I’m the chief cook in our house, but not because I’m trying to uphold a gender stereotype. My husband is actually a fantastic cook, but nutrition/health is not something that really factors into his decision making process. While I love creamy risottos, rich sauces and cheesy polenta (oh, how I love it) it’s not something that I feel I should be eating all the time.
So, in order to keep us healthy, I do the majority of the cooking. However, there was a slight hiccup in that plan…my intense LOVE for sweet treats.
I’m a total sweet tooth at heart and that means we’ve had to find sweet recipes that have been ‘healthified’ so I don’t go absolutely crazy. The upside is, over time my sugar cravings have lessened and I still feel like I’m indulging in yummy desserts without having all the excess sugar that comes in conventional dessert recipes.
|Bean brownies with choc chips and pecans - yum!|
On that note, I recently made a funny discovery. It is possible to turn beans into brownies.
Yes, beans. Like the kind you would normally find in savory dishes.
This is the recipe that I used with a few, small tweaks.
How are they healthier than regular brownies?
Well, for starters there’s no flour. Which makes it an excellent option for those with gluten intolerance, but also I feel like the brownies themselves aren’t as processed because there’s no flour or refined sugar. I’ve made the recipe using black beans and red kidney beans.
I also use coconut sugar (which is an unrefined sugar) and there’s only 1/3 cup in the whole recipe. I do add a few semi-sweet dark choc chips to my version and so I sometimes use less than the 1/3 cup sugar to balance it out.
And, instead of regular cocoa, I use a raw cacao which is really rich in taste but is a processed without roasting the cocoa beans first. This means it retains the nutrients that are lost during the roasting process.
Try adding walnuts, pecans or cacao nibs for extra crunch.
Trust me, they super tasty. They even got the thumbs up from J who is probably the biggest critic of ‘healthy food’. That’s saying something.
Have you ever tried a healthified version of your favourite dessert? How did it turn out?
Calling Ms London. Calling Ms London.ReplyDelete
Get thee back here immediately and give us the recipe for this amazing looking creation! You can't boast about, show us a pic and then leave us hanging!!
I *have* to make this cake!
Amy, just click on the word-link 'recipe' in this blog and it takes you straight to the website. YUMMY. I can't wait to try it <3Delete
I should have made the link more obvious, sorry!! It's up there next to the picture but I'll paste it here as well :) Let me know how you like it! http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/grain-free-brownie-recipeDelete
Ahh - cool! Thanks :-)Delete
WOW that sounds really good Stefanie and yes recipe pleas :)ReplyDelete
I have been very good lately so am always looking for healthy treats that are sweet :) but as yet have not tried changing things around but I have a WW recipe builder that would help me :)
Thanks for sharing, Stefanie, I can't wait to try this recipe. Helen, the link is http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/grain-free-brownie-recipe Sounds like they have a heaps of healthier yummy options there. This blog was WICKED. I feel much more like eating now than reading. *sigh* :)Delete
Thanks Helene and Cheryse :) Healthy sweet treats are definitely a must in this house. I hope you both have fun trying the recipe out!Delete
Helen, the link is the word recipe next to the picture above but it looks like Cheryse has kindly copied it here too. Happy baking!! xx
Yeah, I agree with Amy. Want that recipe. My daughter is trying to go no sugar but it's a huge task given how much sugar is in all processed foods so there's a lot of starting from scratch for every recipe. I like the middle road that you seem to have cracked, Stefanie. I can't go without sweet treat completely.ReplyDelete
Sue, there's fabulous sugar-free recipes over at http://www.sweeterlifeclub.com/ and you can subscribe and get new recipes every month. Also some FABULOUS Paleo recipes on the internet that use healthy food for scrumptious treats :)Delete
Sorry the link didn't stand out, it's in the blog post but you can go here to find it as well: http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/grain-free-brownie-recipeDelete
Middle ground is essential, I've come to realise. If I try to give it up all together I just end up falling off the healthy eating.
