Every time I'm asked to bring something sweet to a gathering or potluck I'm faced with a dessert dilemma. Do I show up with the healthy fruit bowl only to face the looks of disappointment and the oh-you-would-bring-something-healthy glares. Or do I bring a crowd-pleasing sugar-loaded concoction that I'd hardly support feeding to my worst enemies?
Although I believe in moderation when it comes to eating desserts, I also believe in feeding your friends and family the tastiest and healthiest options whenever possible. To reconcile my dilemma, I've come up with two options:
- I bake a family recipe. I was lucky enough to learn how to bake carrot cake, apple pie, and cheesecake from one of the best bakers of all time, my husband's grandmother, Grandma Char. I'll never forget watching in awe as Grandma Char buzzed around her kitchen lifting vats of flour and sugar off high up shelves at the age of 93. If I'm going to bring a traditional baked good, it's always one of her recipes. I feel nothing but joy and love as I bake her recipes and I can definitely stand behind keeping her legacy alive.
- I make something absolutely delicious, decadent and nutritious like these Ooey Gooey Cocoa Brownies. They get their sweetness from apple sauce, dates, and pure maple syrup and are made with Teff Flour and Almond Meal for an extra punch of nutrients.
Ooey Gooey Cocoa Brownies (recipe courtesy of Terry Walters, Clean Start)
Makes 16 brownies
1/2 cup grated apple or unsweetened applesauce
8 pitted dates
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown teff flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease 8x8-inch baking dish with coconut oil.
In a food processor, combine applesauce, dates, banana, maple syrup, and vanilla until almost smooth, but with some chunks of dates remaining. In a separate bowl, combine teff flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix as briefly as possible to incorporate all ingredients. Transfer to prepared baking dish and bake 25 minutes or until top appears slightly dry. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely before cutting and removing from pan.
Beware, these are really, really good. The first time I made them I ate 3 in one day! Still working on moderation...
As an added bonus, these also happen to be gluten-free and dairy-free!