I love chocolate. I also love vegetables. Lately, I’ve been testing lots of recipes that combine the two.
After being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, I’ve recently resolved to minimize refined sugar and refined grains in my diet as a means of reducing inflammation. While I’ve been having positive results so far, these dietary tweaks make for some changes in the kitchen- especially when it comes to dessert. I’ve been using almond flour (basically just finely ground almonds) and coconut flour as my refined grain substitute, and stevia, honey or maple syrup in place of refined sugar. I’ve also tried several recipes that are completely flourless, which have turned out surprisingly well!
One of my first experiments was a four ingredient sweet potato based brownie (thanks, Shana for the awesome recipe!) The original can be found here and I’ve tried it with peanut butter and sunflower seed butter, both of which were delicious! I have also used canned pumpkin puree in place of sweet potatoes, and did not enjoy them as much. Also, just a side note on baking with sunflower seed butter- sunflower seeds contain chlorogenic acid, which tends to turn cookies and other baked products green as they cool. They are perfectly fine to eat, but they may look a little funky. I’ve heard (but have not tried first hand) that you can reduce the amount of baking soda or baking powder in your recipe by almost half, which balances the acidity of the ingredients and keeps them from changing color.
Still on my chocolate kick, I decided to try an avocado based brownie recipe. I know you’re probably cringing right now, but honestly, you cannot taste a speck of avocado. They just make the brownies really fudgy and creamy. These are really simple, and have basic ingredients. I am including this recipe below (you’re welcome, mom), along with a couple step by step photos.
First, you mash two avocados. I used my food processor to get them really smooth and creamy.
Then, you combine the creamed avocado with the melted chocolate (the color combo looks really cool!)
Then you add the stevia, eggs and vanilla extract until well combined. To the wet ingredients, you add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. You do not want to overmix these, or they will come out tough. Spread them evenly into a prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature and enjoy!! Once cooled, store them in the fridge- they are even better the next day!
Smashed Avocado Brownies
10 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 1/4 cups ripe avocado (I used 2 avocados)
1/2 cup stevia
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
remaining 2 ounces chocolate chips (they usually come in 12 ounce bags)
Preheat the oven to 375 and prepare a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper. Combine avocado, melted chocolate, coconut oil, stevia, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until just combined. Stir in remaining chocolate chips and spread into baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool and enjoy!!
And as if that weren’t enough chocolate, I decided to try another veggie based delight- black bean truffles, courtesy of my girl Chocolate Covered Katie. These are not super sweet, but are absolutely delicious. I used Sunbutter instead of coconut oil and they came out great. Very quick and easy- definitely must try!
When it comes to getting your chocolate fix (AND a serving of veggies) I would highly recommend all three of these delicious desserts! Even though I’ve tended to gravitate toward making gluten free versions of the most decadent desserts, it will be a new and added challenge to make them with minimal refined sugar and refined grains. Stay tuned and bring it on!