After many scientific trials, I have mastered the art of air-popped popcorn. The secret? That mystery miracle substance: silicone. Recall from the earlier trials that the main source of tribulation was the unsuitability of various materials. Plastic was too thin and melted (why would you make plastic containers that aren’t microwave safe these days?). Tea towels, it turns out, are flammable. Glass is too thick and stops the kernels from heating. But silicone, my friends, silicone is the wave of the future. 2 tbsp of popcorn in a silicone bread pan, covered with a china lunch plate, tastes like sweet, sweet success.

But wait! There’s more! I finally broke down and ordered the tiny food processor that was a key ingredient in many of my recently-pinned recipes. Did you know that when you grind seeds (e.g. hemp seed) and nuts (e.g. walnuts), the resultant meal is quite moist? That’s the key to this brownie recipe. 5 ingredients: walnuts, dates, cocoa powder, almond pieces and salt, chopped, mixed and chilled into bars. The resultant brownie is rich in a dark chocolate sort of way; the effect is chocolate rather than sugar. They do not taste like date.

Sebastian guards my delicious "baking"

Sebastian guards my delicious “baking”

Even better are these energy bites. I’ve always been a fan of the no-bake cookie, but these really kick it up a notch. They are, as the blogger warns, extremely addictive. Happily, they’re somewhat healthier than your standard no-bake cookie, which in my memory consists entirely of rolled oats, melted chocolate and peanut butter. My food processor is my new favorite thing, as I can now throw ground hemp seed into everything for some added protein. The chintzy appliance (for 12 pounds, I’m not complaining) made some distressed noises over the dates, but is excellent at grinding nuts and seeds.

It’s certainly more efficient than the marble mortar and pestle I was using, though the latter has charms of its own. There’s nothing quite like listening to music while using a mortar and pestle to break up hazelnuts for whole-grain bread.

And why this raw-food fetish? Have I suddenly gone vegan?

Sebastian in focus

I have not. I’ve cut my white flour and sugar intake so much, though, that eating a lot  of either makes me kind of queasy. If you know me, you know I love me some sweets and pastry, so clearly some sort of work-around was in order. Hence my delicious, delicious snacks.