Last week, I attended the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one of the largest (if not THE largest) film festivals in the world. Along with spotting many stars, I had a chance to attend the world premiere of The Death of Stalin, a political satire chronicling the events that ensued in 1953 after the death of Joseph Stalin, dictator of the Soviet Union. Aside from the film aspect of my trip, I was on cloud nine after visiting numerous vegan restaurants and bakeries, as well as going to my first food festival (vegan food fest!) that was coincedentally going on during the couple days I was there.A brief overview of the food scene: Cue the nacho pizza (nacho toppings but pizza style, my heart), cookie dough cashew ice cream and coconut whipped cream (ice cream can be made from soaking cashews, just like a “raw” cheesecake can; coconut milk can be whipped to substitute for regular whipped cream), banana soft serve (Nanashake is an ice cream shop that only uses bananas as their ice cream base, and makes full ice cream sundaes using other natural ingredients), and peach habanero donuts (spicy donuts??) were some of the delicious and creative food items I had spotted (or tried). One of the more out-there booths I came across was Oat + Mill, who sell ice cream using a base of oats (no idea how, this is the first time I’d heard of this wacky idea)! I tried the peanut butter chip flavor, and it turned out to taste surprisingly like ice cream, albeit a bit more on the icy rather than creamy side, like a sorbet (however, still amazing!) Aside from the food festival and feeling like I could come down with a sugar induced coma, one of the restaurants that stuck out in my mind was D’Beastro’s. It is a vegan restaurant that had an extensive dinner menu, complete with a Philly Cheesesteak. After ordering a variety of dishes, I would gladly rate them 5/5 stars (you can see how excited I was in the picture below). Sorry to keep you drooling though – here is today’s recipe! Chocolate and more chocolate, oh my (feel free to take out the cranberries and walnuts and add in whatever you would like).
Word of the Day
Bibelot (n): a small household ornament or decorative object; a trinket (The sitting room is inviting, with its smart soft furnishings and bibelots, many of them from generations ago).
-1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon almond milk (or any other type of milk)
-9.5 tablespoons of fruit puree, like applesauce OR oil
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 cup whole wheat flour (oat flour may work as well)
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-6.5 tablespoons coconut sugar (or any other type of sugar may work as well)
-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1 tablespoon cornstarch
-1/4 cup dried cranberries or dried blueberries
-1/4 cup walnuts, crushed
In one bowl, mix together the milk, applesauce (or oil, melted), and vanilla. In another bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients until combined, other than the dried fruit and nuts. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones, and stir to combine. Add in the cranberries and walnuts and stir once more. Pour this mixture into a square baking pan (make sure it is greased with oil, or lined with wax paper so the brownies do not stick to the sides). Bake at 350 degrees for around 16 minutes, and then take them out of the oven. Let it cool for an hour, as the brownies will continue to bake even when they are out of the oven. Serve them warm or refrigerate them (they will become more fudgy this way as well)!
Nutritional Info (per serving):
Fat: 2.4 g
Carbs: 16.4 g
Sodium: 34.4 mg
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Fiber: 2.5 g
Sugar: 9.1 g
Protein: 1.8 g