Finally! I have been on a search for yummy brownies for weeks now! I have been unable to bake a from-scratch brownie, with healthy ingredients, without them tasting like cardboard. Whole wheat flour just doesn’t work. I tried. It doesn’t. Sure, I could make tasty brownies from scratch if I was willing to use lots of refined white flour and white sugar – I know because I have made these before. Yes, they are super tasty but also really unhealthy so I refuse to make them again. I was given a recipe from a friend that she had found in one of her Clean Eating magazines and it was a great springboard for my recipe. I swapped a couple ingredients out to match my personal preferences and it worked wonderfully. I think part of the problem is that my family and I are so trained to expect brownies to taste like Duncan Hines, that anything that doesn’t taste like it came out of a box is automatically bad. This shouldn’t be the case. We shouldn’t measure the quality of food against boxed junk. What gives boxed brownies their “good” taste? Let’s see:
Sugar, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour [Enriched with Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid], Malted Barley Flour), Powdered Sugar (Sugar, Corn Starch), Cocoa Powder Processed with Alkali, Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil). Contains 2% Or Less Of: Wheat Starch, Dextrose, Salt, Cornstarch, Artificial Flavor, Carrageenan, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate).
Oh. My. Word. Where should I start? Sugar. Ok, could be worse but we all know that refined sugar is bad and addictive and just not nutritional and it is the FIRST ingredient! Ingredients are listed in greatest to least amount for the product. Next – Enriched (because they took out all the nutritional value and had to put it back in) BLEACHED Wheat Flour. I probably don’t even need to comment on that. Powdered Sugar. More sugar, really? Cocoa Powder Processed with Alkali (cocoa processed with Alkali has significantly less health benefits than unprocessed cocoa – significantly reduced flavanols.) Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil) I think we all know how bad this is due to the “trans fat” scandal that has been exposed over the past few years. Finally the “less than 2%” other ingredients include Artificial Flavors. So — there are essentially NO significant nutritionally sound ingredients in this entire box mix. One other thing to note is that in order to make the brownies, additional vegetable oil is required, which is has detrimental health effects. The only saving grace is maybe the one to two eggs that are required as well. So…as good as we thought these brownies tasted…I can no longer bring myself to enjoy them! My body will be robbed of its nutrients just trying to process these anti-nutrients! Rather than nourish my body, I will be harming my body. Me, my family, and most of society needs to retrain what tastes good to us. I am still learning and trying. I made these brownies and yes, the texture is different than boxed brownies or even homemade brownies using white sugar and bleached, enriched flour but they have a wonderfully rich taste. They were even enjoyed by my sons, who audibly rolled their eyes when I told them I was going to try to make brownies again. They have been victims of my previous attempts…can’t say I blame them!
- 3 oz sweetened dark chocolate (70% or greater)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter
- 1/4 cup of strong-brewed coffee (room temperature)
- 1/4 cup of sucanat
- 1/3 cup of spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs; preferably pastured
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler or a make-shift double boiler (place a glass bowl on top of a pot filled with water – don’t allow water to touch bottom of bowl) Once melted, remove from heat and stir. Add coffee, sucanat, flour, vanilla, and eggs to bowl and stir just until incorporated. Pour into 8×8 buttered/greased pan. Bake for 15 minutes – just until beginning to set. Be careful not to overbake. Let cool and cut into squares. Enjoy the wholesome goodness.