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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Good for You Brownies

We low carbers have the freedom to make some pretty wonderful desserts. But most desserts, while well deserved and well received, don't pack a nutritional punch. It is strange how many trolls we get over on the Low Carbing Among Friends Facebook page-- constantly telling us that meat is bad, fat will make you fat, artificial sweeteners will poison you, etc. etc. etc. To each his own since we all have to make our own choices. No need to be rude, but sometimes we have a hard time convincing people that we do make healthy choices. Why do they frequent our page anyway? We must be making an impact!

Take this recipe, for instance. I went into it not to make a luscious decadent treat, but to make a good-for-us treat that was sweet and fudgy and easily packed into a lunchbox. Rather than just make a brownie with lots of nut flour and butter, I tried a few new things. Chia seed and flax. Protein powder too. How about pumpkin? Medium Chain Triglyceride oil? Weird, I know. This is high in protein, has good fiber and tastes good too. Not at all like pumpkin to me or the hubby. Here are the healthy stats for these healthy brownies. Each one has:

 181 calories   4 net carbs     5 g fiber    13 g fat     11 g protein

Go ahead and make one breakfast!

Good For You Brownies

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tbsp MCT oil, or coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein powder (figured at 3.5 carbs per scoop)
1/4 cup granulated erythritol or equivalent sweetener
4 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp chia seed
3 tbsp flax meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered erythritol
2 tbsp cocoa powder

In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, egg, oil and vanilla extract. To that mixture, add the protein powder, erythritol, cocoa powder, chia seed, flax meal baking powder and salt. Stir well until no lumps remain. Spread into a sprayed 8x8 inch pan. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes. 

Frosting: Melt butter in a microwavable bowl or in a small saucepan. Stir in the powdered erythritol and cocoa powder. Spread the frosting over the brownies. Cool until the frosting hardens. Serves 8.

You may notice the not totally square shape in my photo. I made these in a brownie appliance. Yes, I am the gadget queen. I found it on sale at Aldi for just 5 bucks and I thought it might make good slider buns. I have tried several recipes, none of them a huge hit so far. The jury is still out. These brownies almost ended up in the "OK but not good enough to share" category. The brownie part alone is not all that wonderful and they did not end up very square. They very moist and cakelike but the flavor is not intense enough for me: not thoroughly fudgy. To liven things up, I added a bit more sweetener to this published recipe. My original trial had relied on sweetness from the protein powder-- that just did not come through. Good news is that missing wow factor is what made me choose to frost these brownies. I promise this frosting would make old sneakers taste great. Since the brownies are way better than old sneakers, it is a win-win. The frosting takes the flavor up several notches and is not too bad for us. Just promise me you won't use margarine. So remember all the nutrition points in the brownie and all the flavor points of the frosting.

So all the trolls need to go research the nutritional value of  MCT oil, chocolate, chia seeds, flax, pumpkin, real butter, sea salt, erythritol and stevia. I will even caution you to be sure to use aluminum free baking powder.

There you have it. Brownies are good, and sometimes they are good for you too. To those who think low carbers just eat bacon and cheese...well, think again! We eat brownies too. (she said with a smurk)

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Danielle Wooding @ New England Daughter said...

Any suggestions for what to use rather than protein powder? Almond meal maybe? What's the actual measurement?

Judith said...

Hi Lisa - since we began eating low carb, I notice I don't make nearly as many low carb desserts. We sort of lost our lust for sweets. But holidays always call out for some sweets - this will be added to ours for our "chocolate fix" at Easter.
Thanks for your wonderful recipes!

Unknown said...

Wondering where the flax see and chia seed is included? Also, when you use chia seed, there are several kinds to choose from? I guess some are more finely ground than others? Which do you recommend?

Lisa Marshall said...

I have got to stop posting at midnight! Sure did leave out the seeds, but they are there now. Sorry. Almond meal would probably work, but it would be a wetter batter. Haven't tried it that way as I just invented these this weekend.
I use golden flax seeds and grind them in my bullet blender.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Lisa! I'm also wondering if I could substitute stevia or coconut sugar for the sugar substitute you have listed?

Anonymous said...

I have heard that flax is 800x as estrogenic as soy, what do you think about this?

Anonymous said...

2 scoops of protein powder. Apparently, you haven't tried other brands of protein powders b/c that scoop is NOT the same size across all brands and varieties. So...what is the actual size of that scoop? ...and how much protein is in that scoop? (That varies, too!)

GiGi Eats Celebrities said...

YOU ARE an absolute GENIUS! I am pinning ALL of your recipes!

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