We’re approaching Easter weekend. If you’re trying to lose weight then Easter can be a real challenge, particularly if you’re a chocolate lover like me. Chocolate is everywhere. Or at least commercial chocolate is everywhere.
Raw unprocessed cacao is actually very healthy, packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants. It’s the processing and the addition of other foods – mainly fats and sugar – that turn it into something less healthy and very calorific. Take a typical commercial brand of milk chocolate, for example, per 100g: 534 calories, 30g of fat, 56g of sugar. That’s pretty calorie dense. The other problem with chocolate is that it’s indulgent, it gives you that feel good factor and leaves you wanting more. So, it’s calorie dense and moreish – a recipe for overconsumption of calories if ever there was one!
Ah, but there are plenty of other chocolatey foods that will give me my chocolate fix, you say. What about brownies, surely they’re better? Nope. Take the brownie from a typical high street coffee chain: a 92g brownie will give you 410 calories, 24g fat, 30g sugar. Not quite as calorie dense as milk chocolate, but not far behind.
So, what can you do to get your chocolate fix? Shun the commercial chocolate products and make your own. You can then choose what you put in it. It doesn’t have to be loaded with sugar and fat. Yes, healthy brownies really are a thing.
Here we are sharing with you our recipe for healthy brownies that is straight out of our recipe book.
For your healthy brownies, you’ll need:
- A small amount of coconut oil to grease the tin
- 230g sweet potato, baked until soft
- 60g smooth peanut butter
- 25g cocoa powder
- 35g chocolate flavoured whey or rice protein powder
And here’s what to do:
- Preheat the oven to 170°C.
- Lightly grease the sides and base of a 15cm square tin with coconut oil. Line the base of the tin with baking paper.
- Scoop the sweet potato flesh out of the skins. Mash the potato with a fork, removing all lumps.
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to the cake tin and use a spatula to even out the surface of the mixture.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the brownie springs back to the touch.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Cut into 9 pieces.
The good thing about making your own brownies is that you can change things as you see fit. We’ve used readily available cocoa powder in this recipe but you could swap that for organic raw cacao powder instead to make your healthy brownies even healthier! The sweet potato provides the sweetness, but you could add calorie free sweetener to sweeten it further. You could vary the amount of peanut butter you put in, or use a different nut butter. Why not experiment with the ingredients and find what works best for your taste buds?
These brownies are undoubtedly healthier than standard brownies. The sweet potato provides a range of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, particularly vitamin A. The whey gives you some extra protein to keep you full for longer and maintain muscle tissue, and there’s a good serving of healthy fats from the nut butter. Oh, and let’s not forget the aforementioned goodness of the chocolate!
And making your own can provide a fun family activity so go on, get your pinny on, get in that kitchen and rustle up some healthy brownies ready for Easter!