that look like spelt berries)? I used oat groats and noticed my oat milk was slimy/mucilaginous, however it was delicious. I’m sure that played into it.
    Thank you. Have a beautiful day.”

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      18 december, 2012

      Hi my darling!

      Sorry for my late reply, I had to go create this recipe all over again to see what was up with the slime;)
      So.. turnes out – I used store bought (non sweetened) oat milk for the oat chai and when heated, it is just.. well heated, not transformed into a pudding.

      When I tried making it with my own oat milk it turned into a pudding very quickly. I am not sure why this is happening but I would guess
      it has something to do with some form of light processing (with the store bought milk).

      I agree, it was kind of a cool discovery and I will look into it some more. In the meantime, go get yourself some beautiful store bought oat milk to play with. I hope there are some good brands where you live, love!

      hugs and happy holidays!

      Reply
      • Caitlyn
        18 december, 2012

        Hi honey,

        Awe, that is so sweet of you to try it out and see, thank you for taking the time to do that. Ah, that is the key! Ha, I was wondering to myself what I was doing different. I have not com across oat milk in the store, yet I have not sought after it either… I will have to go on a search now :).

        Have a wonderful Christmas! Ample blessings to you and yours.

        Reply
  7. Hannah
    15 december, 2012

    I remember, as an Australian, learning about St Lucia and the tradition of young girls dressing up to deliver saffron buns by reading the American Girls childrens book about Kristen, the Swedish girl who came to America. And now I’m reading about this heavenly raw(ish) version of the treat on your blog, having just moved to Toronto! What an amazing world we live in :)

    Reply
  8. Favourite posts this week - Bake 'n' Shake
    16 december, 2012

    […] Yet more saffron – this time in brownie form. […]

    Reply
  9. Marie
    16 december, 2012

    Går det bra att använda hampafrön med skal? Tycker skalen mest är knastriga och jobbiga, men det är vad jag har hemma just nu.

    Reply
  10. brosoni
    17 december, 2012

    I love it, I want to try the recipe
    hmm .. delicious …!

    http://www.mykidneycleanse.com/kidney-cleanse.htm

    Reply
  11. Emilie-Anne
    17 december, 2012

    Hi Elenore! cant wait to try this! How much to 2/3 package of Saffron though? I’m in Canada and I’m not sure its going to be the same package! xx

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      18 december, 2012

      Hi sweetheart! Sorry, that was a bit sloppy of me. 2/3 package would be 0.75g saffron.

      Best of luck and happy kitchen creating!

      Reply
  12. Raquel
    18 december, 2012

    Hi Elenore!! thank you for your inspiration! i´ve tried some of your recipies and they are delicious!!! i´m gonna make this brownies in a few days :) i´m from méxico and the flavor that comes to mind when i think of holidays is chocolate!!! it´s very common that here in mexico when it´s winter people drink hot chocolate… but that recipe was brought by the spanish because here they used to prepare chocolate very difrently… raw, cold, and way much healthy! i have been searching for the true recipe for a long time and i´ve found it! the aztecs used to called it precious water and only few could drink it ( because there were very expensive ingridients ) they used raw cacao, dried chiles (you could substitute chiles for black pepper), star anise, dried flowers ( magnolia and cacao flowers but you can substitute for dried roses ), vanilla, sunflower seeds, and wild raw honey or agave nectar. i still haven´t prepare it but maybe i will make them with your brownies!! many hugs and happy holidays!!

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      18 december, 2012

      Wow, this is SO inspiring! I adore reading about the history of cacao and it’s sacred properties! Now I am even more pumped to try it for sure!
      Thank you for taking the time to write this down, Raquel!

      Hugs!

      Reply
  13. Raquel
    18 december, 2012

    I forgot to mention that the chocolate drink also needs the spice called achiote, its a mexican spice and has a lot of intreresting health properties!

    Reply
  14. Wendy Cozzens
    18 december, 2012

    I love your amazingly happy, optomistic spirit, it is contagious!!! Your spirit always lifts my spirit. I hope someday to meet you in person!

    Reply
  15. Catherine
    18 december, 2012

    Wow, these look divine. What a great combination.

    XO,
    Catherine
    FEST (food, style, travel)

    Reply
  16. C
    19 januari, 2013

    These look amazing! Going to try it :).

    Saw in the comments you mentioned you buy oatmilk, which brand do you get? Do you know if there are preservatives in them?

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      19 januari, 2013

      Happy to hear that!

      Most often times I make my own oat milk but for hot chocolate I buy an unsweetened one without any preservatives. The brand is Oatly.

      Reply
  17. C
    19 januari, 2013

    ah. I wish they sold that here in California. All we have is boxed oat milk with preservatives in it in my local stores. I really want to be able to heat up some oat mill once in awhile.

    Off to make this gorgeous recipe.

    Reply

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