Today’s recipe for sweet potato brownies will be a hit with even the most finicky of eaters. If you think that brownies can’t be healthy, or healthy food can’t be delicious, think again!
Last week I told you about the new 21 day eating plan that I started, you can catch up on that here. I’m eight days in and all is going well so far. I’m inspired to be more creative in the kitchen — something that you’ll benefit from in a moment — and I’m spending more time on non-food related lifestyle stuff.
There is one thing though…in a cruel twist of irony, Nate and I attended a sourdough bread making class the day before this all began. So in my freezer are two delicious loaves of organic, heirloom grain, homemade bread. How’s that for bad timing?!
I’ve also noticed that it’s much easier to stick to my menu when my husband isn’t at home. He travelled for the first part of last week, and I didn’t give my food a second thought. The night he returned home, however, I was suddenly missing that glass of wine and bowl of pasta.
This reminded me that food is a social beast, and breaking bread with those you love is a legitimate way of feeding the soul. You CAN be healthy and eat really well, without giving up everything you love.
That’s not to say that I’m obsessing over food or feeling resentful of this experiment. As I mentioned last week, this is a very finite and specific arrangement. And while I’m definitely noticing some positive health boosts, I also realized that I wouldn’t be ok to deprive myself of foods that I love (and that love me back) for a lesser cause…like losing those last five pounds.
Fortunately, I have some fantastic recipes to fall back on, which are gluten free, sugar free, caffeine free, dairy free and grain free. (It’s ok, they’re not “fun” free!) I thought I’d share some of them with you over the next few weeks.
Today’s recipe is for sugar-free sweet potato brownies. These tasty, fudgy-wudgy little morsels will fool even the fussiest of eaters. They’re also easy to make, only require a couple of ingredients, and they freeze really well.
The Benefits Of Sweet Potato Brownies
- Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins A, C & B6, as well as manganese and copper. They’re also rich in potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus. All that’s to say that sweet potatoes are a healthy carb to add to your diet, that help to heal inflammation in the body.
- Many other “healthy” dessert recipes rely on ingredients like dates, maple syrup, agave and raw nuts. While these foods are ok in moderation, and they’re still better than noshing on a snickers bar, we can’t deny that sugar is sugar, and for many people nuts are really hard to digest. These brownies are gentle on your belly — in fact, they’re good for your belly — and they are sweetened with stevia, which doesn’t impact your blood sugar.
- Finally, if you eat these brownies cold they are a good source of resistant starch (RS3), which feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut.
Resistant starch? Huh?
Resistant starch is a type of dietary fiber found in starchy foods such as potatoes, grains and beans, once they’ve been cooked and cooled. As an undigestible form of fiber, resistant starch moves through the digestive tract without the carbohydrate ever entering your bloodstream. Once it hits the large intestine resistant starch gets fermented, turning it into a prebiotic that feeds the healthy gut flora (i.e. microbiome). The resistant starch in a sweet potato is only activated once that potato has been cooked and cooled; this occurs through a process called retrogradation, which changes the cell structure of the carbohydrate.
A public service warning…
These bad boys are good for you, but they are still treats and should be eaten in moderation!
Sweet Potato Brownies
Melissa Ambrosini created the original recipe; I’ve pared it back and made the method even more simple.
- 1 large sweet potato
- 4 tablespoons each: coconut oil & butter
- 4 organic eggs
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1/2 cup cacao powder (or carob for caffeine free)
- 40 drops vanilla stevia
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325ºF / 140°C.
- Halve the sweet potato lengthways, then press it back together and wrap it in foil like a burrito. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until soft.
- Once cooked, scoop out the sweet potato flesh using a spoon. Blend the sweet potato, coconut oil and butter, until smooth.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the blender and mix until smooth.
- Line baking tray or pan of your choice with parchment paper.
- Pour in brownie batter.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes (a longer time gives a firmer texture, while shorter is more soft and gooey).
- Allow to cool and then cut into small squares (about 15 pieces). Store then in the fridge or freezer.
I hope that you’ll give this recipe a try this week, and do let me know how you go.