Boy, oh boy I'm excited about this recipe. I found it at Heavenly Homemakers. I have made it 3 times in that last 3 weeks:). It truly is just as easy for me to make as a boxed brownie mix, and tastes very good! I love that it is made with just a few ingredients that I feel good about feeding my family.
Why do I consider these healthy? They are made with whole foods- there is nothing artificial in them. They should still be eaten in moderation (don't consume the whole pan in one sitting:)), because they are not low calorie, but DO feel good about feeding them to your family because the ingredients in them provide nutrients that benefit the body, instead of harming it.
I am a firm believer that even treats can be beneficial. When it comes to foods in my home, I do not want my family consuming EMPTY calories. I want to be purposeful in making foods that will do the body some "good." These brownies are an example of that.
Here are a few of the good things that are in this recipe:
- Whole wheat flour- provides maganese, dietary fiber, tryptophan, magnesium, vitamins B1, B2, B3, E, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and iron.
- Eggs- source of protein
- Butter-vitamins A, E, K and D, anti-oxidants, and selenium.(post coming soon on why I am at peace about eating butter, despite the saturated fat)
- Cocoa-antioxidants (flavanols)
- Rapadura-used in place of white processed sugar. Rapadura is the pure juice extracted from the sugar cane and evaporated to dry it into granules. Low heat is used so vitamins and minerals are retained. It has a natural balance of sucrose, glucose and fructose. Your body metabolizes it more slowly than white sugar, so it will not affect your blood sugar levels as much as refined sugars, so no crazy sugar rush! Remember, the more refined the sugar, the more it raises your blood sugar. Rapadura can be found at your local health food store. I use it in many baked goods in place of white sugar. If you want to read more about the different types of natural sugars, click here.
If I were to buy boxed brownies from the store, they would be made with white refined flour (the processing removes nutrients, vitamins and fiber), white processed sugar (empty calories, makes blood sugar spike), and oils. Not to mention anti-caking ingredients and preservatives. I think making them homemade takes little extra time with a whole lot of benefit!
If you still are set on buying boxed, Hodgson Mill Brownie Mix is a brand I highly recommend and have used. They are yummy! The ingredient list is: Turbinado sugar, whole wheat pastry flour, cocoa, milled flax seed, salt. Now that is what I'm talking about!!
If you go to Heavenly Homemakers website, she shows you how to make homemade chocolate chips to put into these brownies. I am so not there when it comes to being motivated to do that, maybe someday. I use some AMAZING milk chocolate chips from my local health food market. I like the ingredients they choose to use in them, ones I know and trust. They are on the pricey side, so that may get me motivated to make my own!
Whole Wheat Brownies
1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup rapadura
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 t. vanilla
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Stir together butter, rapadura and cocoa. Mix in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour into 8x8 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until toothpick in center comes out clean.
I recently tried these out on some extended family members that were a bit apprehensive about the word healthy and brownie in the same sentence. I am pleased to announce they liked them! Pleased, but not surprised..