Happy October! I have an amazing paleo brownies recipe for you, but first, did you know that October is Fair Trade Month? Not only is eating nutritious foods important for our well-being, we also need to think about the source of where our food comes from and how it was grown as part of our healthy living lifestyle. I truly believe that everything we put in our body possesses positive or negative energy. If the food was grown by happy farmers and cooked with love, it has the power to nourish us far more than food that was grown by underpaid and overworked workers that’s also been cooked and manufactured by machines in a stuffy dim factory. Good practices and good products go hand it hand.
What is fair trade?
“Buying Fair Trade ensures that you’re getting quality products and the people who grow, sew and craft them get a fair deal for their hard work. In fact, your everyday purchases can help farmers and factory workers in 70 countries work in safe conditions, earn extra money to invest in their communities and improve the lives of their families.” (source)
Some of these funds are used for much needed projects like schools, wells, and roads, and by doing this, it’s a market-based approach to fighting poverty around the world. Fair Trades also strictly forbids child labor, and protects the environment through sustainable farming practices by restricting GMOs and harmful pesticides.
I always try to support Fair Trade by choosing products with the fair trade label (shown above) whenever I can, and I hope you make that effort too! Just by making little changes (like choosing Fair Trade coffee over regular) it’s a small choice for us, but it means BIG impact for farmers. It’s the difference between being able to buy a backpack for their children or put food on the table.
A Story of a Coffee Farmer
In celebration of Fair Trade Month, I want to share a story of an inspirational coffee farmer named Nabana Sekaniah who is a member of the Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative in Uganda. Nabana Sekaniah has been a coffee farmer since 1962 and has 18 children with his wife, a local primary school teacher.
Nabana says that the biggest benefit of the fair price he receives for his coffee is that he is able to send his children to school. He also used the additional funds to build a road to his house and to purchase cattle, which provide organic fertilizer for his coffee trees.
The Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative that Nabana’s a member of has been formed to commercialize high quality coffee and represents more than 7,000 farmers. The organization has grown tremendously since its beginning, and continues to supports its members and communities while delivering sustainable quality products to buyers. By purchasing fair trade products, you are supporting farmers like Nabana, other members of the Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative, and workers worldwide who are part of the fair trade program.
Paleo Chocolate Chip Brownies Recipe
To help me spread the word about fair trade month, the folks at Fair Trade USA were kind enough to send me some delicious fair trade goodies that were contributed by generous companies known for their fair trade efforts.
After thinking a while about what to make out of these goodies, I couldn’t ignore the fact that they included exactly what I needed to make myself some brownies. And brownies, I made.
But these aren’t just regular brownies. Oh no. They are dark chocolate (my favorite!) fudge brownies. And they are ridiculous. In a good way.
They are soft and fudgy (as the name implies), and taste so dang decadent. What I love about these is that they are not overly sweet and contains plenty of healthy fats, which keeps my blood sugar in check. It also makes me feel great that the fair trade ingredients I used are helping out the lives of struggling farmers and workers.
I would like to thank Frontier Natural Products Co-op, Nutiva, Runa, Lake Champlain Chocolates, eatingEvolved, Arrowhead Mills, and Sunspire for their generous gifts! You can read about these companies and their fair trade efforts here.
If you’d like to learn more about Fair Trade Month, and how you can support the #BeFair movement, please visit http://befair.org/.
- 7 medjool dates
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (I used Nutiva's)
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Lake Champlain Chocolates')
- 1/2 cup coconut flour (I used Arrowhead Mills')
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate bar, chopped (I used Sunspire's)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line an 8x8 or 9x7 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Throw the dates into a food processor and blend until they become a pasty mixture.
- Add the almond butter, coconut oil, coconut milk, and vanilla extract and blend until they are mixed in evenly.
- Add the eggs, then pulse until they are mixed in. Be careful not to over-mix!
- Pour out the wet mixture into a large bowl.
- Add cocoa powder, coconut flour, baking powder and sea salt, and mix well.
- Fold in the chopped unsweetened baking chocolate bar.
- Pour the batter into the baking pan. The batter should be thick and sticky,
- Bake for 13-15 minutes.
- Let it cool completely before cutting. The brownies will be very soft until they cool.