In an effort to continue to feed my sweet tooth with ‘healthy’ desserts (last week – Scott Jurek’s Chocolate Adzuki Bars) I decided to experiment yesterday with a recipe I found for Sweet Potato Brownies. I know, it sounds odd. But I was flipping through the latest issue of Paleo Magazine and saw a picture of these accompanied by the statement that they won the “best paleo treat” award for 2012, and I figured it was worth a shot. And they actually looked really nutritious. I mean, sweet potatoes are good for you, and they omit all the normal suspects when it comes to bad for you baking ingredients like butter and sugar. Making it truly a healthy dessert.
So, yesterday I decided to give this one a try. Let me start by mentioning that the recipe comes from PaleOMG, and I followed it almost exactly as written, with a couple of exceptions which I’ve noted in italics.
- 1 sweet potato
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted + 1/3 cup raw honey
- 1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (I’m not sure what the Enjoy Life chips are so I just used regular)
- 3 tablespoons Coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
A couple notes about the ingredients:
If you haven’t cooked with coconut oil before, don’t be alarmed by the fact that it’s solid. You basically buy it in a jar and then scoop out what you need and melt it on the stove.
This was my first time buying raw honey and it is pretty cool! I’d never seen anything like it. It’s really thick, solid really. And a beautiful color.
Coconut flour was also new to me. We cook with a lot of almond flour (which is also Paleo approved) but the coconut flour has a great smell and flavor. I will definitely be finding more ways to use this.
Ok, so getting on with it then:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Use a fork to puncture holes all around the sweet potato and then put it in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Once potato is soft and cooked through, peel off skin and mash it up in a bowl. And turn oven down to 350 degrees. (My only mistake I made was not cooking the potato all the way through, which made it tough to mash and I ended up with some small chunks of potato in the brownies. Next time I will cook it longer.)
- Now add wet ingredients (coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and whisked eggs) to the bowl and mix together. (I mixed the coconut oil and raw honey together before adding. The recipe wasn’t clear on this but based on how it was written my assumption was that you’re supposed to mix them. Make sure you melt the coconut oil first).
- Add dry ingredients (coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate chips).
- Mix well to incorporate everything.
- Pour into an 8 x 8 glass baking dish
- Bake for 30-35 minutes
- Let cool before cutting.
As usual I was skeptical. I figured they would taste alright, but I figured they wouldn’t actually taste like the traditional brownies I know and love and I would just have to be OK with that.
I could not have been more wrong! First of all, notice from the photo that they look just like REAL brownies. That was a plus right off the bat. It’s hard to get your friends to try something that looks like icky healthy food. So mission accomplished as far as visual appeal.
Now for the second and real test – taste. Well, you won’t believe it but these also taste like real brownies! The sweet potato gives it the buttery taste and texture that you expect with a brownie. You’d think there was a stick of butter in these things. The other flavor that really comes through is the coconut from the coconut flour. I wasn’t expecting that but it’s fantastic.
Like I said earlier in the post, my only mistake was that there were a few chunks of sweet potato in them since I didn’t fully cook it through and couldn’t fully mash, but they still tasted great. It actually was kind of cool to have little pieces of sweet potato in them, so my mishap worked out in the end.
So, would I recommend these paleo approved Sweet Potato Brownies? ABSOLUTELY. Whether you’re paleo or not I definitely think you should try these. I am not paleo (just dabble with the recipes) but these may become my new favorite go-to dessert. I don’t see the point of making the fattening brownies any more if I can replicate the taste with recipes like this.
The true test will be whether our friends eat them when I bring them to the superbowl party tonight!
If you try these let me know what you think. Or leave a comment if you have any other healthy takes on traditional desserts to share.
- Welcome to my blog! I’m Gina, an avid runner living in St. Louis, MO. Check out my blog for tips on running, swimming, race recaps, book reviews, and recipes! Follow me on twitter at @ginabhawalkar, or feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com. Thanks for reading!
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