Fudge Brownies: A Great Way to Eat Your Fruits, Veggies and More

Fudge Brownies: A Great Way to Eat Your Fruits, Veggies and More.

This is NOT your traditional Fudge Brownie but uniquely delicious and sinfully healthy!

Fudgy Brownies
Fudgy Brownies

I found this recipe for Chef Richards’s Rehabbed Brownies on the Everyday Health website and couldn’t believe how healthy they sounded which left me skeptical about taste and texture. I made the recipe as it was printed on the website and was taken aback that all me skepticism had been quashed. That got me thinking. Could they be improved upon or be made into variations. My favorite thing is to start with a base recipe and make several variations. Some of the variation I’ve come up with is Chocolaty Mint Brownies by omitting 1 teaspoon of vanilla and the nuts and adding a teaspoon of peppermint extract and adding ¼ cup of crushed candy canes and ¼ cup dark chocolate mini chocolate chops.

The key to making these brownies healthier is the reduction of traditional cooking oil and processed sugar. We will use a very ripe avocado (that’s right avocado) and ground flax meal to replace most of the oil and an over ripe banana, light agave nectar and stevia leaf as the source for most of the sweetness.

What a great way to get the kids to eat veggies, fruit, nuts, whole grains and omega3 fatty acids.

A great way to get your fruits and veggies
A great way to get your fruits and veggies

Fudgy Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease an 8 x 8 inch square cake pan (I use a kitchen natural bristle paint brush for this). Cut (2) 8 inch wide strips of parchment paper. Place one strip of parchment in the greased cake pan leaving the ends overhang (you will use these to lift out the brownies from the pan when they have cooled). Grease the parchment and place the second 8 inch strip of parchment in the cake pan perpendicular to the first. Grease this one also. Make sure the parchment is smoothed securely to the cake pan.

Mix together:

1 very ripe avocado (pitted peeled and pureed)

1 large over ripe banana (peeled and pureed)

1 large organic egg (beaten)

¼ cup coconut oil

½ cup raw or granulated sugar

3 tablespoons of Stevia natural sweetener

¼ cup agave nectar

2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract

3 tablespoons of ground flax meal

Blend well and add:

¾ cup dark baking cocoa

¼ cup organic unbleached all purpose flour

¼ cup stone ground whole wheat flour

Mix until lump free then fold in:

¼ cup chopped pecans

¼ cup chopped walnuts

Spread batter evenly in lined cake pan and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of chopped pecans.

Bake for 35 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in cake pan on cooling rack for 30 minutes. After cooling lift out of cake pan by lifting parchment overhangs. Cut into 2 inch squares. Serve. YUM!

Note: These brownies have a chocolaty banana flavor which is a is a combination I personally like but if you prefer a more chocolaty flavor I imagine replacing the banana with an additional avocado and ¼ cup additional stevia would probably work just as well.

Update: for those who prefer not to have the fruity flavor of the banana mixed with the cocoa use the following combination of ingredients.

Mix together:

2 very ripe avocados (pitted peeled and pureed)

¼ cup coconut oil

Blend until lump free and then add:

2 large organic eggs (beaten)

½ cup raw or granulated sugar

3/4 cup of Stevia natural zero calorie sweetener

¼ cup agave nectar

2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of ground flax meal

Blend well and add:

½ – ¾ cup dark baking cocoa (depending on how chocolaty you prefer) (I use 2/3 cup)

¼ cup organic all purpose flour

¼ cup stone ground whole wheat flour

Fold in:

¼ cup chopped pecans

¼ cup chopped walnuts

Spread batter evenly in lined cake pan and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of chopped pecans.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in cake pan on cooling rack for 30 minutes. After cooling lift out of cake pan by lifting parchment overhangs. Cut into 2 inch squares. Serve. All feedback is welcomed!

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Breakfast Anyone?

Occasionally, folks will see me cook and be amazed that I seem to throw together ingredients together randomly and make something scrumptious. My secret? Making recipes with as few ingredients as possible and developing base recipes that can be adapted with 1 or 2 minor changes or additions. For instance, remembering my sourdough bread recipe is simple, it has flour, water, salt and sugar. It’s kind of hard to forget any of those ingredients. I’ve been experimenting with sourdough and trying to combine it with my love of breakfast muffins and healthier alternatives. If this statement sounds like I’m not willing to compromise on taste, health or ease of preparation, that’s because I’m not. By using “good” ingredients the end result is a rich and robust flavor. That said, I do use “sugar” in my recipes. Is sugar bad for you? My personal opinion is “yes” sugar standing on it’s own merit is probably a bad choice but adding fiber to slow the uptake helps make it not as bad. Using a sweetener that has vitamins like honey is better because honey had nutrients. I use sugar in my recipes but cut the amount and substitute part of the sugar with Stevia to reduce the calories.

This recipe is a base sourdough muffin recipe with different adaptions. Run with it and explore the possibilities. Let me know what combination you try!!! As I come up with different variation of this basic muffin recipe I will add notes to the bottom of this post.

 

Sourdough Berry Muffins

 

https://dgyelle.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/figure-1-sourdough-breakfaast-muffins

 

Ingredients:

1 organic egg

1 teaspoon organic vanilla

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup grapeseed oil or other neutral flavored oil

1/4  cup buttermilk or kefir or sour cream

1 cup unfed sourdough starter

 

2/3 cup unbleached flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour or bran flour if you are using raisins as fruit

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup Stevia (natural zero calorie sweetner)

 

1 cup blueberries or blackberries or raspberries or raisins (or chopped peeled macintosh apples and 1 teaspoon cinnamon)

 

Preheat oven to 425F.

Combine dry ingredients in small bowl.

Combine wet ingredients in medium bowl.

Add dry ingredients to wet ones and mix.

Fold in fruit.

Prepare your muffin cups by greasing and flouring them.

Quickly spoon batter into your muffin cups.

 

Bake at 425 for about 25 minutes. Cool. Enjoy. Makes 12 muffins.

*Note:  I tried a new twist on these today.  I substituted 2 large mashed bananas and 3/4 Cup chopped walnuts for the berries and added 1/3 cup additional flour to make up for the extra moisture.  Presto …  Banana Nut Muffins.  It yielded a bit more than a dozen muffins but I just put the extra batter in a greased and floured mini loaf pan and made a cute little miniature banana bread.

additional note: I modified this recipe again to make corn muffins by ommitting the fruit 1/4 cup sugar and vanillia and nuts and substituting the 1/3 Cup of Whole Wheat flour with 2/3 Cup Yellow cornmeal. Instead of greasing and flouring the muffin pans I only greased them. What a great side to go with a hot bowl of chili on a brisk Autumn Day! Enjoy!

additional note: Well, we’ve had our first hard frost and the winter apples are now ready. I peeled, diced, cooked and cooled about a cup of Winesap apples into a lumpy applesauce. I used this in place of the fruit and added 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and a teaspoon of organic cinnamon. Once I filled the muffin tins I sprinkled the tops with a finely chopped walnut, brown sugar and cinnamon mixture and then baked them. I must say these are the best breakfast muffins EVER!