My 2.5-year-old is now at a phase when she refuses to eat healthy-looking food and prefers cake and snacks. So I started making dessert-looking things that actually contain a full meal. This works for any time a day, before or after the ‘real’ meal.
I like to use natural and minimally processed flour types that contain nutrients such as iron and protein, such as teff, coconut, almond, walnut, chestnut (or any nut flour, really). If you want the brownies to have a more regular taste, add a bit of spelt flour, which has a taste and consistency of the all-purpose flour. I usually add whole spelt flour and a bit of white (bleached) spelt flour as well as it improves the taste and texture.
Regarding sugar. If you don’t use some sort of a powdered sugar, you won’t achieve the desired consistency in the brownies, unfortunately. I have experimented with the date syrup and stevia, but realized not using sugar would compromise the texture of the dessert. Hence, I use the super healthy kind, coconut sugar, as well as a bit of lucuma (extremely sweet superfood) in a combination with liquid stevia and natural date syrup. There’s also a trick to reduction of the sugar. If you don’t need your brownies very chocolate-y, you can reduce both, the amount of cocoa/carob powder and of the sweetener. They counterbalance each other.
- Healthy flour mix (see above), 2 cups
- Sweetners: 1 cup coconut sugar, 1 tsp of stevia extract, 4 tbsp natural date syrup
- Natural raw cocoa powder or carob powder. You can use either, and both are considered superfoods, ½ cup
- 1 tsp atlantic salt
- 1 cup water or natural rice/soy/nut milk
- 1 cup melted coconut oil (or cold-processed canola oil as coconut oil is a bit expensive). You can do half/half
- 3 tbsp apple sauce, unsweetened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking power
- 1 tsp apple vinegar
Optional nontraditional brownie ingredients that will give a health boost:
- 3 tbsp hemp seed or hemp powder
- 1 cup cranberries (those give a real kick and also will allow you to put even LESS sugar in the mix)
- Nuts (place them in a plastic bag and bang a glass on them to break them into pieces)
- Preheat over to 180 degrees C (360 degrees F)
- Stir all the ingredients except baking soda and vinegar by hand in a bowl or in the food processor. If you choose the latter, leave the nuts and cranberries for the end and pulse chop.
- Add soda and vinegar in a tablespoon and pour into the mix. Stir further.
- Spread in a baking pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes until you see a crust forming on top. Take a toothpick and insert into the brownies. If it comes out clean, they are ready.
- Wait for it to cool before cutting.