My Heart “Beets” for you Valentine Brownies *
Recipe by: Eva Whitburn, Nutritional Intern at All and One Acupuncture
Gluten, grain, and dairy free
5 oz dark chocolate, 72% or higher cocoa content
¼ cup coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut nectar or honey
2 omega-3, cage free eggs
¼ tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup almond flour
2 Tbl coconut flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ cups pureed beets (to roast your own see below; or use canned or frozen).
To roast the beets: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash 4 small or 2 medium beets and wrap in foil. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the beet. Set aside to cool. Use a paper towel to peel off skin. Place beets in blender or food processor and puree.
To make the brownies:
- Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 pan and set aside.
- In a double boiler, gently melt the chocolate. (If you don’t have a double boiler then fill a skillet with a few inches of water and set a small pot in the water, place over very low heat). Add the coconut oil and coconut nectar or honey. Mix until fully combined. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl combine the eggs, vanilla, and almond extracts. Add the cooled chocolate mixture.
- In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Pour in the wet ingredients and mix until fully combined. Mix in the pureed beets.
- Pour battered into pan and bake for 25 minutes or until fully set. Cool in the pan and cut into 12 squares.
1 Brownie: Calories 168 Fat: 10 g carbohydrates; 12 g protein: 4 g Fiber: 4 g
Keep your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier this year by incorporating healthy treats into your diet, starting with Valentine’s Day.
The key is using nutrient-dense ingredients, small portions, and eating them with joy, savoring every bite with no guilt afterward.
Instead of the usual empty calorie, sugar-filled, binge-fest that we normally engage in on February 14th, take the opportunity to create a sweet treat that is also nutritious and will leave you feeling satisfied and energized, like these brownies.
They are filled with protein, healthy fat, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Plus, I used a low glycemic sweetener, so you won’t have a sugar crash a few hours after eating one.
Both dark chocolate and beets are loaded with nutrients that provide powerful health benefits, being especially protective against cardiovascular disease.
Why They’re Healthy:
Benefits of beets
Think of beets as red spinach. This crimson vegetable is one of the best sources of both folate and betaine. These two nutrients work together to lower your blood levels of homocysteine, an inflammatory compound that can damage your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease.
Beets contain betaine, a substance that relaxes the mind and is used in other forms to treat depression. It also contains tryptophan, which is also found in chocolate and contributes to a sense of well being.
Chocolate for heart health
Dark chocolate improves several important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. It lowers the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative damage while increasing HDL.
The bioactive compounds in cocoa can improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.
Quality dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals.
To receive all of the benefits of eating chocolate, choose quality….organic, dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content. Pick up some today and make these brownies for someone special.