The term ‘healthier’ is used lightly here. As far as brownies go, they do offer slightly more nutritive value, yes. However, these are definitely still a treat and should be considered as so. I’m not going to try and convince you otherwise! Unlike a lot of those ‘healthier’ snack bars which are marketed as such in a way to mislead people into believing that you can consume as many as you like just because they are ‘healthier’…
These come out lower in sugars, with healthier fats from rapeseed oil and peanut butter, higher in fibre and using wholemeal flours. The reason for using a gluten free wholemeal flour isn’t that gluten free is ‘healthier’ – contrary to what the media has portrayed or scare-mongered about, there is nothing inherently ‘unhealthy’ about gluten. Unless you are intolerant or coeliac. The reason for using a gluten free one is that a) it has laid dormant in my pantry and needs using, and b) unlike regular wholemeal or spelt flour, a gluten free version gives a better texture more akin to plain flour. It doesn’t have those bitty bits in it.
You could argue that the sugars used are ‘lower GI’, and they probably are – but marginally. If you’re really that conscious about sugar and its insulin spike, then quite honestly, using coconut sugar instead of regular sugar is hardly going to make a worthwhile difference. The only major difference will be a slightly larger hole burned in your pocket at roughly £4/500g as opposed to £1/kg for granulated cane sugar. If you are really sugar conscious, and against sweeteners, then the only viable option is to curb your sweet tooth and opt for savoury over sweet. Personally, that’s not a world I’d want to live in, but each to their own.
I prefer to just get a balance between the ‘good’ and the not so good for you foods. I don’t see the point in eating food you don’t enjoy. I’ve been there, done that, tasted the cardboard and tried to convince myself it tastes nice. I try to employ moderation. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and that’s entirely normal and entirely okay. We’re humans, we aren’t perfect by nature. Eat your veggies, try and get sufficient protein in, opt for the wholegrain carbs when possible, and include a piece of cake here and there. It doesn’t need to be complicated. It’s been over complicated largely by people trying to sell products and make money off of labelling food as good or bad. Or by marketing ‘miracle’ products with all sorts of implications attached to it. Marketing and the media in general has a lot to answer for with regards to the state of health worldwide. In my opinion anyway.
That all got a bit deep.. Oops. However. These are some damn good brownies. Marginally more nutritious or not, these are heavenly. Fudgy, gooey, super rich and super chocolatey. If you’ve got chocolate cravings, these are sure to squish them.
On that note, enjoy your brownies! Top with ice cream and a stalk of broccoli for #balance. (I’m joking FYI)
- 60g semi-sweet plain chocolate (min. 54% cocoa solids)
- 20ml rapeseed oil
- 30g smooth natural peanut butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 20g agave nectar
- 60g coconut sugar
- 15g cocoa powder
- 30g gluten free wholemeal flour
- 50g dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a small baking dish with baking paper.
- Place the dried cranberries in a small bowl with 2 tsp of water, cover and microwave for a minute. Set aside to cool whilst you make the brownie mixture.
- In a medium sized bowl, gently melt the broken up chocolate in the microwave in short blasts on medium heat. Stir in the oil followed by the peanut butter and mix until fully incorporated and smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
- Stir in the agave and coconut sugar until smooth and glossy. Stir in the cocoa powder and gluten free flour. Drain the now cooled cranberries and fold in.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until they look done.