Food Forest Organic's Fudgy Vegan Brownie Recipe

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When you hear the word 'vegan' you're probably imagining a diet filled with kale, coconut water and despair. However, as I'm going to prove to you today, dear readers, that couldn't be further from the truth.

I have ventured deep into the plant-based bowels of the Wairarapa's premiere meat-free eatery, Food Forest Organics, and returned to you with their top secret recipe for fudgy no-bake vegan brownies. Ok, well to be honest I just asked really nicely and they gave it to me, but the point is I've got the recipe and I'm going to share it with you!

BROWNIES

  • 1 cup (93 g) + 1/2 cup (47 g) raw walnuts, divided + more for topping
  • 1 cup (150 g) raw almonds
  • 2 1/2 cups (~425 g / 15 ounces) dates, pitted (if dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes then drain)
  • 3/4 cup (60 g) cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp cacao nibs + more for topping
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

GANACHE FROSTING

  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) almond milk
  • 1 cup (~175 g) dairy-free dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or sub vegan butter), melted
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup walnuts and 1 cup almonds in food processor and process until finely ground.
  2. Add the cacao powder and sea salt and pulse to combine. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the dates to the food processor and process until small bits remain. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add nut and cocoa mixture back into food processor and while processing, drop small handfuls of the date pieces down into the food processor or blender spout.
  5. Process until a dough consistency is achieved, adding more dates if the mixture does not hold together when squeezed in your hand. You may not use all the dates.
  6. Add the brownie mixture to a small parchment lined 8x8 dish and before pressing, add remaining 1/2 cup roughly roughly chopped walnuts and cacao nibs and toss to combine and evenly distribute. Then press down with hands until it is flat and firm. I like laying down a piece of plastic wrap to prevent sticking and get it really flat.
  7. Lift parchment paper to remove brownies from dish and use hands to slightly squeeze in the sides to create a smaller square - this will make the brownies slightly thicker and more dense.
  8. Transfer back to dish and place in freezer or fridge to chill for 10-15 minutes before cutting into 12 even squares (If adding ganache, slice afterwards!).
  9. FOR THE GANACHE: Add almond milk to a mixing bowl and microwave for 45 seconds or until very warm. Alternatively, heat in a small saucepan until just simmering, then transfer to mixing bowl.
  10. Immediately add chocolate to warm milk and loosely cover. Don’t touch for 2 minutes so it can melt.
  11. Add salt and stir gently with a wooden spoon to incorporate, then add melted coconut oil and use a whisk to mix. Set in fridge for 10 minutes to thicken.
  12. Remove from fridge and add powdered sugar a little at a time to thicken. Whisk again to combine. If it’s still too thin, add another few Tablespoons powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  13. Frost brownies generously with frosting and then top with additional raw walnuts and cacao nibs (optional). Slice into 12 even squares.
  14. Store brownies in an airtight container to keep fresh. Will keep for 3-4 days at room temperature, or in the freezer for at least 1 month (though best when fresh)

The Best Date Spots in Greytown (For You and Your Cat)

Lets be real, 2017 hasn’t been an easy year for any of us. Between the ever looming threat of a nuclear apocalypse and the rising prices of avocados, most of us have barely had the energy to get up and get dressed in the morning. The idea of actually getting out there and going on real dates with real humans and making *shudder* small talk over a flat white is frankly horrifying.

So make the sensible choice- skip all that nonsense and head out for an afternoon of fun with someone who really loves and understands you. Your cat.

Food Forest Organics

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You might think a plant-based cafe would be an odd choice to take an obligate carnivore, but you’d be wrong. The staff here are very animal friendly and there is a beautiful fenced garden out the back where your feline companion can frolic in the grass and murder butterflies to their hearts content, all while you relax in the shade and sip a chilled glass of jasmine kombucha.

There is a daily rotating menu that includes a variety of meat free soups, salads and burgers; and a cabinet with a selection of sweet cakes and slices.

