Fall is so dreamy. It’s the coziest time of year, with the bright burning flames of the turning leaves and the thick knitted fashions. To me, it also is awash with wistfulness and memories. We all crave comfort in the fall, from a good listener to a steaming pot of stew to our trusty, well-loved boots. I always seek out a warm, glowing kitchen, fragrant with the smells of squash and roasting vegetables and homemade apple sauce.
Baking is another seasonal joy I’ve taken up in the past few years. However, this year, I have also become more interested than ever in nutrition, particularly how the food we eat reflects our culture and affects our environment. This interest was piqued in my Food Access and Policy Class this semester, and also by a documentary on Netflix called Fed Up. I believe that access to healthy, nutritious food is a universal human right, and should be guaranteed. I also think that through propaganda, advertising, and an unfair economic system, among other injustices, most of us have become separated from our culinary roots. Traditional dishes in almost every culture are bursting with root and cruciferous vegetables, whole grains, leafy greens, lean meats, legumes and beans, and nuts, and healthy fats. These ingredients have lots of anti-cancer and heart healthy properties, and can prevent diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and more. Unlike the modern Western diet, they do not include added sugars or hydrogenated oils. After learning more about nutrition, I have become interested in how I can transform everyday recipes into healthy, nutritious dishes. I’m going to try and post about these culinary adventures on my blog pretty regularly this season, so that I can spread the healthy comfort food joy!
Today, I made a big batch of brownies for my boyfriend, who is also really interested in health and nutrition. I started with the recipe below, which is Baker’s One Bowl Brownie recipe. My mom told me it was the best brownie recipe she had ever found, producing the gooiest, fudgiest, richest brownies. With a few small modifications, I made them healthier (and I think even yummier!). If you decide to try this recipe, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Original recipe found here: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/bakers-one-bowl-brownies-54515.aspx
Modified recipe: Healthy Dark Chocolate Almond Brownies <3
I doubled the ingredients in the original recipe. This should make 48 small brownies or 24 medium/large brownies. I substituted 2/3 of the butter with Brummel & Brown’s yogurt butter, but you can substitute all of it if you want. I also used 3 cups of sugar instead of the 4 cups the recipe lists. The brownies were still really sweet, so you can cut back on the sugar even more if you want!
- 2 packages (8 ounces) of Baker’s Unsweetened Dark Chocolate
- 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
- 1 cup of Brummel & Brown’s yogurt butter
- 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 or 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 2 cups of all-purpose whole wheat flour
- (you can also use almond flour if you want!)
- 2 cups crushed almonds
- 1 Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Premium Baking Bar, chopped (60% cacao)
- (you can also use dark chocolate chips!)
- 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped prunes, depending on your preference
Paraphrased from Kraft Recipes: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/bakers-one-bowl-brownies-54515.aspx
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare your pan or baking dish. I used one large glass baking dish for these, lined with parchment paper and sprayed with Trader Joe’s olive oil spray. You can use a muffin tin if you want to have them portioned out, or prepare this any other way you would like.
- Microwave Baker’s Dark Chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl for 2 minutes, then take it out and stir it until everything is smooth and melted.
- Add sugar, eggs, and almond extract, and stir until everything is smooth.
- Fold in the whole wheat flour. I folded it in so that the texture of the batter would remain soft and wouldn’t form a bunch of air bubbles.
- Stir in the crushed almonds, Ghiradelli chocolate, and prunes.
- Pour into the baking dish.
- Bake for 35 minutes. Although this recipe was doubled, I still baked the brownies for 35-40 minutes so that they wouldn’t get overdone. You can stick a toothpick in to see if they are done. Unlike other desserts, the toothpick shouldn’t come out completely clean–you want these to stay gooey, and they firm up more when they cool.
- Wait till the brownies cool before you cut them, and enjoy! 🙂
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