Naturally Sweetened Cocoa Brownies

This is the time of year that I am {unintentionally} hard on my body. I am not as active as usual due to the weather, and with all sorts of gatherings and holiday parties I often make poor food choices. You know what I mean, right? Where one 'cheat meal' a week turns into a daily cheat of some sort? 

I don't think totally omitting indulgences from my diet is realistic either, which is why I think it's ok to 'cheat' in moderation with an occasional snack or treat. 

One such indulgence, no matter the season, are brownies. However, the sweetened cocoa, refined sugar and margarine that most brownie recipes call for are not ideal. I found a recipe for brownies in a diabetic cookbook (of all places) and made a few substitutions with fantastic results. 

This is your basic brownie recipe, except sucanat for refined sugar, unsweetened cocoa or carob powder for sweetened cocoa, and coconut oil for margarine. The texture is still dense and chewy like your favorite boxed brownie, and the very, very slight coconut flavor is a welcomed addition. 

Plus, this recipe fits an 8x8 pan and serves 16 (if you actually cut them according to portion size). This means you have a sweet treat to pack in your lunch each day, or plenty of brownies to arrange on a pretty platter for a get-together. 

You'll need:
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon real salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, solid state
1 cup sucanat
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
2. Cream the coconut oil and eggs together in a large bowl, then add the vanilla and mix again.
3. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just moistened.
4. Pour into a lightly greased 8x8 pan, and bake at 350* for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Cut these brownies into 16 squares for the proper serving size, assuming you want to be healthy and not go overboard. Which I know you don't want to do or anything.



How do you stay mindful of healthy eating and activity habits in the winter or around the holidays? 


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1 comment:

  1. Oh my, your brownie recipe doesn't contain sugar? Then I googled sucanat and found out it's natural sugar. How many calories do you think is in 1 cup of sucanat? I'm on the military diet and the only thing permitted right now is Stevia, which is plant based artificial sweetener. I love the look of those brownies and it certainly has a "healthy" appearance. I don't want to cheat on my diet but this looked certainly yummy. In moderation, I think I can make this work. For more of my diet, see this resource link: http://3daysmilitarydiet.com/faq/military-diet-sweetener.html

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