Thanks for sharing that website, Cheryse. i'll check it out :)
Hmm...that photo looks good...and I'm trying to be convinced here, Stef. But...really? I mean, I like black beans and red kidney beans in pots of chilli...but brownies? Maybe I need to try this recipe to convince myself, yes? ;-)ReplyDelete
I'm hooked. I'm absolutely trying it... just probably adding extra cacao nibs to drown out ANY bean flavour, and add extra crunch :)Delete
haha trust me, that was my exact reaction when I saw the recipe but I was too intrigued not to try it.Delete
My recommendation would be to make sure you wash the beans REALLY well. I gave them a long rinse in the sink to remove any of the bean-y flavor from the liquid in the can.
If you try it out let me know how you like the flavor :)
Phew! I was a bit worried that you hadn't shared the link for this delicious looking treat too, Stefanie! I was thinking I'd have to send out an SOS but then I saw Amy had been in to ask - all I had to do was find the word "recipe"!ReplyDelete
I'm always looking for low sugar options for things because for some reason me and sugar don't do well together. I found a recipe for blueberry muffins that uses mashed banana for sweetening. I love them but I suspect a serious sweet tooth might not be so thrilled. I actually want to make the recipe again and put some chopped mango in.
I was second guessing myself that I forgot to link it, Sharon! I think the blue link text doesn't show up so well against the blue background. I'll have to see if I can bold it or something for next time.Delete
Ooh mango muffins would be delicious. I've found the coconut sugar works for me because I don't seem to get that same spike/crash with my energy levels. But I often use banana, honey or appleauce as sweeteners too. Much better than the refines stuff.
That recipe looks wonderful, Stefanie. I think my dietitian-in-training daughter would approve!ReplyDelete
You're lucky to have that expertise close at hand! Sometimes I find the whole nutrition and healthy thing a bit confusing, there are so many theories out there. We're trying to keep it simple, make the food ourselves instead of buying it packaged and cut out the processed stuff. Not always easy.Delete
I was only saying the other night at the ARRA awards that I think I'm the only romance writer who doesn't love chocolate. I'm not a sweets person, I love savoury. Give me hot chips over a piece of cake any day (unless it is cheesecake which for some reason I love).ReplyDelete
This recipe however, sounds amazing. Sweet but made from savour - might have to try it out, Stef.
There is definitely a strong love of chocolate from the romance crowd, for sure. Funnily enough, as much as I like chocolate it's not my preferred flavor for desserts. I'm definitely more of a vanilla bean or caramel kinda gal. But I make an exception for brownies :)Delete
However, I would not say no to pizza. So I guess I do like savory as well :D
Yum! And I just bought 4 cans of black beans for a bean soup recipe. I really should make the soup... but now I'm not sure. Because brownies!ReplyDelete
hmmm be tempted to the dark side :DDelete
I had a brownie recipe made out of dates too. No flour. Gluten free. Dairy free. Nut free. Sugar free. etc., etc., etc., free. The first thing my Steve asked was, how will it taste good then? Fortunately, it did taste pretty good but he didn't like them because he didn't like the main ingredient. :-(ReplyDelete
I don't tell my husband half the time that I'm making something healthy, I just make it and see what he says LOL then I'm like 'surprise, you just ate beans!' hahaDelete
J sounds like my kind of cook... however I agree with you re: not eating that way all the time. That brownie recipe is on my to try list. Can't remember the last 'healthy' dessert recipe I have tried. I have an enormous list of recipes to try though Will defintely share on FB if I find any worth sharing/making again.ReplyDelete
He's a fabulous cook, but I'm the kind of girl who can just look at a burger and put on a kilo! LOL But it's all about balance, I still have ice cream on occasion (my ultimate weakness) and if we're going to eat it I make sure we buy the good stuff.Delete
Me too with food and weight. Why do you think I'm battling to lose weight and finding it so difficult. :(Delete
Stefanie, these look and sound AMAZING! I have just printed the recipe but will need to shop for ingredients which is a pity because I want to eat them, like, now. But, great timing, because I'll try a batch for the Easter weekend and hope that will mean I eat less chocolate.ReplyDelete
As for your question, I don't have many healthified dessert recipes to be honest although I often improvise with mains and watch the nutrition there. I'm trying hard to restrict dessert for special occasions which I find easier in summer -- I love summer fruits!!! -- than in winter.