Healthy Chocolate Brownies
No Added Sugar!
On the lookout for a pretty plate to photograph my baking on I came across a beauty in one of our local charity shops. Obviously once I’d got it home I had to find a recipe to grace it with.
As part of my current effort to reduce the sugar intake in the Wannabe household and stave off Type 2 diabetes, I have recently been researching appealing sugar-free baking recipes which, to be honest, are rather thin on the ground. Then I caught the brilliant Dr Clare Bailey (who happens to be married to the equally brilliant Dr Michael Mosley) on the radio talking about her Clever Guts Diet Recipe Book and healthy chocolate brownie recipe. Healthy chocolate brownies? Completely guilt free? With aubergine?! What madness was this? I planned a stealth bake to see what the unsuspecting wannabe offspring would think of it.
Healthy Chocolate Brownies
1 aubergine (approx. 200g), diced
150g dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
60g coconut oil
60g soft pitted dates, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder
80g ground almonds
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Steam or microwave the aubergine until soft (15 mins if steaming, less if microwaving).
- Put in a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir in the chocolate and coconut oil. The warm eggplant will melt the chocolate and oil. Add the chopped dates and salt.
- Blitz the mixture with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth.
- By now it should be cool enough to add the eggs and baking powder and blitz again for another minute or so.
- Mix in the ground almonds.
- Spread the mixture onto a medium-sized baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. It is cooked when a knife comes out clean.
Now, it’s a bit of a cheat as the observant of you will have noticed it’s not exactly sugar-free. True, there’s no added sugar but there is sugar in the chocolate – about 45g in total. To put that into perspective that’s about 5g per brownie (about a quarter of the amount of sugar found in some individual yoghurts). My favourite chocolate brownie recipe calls for 200g milk chocolate (about 100g sugar) plus another 260g added sugar!
The sweetness in these brownies is provided by the dates – and while there is sugar in the dates the fibre they contain offsets any spike in blood sugar levels. Aubergines are also rich in fibre, not to mention powerful antioxidants – particularly nasunin, an antioxidant and free radical scavenger that gives the aubergine its colour. Nasunin is a potent anti-ageing, anti-cancer phytonutrient that does all sorts of good work including helping your brain function and keeping your heart and vascular system healthy. All excellent stuff.
But the real test is what the kids thought. They are naturally suspicious of any baking I do these days but begrudgingly admitted these brownies were half decent. In fact, I caught the younger one going back for more – even after I revealed the secret ingredient. Which is probably the first time he’s knowingly eaten aubergine.
If anyone knows of a delicious sugar-free recipe, please do share! As always, I love comments and feedback. Although not necessarily from my children.