Healthy Quinoa Brownies!
While I’m not a big chocolate-lover myself, I’ve heard that there are a few people out there who do like eating the occasional chocolate treat. So, instead of picking up a bag of M&Ms I thought I’d offer a healthy alternative: Quinoa brownies!
The Scoop on Quinoa Brownies
Most brownie recipes call for 3 deadly ingredients: Refined sugar, loads of butter, and all-purpose flour (read: processed, lacking all nutritional value, blood-sugar spiking!). My goal was to come up with a brownie recipe that replaces these unhealthy ingredients and still tastes great. Here’s what I used for the replacements:
Honey Replaces Sugar
Sugar is high in calories, offers zero nutritional benefits, and is super-high on the Glycemic Index. Honey on the other hand offers many vitamins and minerals, is a natural food product, and is much lower GI. Using honey in moderation is a much better sweetener choice compared to sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Avocado Replaces Butter
Avocados are a heart-healthy, quality-fat baking ingredient that can help make a recipe smooth and creamy. Yes, they are relatively high in calories but avocados are also extremely satiating, helping you stick to 1 or 2 brownies instead of the whole pan!
Quinoa Replaces Flour
I received an e-mail from a reader this week that began with “Well I know how much you love quinoa…” which tells me I write about quinoa a lot! I can’t help it – I use quinoa a couple times a week and find it so much easier to digest than other grains (i.e. less bloating and gas after eating it!). So if you haven’t tried quinoa yet go buy some and try this, and this, and this!
Regular baking flour is just about the lowest-quality flour you can eat. It’s processed so finely that our bodies absorb it and convert it to sugar almost instantly (much like eating actual sugar). Once converted to blood sugar we either use it for energy OR store it as fat. And if you’re sitting at your desk or on the couch you can guess which option your body is going to choose.
- 1/2 cup quinoa (I used red quinoa)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- A little olive oil for greasing your baking pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Add quinoa and water to a pot and cook on medium heat until the water is absorbed
- Add cooked quinoa and all other ingredients to a food processor (I used a high-powered blender). Blend very well.
- Bake in a 9″x9″ greased baking pan (use olive oil for your grease)
- Put pan in oven and decrease heat to 325 degrees
- Bake 30-35 minutes or until it passes the “toothpick test”
Makes 16 brownies: 90 calories per brownie, 4g of fat, 21g of carbs, 4g of protein