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The French Baker

The lovely baristas at the French Baker can whip up a no-sugar no-cocoa fluffy* your feline bae. So essentially you’re just paying for for a few spoonfuls of steamed milk, but your kitty will look so cute with a little milk moustache, so it’s totes worth it. As the name suggests, theres also an excellent array of baked goods and filled baguettes to be had here. I suggest some beverages and croissants to go and then take a stroll to our third and final human/feline date destination…

*note: cats are lactose intolerant, so only let kitty have a few sips or you’re going to be dealing with a very messy litterbox later on.

Stella Bull Park

Greytown is known for its beautiful trees and gardens, and Stella Bull Park is a perfect place to soak up some of that sweet arboreal goodness. Check out the historic oak trees, the rose gardens, and the bee garden. You and your cat can lie in the sun and gaze deeply into each others eyes. It’s the perfect way to end a day of food, fun and platonic human/animal bonding.

 

Got any questions about travelling in Greytown with pets? Post them in the comments!

Where To Stay in Greytown Village

Picture this: your bags are packed. Your tank is full of gas. There's a beautiful, sunny weekend stretching out before you and you're ready to spend it in lovely Greytown, New Zealand... but where are you going to stay?

There are so many options that it can feel a bit overwhelming at times. But fear not, intrepid traveller! Whatever your style, we've got you covered.

FOR THE GIN AND TONIC LOVER... The White Swan

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With a cornucopia of elegant and exotic themed rooms to choose from, the White Swan is the perfect destination for the weekend getaway-er who doesn't like to compromise on comfort. Enjoy a luxurious sleeping followed by a decadent lunch just downstairs. Try the whitebait fritters with duck egg- they're absolutely unmissable.

FOR THE UPSCALE ADVENTURER... Food Forest Organics

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Known far and wide for their incredible plant based menu, Food Forest Organics also offers relaxing luxury accomodation in the heart of Greytown. Book your very own private apartment complete with garden view... and only a few steps away from all the wholesome organic food you can eat! Relax, unwind and experience the beauty of rural New Zealand.

FOR THE RETAIL THERAPY PATIENT... Briarwood

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If your main motivation in escaping to Greytown is to get some serious shopping done, Briarwood is the place for you. The elegant courtyard is the perfect place to sip a glass of rose and plan your strategic assault on Greytown's golden mile of boutique shopping. Put down those bags at the end of the day and melt into a luxurious goosedown bedspread or plush Victorian armchair... and prepare yourself to do it all again tomorrow! 

FOR THE DOWNTON ABBEY FAN... Wyett House

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Want to live out your Lady Mary/Cousin Matthew fantasies but without the pricey plane ticket to England? Wyett House is just what you need. Stroll arm and arm with your beau in the gardens, enjoy a custom picnic on the grounds, stand by a bay window and sigh dramatically as you wait for your lost love to return from the war. Okay, maybe not the last one. But the luxury linen and bathrobes are sure to make you feel like the aristocracy.

 

If for some reason you haven't found what you're looking for here, or by some dastardly twist of fate your dream accomodation is already booked up, do not despair! Head on over to our accomodation page for even more fantastic options.

 

Welcome to the Greytown Village Blog!

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This is a place where you can discover all the latest breaking news, scandalous gossip and insider secrets of this wonderful little village that I am lucky enough to call home.

A little bit of background information- Greytown is a rural town (population 2020 and climbing!) nestled in the heart of the Wairarapa region in the lower North Island of New Zealand. It's known for its super cute Victorian era wooden houses, boutique shopping and gourmet food, and its many magnificent and verdant trees. I like to think of it as a little oasis of sylvan chic- a grown-up version of an Enid Blyton novel. 

Greytown was recently crowned New Zealand Most Beautiful Small Town- something that those 'in the know' knew all along, but hey, a little external validation never hurt anyone!

We promise not to get to big for our britches, though. We're just going to keep doing what we do best- running awesome creative local businesses, treasuring our lovely history and natural environment, and just generally making this place as welcoming and magical as we can for anyone who takes the time to stop by.

So whether you're planning a weekend getaway or thinking of moving here for good, I hope this blog will be a valuable resource for you in terms of discovering fantastic things to see and do. If theres something you'd like to see on here, get in touch!