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The Best Brownie Recipe on Earth

Before you get too excited, let me stress this recipe does not include any “magic” other than in the form of ease and deliciousness. It was introduced to me by my friend Amy about four years ago and it has changed my life. As someone who suffers from a mild case of chocoholicism, I’m a big fan of rich, gooey chocolatey goodness but when it comes to making deserts, I want them on my plate as quickly as possible.

Which is why these brownies are so good. They only take 5 minutes to prepare, 20 minutes to bake and there are only 5 ingredients. Oh, and did I mention they’re gluten-free too? I’ve been asked for this recipe so often by other people, that I decided to do a blog post about it so that it’s out there for everyone now. And a huge thank you to Amy, one of the kindest people I know, for sharing this with me in the first place.

Flourless Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (or semi-sweet chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar (if using semi-sweet chocolate, only use 1/2 cup sugar)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a small pot melt chocolate with butter. Whisk in sugar and eggs. Whisk in cocoa. Bake for 20 minutes. To ensure the brownies are deliciously gooey, I use a toaster oven, set to 350°F and only bake them for 10-12 minutes.

Five Easy Nutrition Tips

It’s amazing when you begin to research something as seemingly simple as eating. I mean, we all do it and we have done since the beginning of time so how hard can it be, right? The more I started unravelling the layers of this topic for a Mountain Trek blog post, though, the more I realized this is a really really big onion. (Sorry. Food similies…bad.)

So I decided to try and break down the topic into five core things that people (and most especially North Americans) can easily remember and digest. The first is crucial: “Drink Your Food; Eat Your Water.” In other words, take time to chew and swallow. Mash up that steak – that’s what you were given molars for. Swish that cool water around in your mouth before you guzzle – get those saliva glands helping with the entire digestion process. One easy trick to help you remember to eat slower is to put your utensil down between mouthfuls.

Here are all Five Easy Nutrition Tips and of them, #5 really struck a chord for me. My fiancé is celiac (she was diagnosed when she was four) and so there’s very little gluten to be found in our household. But there were tons of dairy products and once I started examining my relationship to it all, I realized my phlegmy head every morning may be caused by it. Sure enough, I cut back on my milk intake and voila, no more need for a daily neti pot session. Have a read about the “Sour 8″ and see what small things you can incorporate into your daily routine that many have massive consequences for your overall well-being.

7 Crucial Healthy Eating Tips

I just finished a post for Mountain Trek about seven key things one should remember about food in order to maximize vitality. So many sources deal with what to eat but in this case I decided to look at WHEN to eat, which isn’t something you hear a lot of nutrition experts discussing. Having just completed the week-long program at Mountain Trek’s BC Lodge I was struck by how amazing the daily lectures were, especially the ones that detailed the key times our bodies are looking for nourishment and what they’ll do do when they get it.

For example, most of us in North America have a daily schedule that looks something like this: Wake up groggy ➨ Coffee ➨ Commute to office ➨ Coffee ➨ Quick lunch at desk ➨ Chocolate/Coffee to spike low energy ➨ Commute home ➨ Huge dinner ➨ Watch TV ➨ Sleep ➨ Wake up groggy

The issue with this model is that the coffee suppresses our appetite and so we don’t eat causing our bodies go into starvation mode and store calories as fat. We then eat a huge meal before bedtime and our bodies become further stressed and can’t work off the excess calories. (Because we’re just sitting there in front of the TV.)

So here are 7 Healthy Eating Tips that deal with everything from when to eat breakfast to how many snacks you should consume a day. (It’s a lot more than you might think.) Also included in this blog is the most popular salad dressing recipe at Mountain Trek, the Afterglow Almond Butter Dressing.

How To Keep Healthy and Active as the Cold Weather Approaches

I just finished a post for Mountain Trek about how to stay active and healthy now that the days are getting shorter and the temperature is dropping. The first tip in the blog definitely struck a chord with me because I gave up coffee for this month. I’m not a huge coffee drinker (I might have two double espressos in the morning) but I don’t drink it in the afternoons nor do I drink caffeine-rich drip coffee.

In fact, it’s a common misconception that espresso has more caffeine in it but one 2 oz double espresso shot has about 80 milligrams of caffeine, whereas a 12 oz brewed coffee has about 120 milligrams.

However, the caffeine headache I had after giving up coffee on October 1st lasted 3 days! Three days! It definitely makes me re-evaluate my morning cuppa ritual. (But it’s so damn yummy though!) Thankfully the headaches are over and I’m swilling a caffeine-free barley malt drink every morning. Whether this will continue on Nov 1st remains to be seen.

Avoiding more hot caffeinated beverages like coffee in the cooler months is just one tip for health as we head into the winter. Here are nine more listed in the Mountain Trek blog. Oh, and there’s a delicious Pumpkin Beef Chili recipe in there as well!

Best Damn BBQ Oyster Recipe on the Planet

This time last year I was floating on the waters of Tomales Bay in California interviewing kayak guides and hearing about how the area was responsible for farming some of the best oysters on earth. When asked what their favourite way of eating them was, the responses were a toss-up between “raw” and “barbecued.” Having never had an oyster off the BBQ before, I asked them to indulge me, so after our interviews we went to the nearest seafood shack and I ordered some. They were delicious! Here’s the recipe for the best damn BBQ oysters on earth. And to read more about that day and the kayak guides, log on to:

http://www.guideadvisor.com/stories/best-bbq-oyster-recipe-earth/

Barbecued Oyster Recipe

  • 16 very fresh, large, whole live oysters
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • a few dashes of Tabasco
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • cracked black pepper to taste

Heat a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. When hot, add the olive oil and the butter. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lemon juice, tabasco, salt and pepper. Turn off heat.

Shuck the oysters and spoon a little sauce into each. Place oysters on a very hot, preheated grill, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the edges of oysters curl slightly.

If you’re not a skilled shucker, no problem. Just place the oysters, cup side up on a very hot, preheated grill, cover and cook for 1 minute. The oysters should now be slightly open. Don an oven mitt, remove them and use a clean screwdriver to pry open the oyster. It should easily open. Spoon sauce into each oyster and return oysters to the grill. Cover and grill 4-5 minutes. Garnish with more hot sauce if desired.