Sunday, October 11, 2015

3 of the Best Healthy Brownie Recipes

So. After last week I've decided to shift my recipe posts to a Sunday instead of a Wednesday. I figured people are more likely to bake on a Sunday (especially now that Bake Off's finished, hold me) and that way you can keep some sweet treats aside for snacks throughout the week too. That's the plan anyway, but if you eat them all on the Sunday in one sitting that's ok too. I, um, I have a... friend who does that. Today's post is one that's been in the making for a while and one that I've been VERY excited about. Ever since I found out I was gluten intolerant, brownies are one of the things I've missed most so, over the past few weeks I've been trying out lots of healthy brownies recipes with the aim of finding the perfect one to report back with. And, what would you know, I found three! All very different in their own way. Like I've said before, some of the ingredients are a little more expensive than your usual cake-making go-to's but, once you get into healthy baking, you'll realise you use them time and time again so they're well worth it (especially if you buy in bulk on Amazon and save yourself some dolla). So, here's what happened when I went on a brownie making spree..

3 of the best Healthy brownie recipes the little magpie
I've heard really mixed things about these badboys but wanted to try them for myself and, I have to say, was so, so surprised at how good they were. Sweet potato just doesn't seem like it should belong in a brownie but, mixed with dates, it makes this lovely creamy mix that could almost trick your palette into believing they're naughty. I added some dark chocolate chips just before I popped them in the oven (I got scared about how healthy they were, ok) which really was a tasty addition but I'm now confident they'd be lovely without. These are also lovely with a little almond butter spread on top!

Makes 10 brownies
  •  2 medium to large sweet potatoes (600g)
  • 2/3 of a cup of ground almonds (80g)
  • 1/2 a cup of buckwheat or brown rice flour (100g)
  • 14 medjool dates
  • 4 tablespoons of raw cacao
  • 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
  • A pinch of salt

  1. Start by pre-heating the oven to 180C, then peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into chunks and place into a steamer for about  twenty minutes, until they become really soft.
  2. Once they are perfectly soft and beginning to fall apart remove them and add them to a food processor with the pitted dates – this will form one of the sweetest, creamiest, most delicious mixes ever!
  3. Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl, before mixing in the sweet potato date combination. Stir well.
  4. Place into a lined baking dish and cook for about twenty minutes, until you can pierce the brownie cake with a fork bringing it out dry. Remove the tray and allow it to cool for about ten minutes – this is really important as it needs this time to stick together! Remove the brownies from the tray, leaving it another few minutes before cutting them into squares – then dig in and enjoy!

3 of the best Healthy brownie recipes the little magpie 2
Beetroot!? BEETROOT? I hear you ask. But, I tell you, it works. The mix is heavenly so this is definitely a healthy recipe that'll leave you licking the bowl clean (sorry for that horrible mental image). These do come out a little dry compared to the other two so I'd either make some of the icing from the below recipe for them OR get your nutella/almond butter at the ready. 

Makes about 12 brownies

  • 150g peeled raw beetroot
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g runny honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g gluten free flour
  • 50g pure cacao powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  1. Cut the beetroot in half and put it in a glass bowl and cover with cling film. Put it in the microwave for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile put eggs, honey and salt in a food mixer and mix for 5 minutes.
  3. Weigh out all dry ingredients and sieve. Combine well in a bowl.
  4. Once the beetroot has cooked, blitz in a magimix and add to the food mixer with dry ingredients. Mix well and pour into a lined baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes at 170C. Cool and cut.
  5.  Enjoy without a guilty conscience! 

3 of the best Healthy brownie recipes the little magpie 3
My absolute favourite of the lot, I can't actually put into words how good these are. The mixture actually tastes like proper blondie batter (I had to make more because I ate so much of it, and I am NOT ashamed) and the icing just finishes it off perfectly. Avocado and chickpea, eh? Who'da thunk it. If you make one of these recipes, make it this one.
Makes about 28 blondies
  • 1 cup soaked and boiled chickpeas (equivalent to 1 store-bought can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp organic vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla pod, pulverised
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup deglet noir or medjool dates
  • 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • Sea salt to season
  • Cinnamon to sprinkle

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and grease or line a baking tray with parchment.
  2. If you’re using canned chickpeas, be sure to rinse them thoroughly first. Place the chickpeas in a blender or food processor along with the rest of the ingredients and pulse until the mixture is a thick doughy consistency. Have a taste and see if you want a little more maple, cinnamon or salt. Remember the flavours will mellow with cooking so don’t be afraid to add more.
  3. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of your tray). They are ready when they are a little golden on top and you can stick a knife in and bring it out clean, but if you overdo it they will dry out and softer is always better. Leave them to cool while you prepare the icing.
  4. In a blender, whizz all the ingredients except the cinnamon until smooth and creamy. Once the base has cooled, spread it thickly over the top and dust with cinnamon. Cut into squares and keep in the fridge until serving (Keeps for one day).