Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Low Carb Double Chocolate Brownies

This recipe comes from my Uncle's blog Healthy Fellow. It is seriously DELICIOUS! & HEALTHY!! I just had to share.

This brownie recipe doesn’t taste like a stereotypical health food brownie. You’d never know that it’s dairy free, gluten free and low in carbohydrates. That’s part of the fun of making this type of treat. You can share it with the people you care about and later inform them that they unknowingly ate something that was actually nutritious. This even works with kids. Or, you can keep it your own little secret.

In order to transform a conventional, refined grain and sugar laden brownie into something genuinely health promoting, you’ll need to swap out several ingredients. Start by ditching the wheat flour in favor of almond meal. Instead of using a milk chocolate base, opt for non-alkalized, organic cocoa powder. Next, skip the butter by using full fat, organic coconut milk. Finally, employ an all natural sugar substitute in place of caloric sweeteners such as agave syrup, evaporated cane sugar and honey.

Unrefined cocoa provides an excellent source of antioxidants, dietary fiber and magnesium. Study after study indicates that this form of dark chocolate supports a healthy cardiovascular system via improvements in circulation, inflammation, lipid levels and oxidative stress status. But, the key to accessing these health benefits is to select cocoa products that haven’t been “mellowed” using a process known as alkalinization or Dutching. Valuable antioxidants including catechins and procyanidins are lost during this common processing technique. Be sure to check labels before buying your cocoa ingredients. (1,2,3)

The rationale for replacing butter or cream with organic coconut milk is found squarely in the scientific literature. Recent studies reveal that coconut milk and oil may: a) elevate HDL (“good”) cholesterol and reduce waist circumference in women; b) lower oxidative stress in the energy producing portion of heart cells or mitochondria; c) offer protection against liver and ulcer damage in experimental animal models. (4,5,6,7,8)

Healthy Fellow Double Chocolate Brownies

1 cup almond flour/meal

1 cup organic coconut milk

3/4 cup Truvia (stevia blend)

1/2 cup organic cocoa powder

4 large organic, omega-3 eggs

3 Tbs 60% semisweet chocolate chips

1 Tbs organic apple cider vinegar

2 tsp organic vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp organic instant coffee

Nutritional Content: Calories: 110. Protein: 4 grams. Fat: 9 grams. Fiber: 2 grams. “Net” Carbohydrates: 3 grams. Based on a serving size of one brownie. There are 16 brownies per batch.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Sift the dry ingredients (almond flour, baking powder, cocoa and coffee powder, sea salt and stevia) into a large bowl. Stir well before adding the wet components (apple cider vinegar, coconut milk, eggs and vanilla). Use an electric mixer to blend the ingredients until completely smooth. Grease a 9″ x 9″ pan. Pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top of the brownie batter. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. Start checking for doneness at the 25 minute mark. I always use a wooden toothpick as a guide – poke it in the center of the brownie pan, if it comes out reasonably clean it’s time to take the pan out of the oven. We like our brownies a little “gooey”. I suggest refrigerating any leftovers you may have.

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