My son and I visited Kripalu last week. Nestled in the heart of the Berkshire Mountains, Kripalu is a world-renowned yoga and retreat center. It was my first visit and Clark’s second. Besides heading there for R&R, Clark would be reuniting with a friend he’d made there last summer who was also traveling with her mother.
Our time at Kripalu was quiet and calm, soothing—for us both. Clark’s been working hard and needed a break. I needed a place that would give me the space to focus on healing from my mother’s recent death. Days at Kripalu begin with gentle yoga classes and silent breakfasts. There were options for more yoga throughout the day and early evening, classes on self actualization, guided hikes, a labyrinth walk—or private places to simply sit with a novel in the middle of the day. We were well nurtured and well fed. Based on local, and seasonal ingredients, every meal was phenomenal. Fortunate to be there during the height of their fall foliage season, it was an enchanting few days, and we both came home changed for the better.
While I was there, I noticed that I was feeling stronger than I had in quite a long time and willing to take risks with new classes and new movements. In mid-September, I signed on to work with a personal trainer at our local aquatics center. Kathleen has been guiding me through workouts aimed at getting stronger throughout my body but specifically addressing ways to ease the pain I’ve felt ever since I was diagnosed with hip arthritis about a year ago. There was a particular moment during our guided hike, where I realized I wasn’t in pain and wasn’t feeling tentative about my next movements. It’s as if everything Kathleen and I had been doing came together at once. Elation followed.
These Triple Chocolate Brownie Recovery Bites were inspired both by a moist dark chocolate brownie we were served at Kripalu, and by Kathleen who encourages me to drink chocolate milk right after a workout to recover. Flourless and gluten-free, these brownies are made with roasted pine nuts to give them structure and a smoky flavor. I added a bit of pomegranate molasses for extra sweetness and powdered bone broth or skimmed milk for nutrition. An alternative to chocolate milk, these bites are rich and moist. Heavenly on their own, try them with a cold glass of milk soon after they come out of the oven. Elation will follow.
I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.
Triple Chocolate Brownie Recovery Bites
Yield: 48 Bites
For the brownies—
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into large chunks, plus a bit more for the pan
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
3 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ roasted pine nuts, chopped coarsely
2 tablespoons vanilla powdered bone broth (optional)
For the topping—
2 ounces milk chocolate, cut into chunks
¼ cup roasted pine nuts, chopped coarsely
Sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line a 9 by 11-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper liberally. Set aside.
Place the bittersweet chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and butter in a bowl suite for the microwave oven. Cover with plastic. Cook on high for one minute or until fully melted. Uncover, mix together and allow to cool slightly.
Pour the chocolate/butter mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and pomegranate molasses. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the salt, cornstarch, and pine nuts. Stir to combine. Sprinkle in the bone broth powder (if using) and mix until the powder is fully mixed into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Place in the oven and bake until just before set, about 25 minutes. This is a wet batter so don’t worry if they seem a bit moist.
Remove the brownies from the oven and turn off the oven. Top the brownies with the chopped milk chocolate and return the warm oven for one minute, or until the milk chocolate is melted.
Remove the brownies from the oven again and carefully spread the melted milk chocolate evenly over the brownies. Sprinkle with chopped pine nuts and sea salt.
Allow to cool completely. Cut into 48 squares.
Serve and enjoy.
These are very delicate brownies, best if eaten with a fork. For a more solid brownie—one that you can transport to the gym or place in lunch boxes— add another ¼ cup chopped pine nuts into the batter or ¼ cup all-purpose flour.
Chopped almonds or walnuts can be substituted for the pine nuts, if you prefer. You can also substitute powdered milk for the bone broth powder.
Pomegranate molasses can be found in most supermarkets in the Middle-eastern section. If you cannot find them, substitute traditional dark molasses or pure maple syrup.
If you make these brownies, I hope you enjoy them. Please take a photo and post it on Instagram with #gathering flavors.