Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Brek's Better Brownies (2014 New Year's Resolution)

I never liked New Year's resolutions. It was like setting up for a failure for me. Then I realized that if I really wanted to accomplish something and took a whole year to do... then why not.

For this year, I decided to focus on eating healthier. I need to eat more veggies and fruits. Last year, I was always achy, and it had nothing to do with old age. Well, maybe just a little bit. My mom and my husband kept telling me that I needed to exercise. Seriously, my workout is still doing chores and walking up and down stairs.

Anyway, this year, my blog will be full of recipes that include veggies and fruits. I want to go vegan but that would set me up as a failure. I will stick with a (semi) vegetarian diet. Veggies will be my main dish and some sort of meat on the side. I hope for great success and lose a few pounds too.

While I searched and played with the healthier version of something sweeter recipes, I gave Brek's Better Brownies a try. I helped Brek with making a healthier version of a regular brownies for his school project. He told me that his friends loved them and couldn't understand why it was called Better Brownies. They were surprised when Brek told them the secret ingredients were banana and spinach.

Take it the next level and make Mississippi mud brownies by topping the brownies with my homemade marshmallow fluff and melted chocolate. Now ask yourself this, does anybody care that there is banana, spinach, flax seeds, or cranberries in the brownies? Nah!!!

Brek's Better Brownies
modified from William Sonoma's Brownies
make 8 inch square pan

3 oz. (1/2 cup) non-dairy chocolate chips
3 Tablespoons (1.5 oz) coconut oil, divided
1/3 cup (3 oz.) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
half of 1 large banana (1.5 - 2 oz), mashed
3 - 4 Tablespoons (0.6 oz) raw baby spinach leaves, minced
3/4 cup (3 oz) all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon (0.3 oz) grounded flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (1.5 oz) non-dairy chocolate chunks
1/8 cup (1 oz) dried cranberries, finely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees.
  2. Spray the 8-inch square pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  3. Place chocolate chips in a large microwavable bowl with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. 
  4. Microwave for 30 seconds.
  5. Stir and microwave in 9 seconds interval until chocolate chips are melted.
  6. Add the rest of coconut oil, sugar and eggs.
  7. Whisk until the batter is fluffy, about 30 seconds.
  8. Add the mashed banana and minced spinach into the batter.
  9. Whisk until just combine.
  10. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, flax seeds, baking powder, and baking soda.
  11. Add the flour mixture into the batter.
  12. Whisk until just combine. Do not over mix.
  13. Fold in chocolate chips and cranberries.
  14. Bake in the preheated oven until the toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes.
  15. Cool the brownies in the pan. Then cut into desired slices. Enjoy! 

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