When it comes to healthy snacks, many people wrongly believe there simply isn’t anything out there that will hit the spot in terms of yummyness and tastyness! Or they’re fooled into thinking they are eating healthily, when that’s very far from the truth.
Most ready made snacks are laden with sugar, salt and processed ingredients… even those that claim to be healthy. Your average cereal bar is packed with sugar (usually at least two teaspoons per bar), and even the nut and dried fruit bars can be very high in sugar, even if it is fruit sugar.
When I was challenged by Chris Greenfield of The Best Of and astronomer Mark Thompson (presenter of BBC Stargazing Live) to come up with healthy snack ideas to keep them going through the night as they star gaze… I couldn’t resist! First I created a delicious nut and seed bar which they loved! But as a bit of a chocolate addict they craved something a little sweeter too. Not a problem…
Presenting my recipe for Beany Chocolate Brownies
A great midnight snack for Stargazers… and a delicious lunchtime treat for kids or those in need of an energy boosting snack throughout the day.
I really love to bake, and come up with innovative ideas to make less healthy foods and snacks into nutrient dense, healthy options. So here I give you my protein rich, chocolate brownies. Now the secret ingredient is something you may never have thought of putting into sweet recipes, but it gives these brownies a delicious denseness, creamyness and gooey centre. Not to mention extra protein, which helps to support blood sugar balanced and give you a more sustained energy release (much better than a chocolate bar, Chris… which gives you a sugar rush that won’t last long 🙂 So my secret ingredient is…. beans!
So here you have it… my Beany Chocolate Brownies… packed with iron, magnesium and protein. Enjoy!
Ingredients: (use an average sized coffee cup to measure)
- 400g tin of kidney beans or black beans, drained and washed (or 1.5 cups)
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup dates, chopped, pitted and soaked in hot water for 10 mins, then drained.
- 1/2 cup milk or non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (or any other nut/seed butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking bicarbonate soda
- ¾ cup raw cocoa powder (or dark cocoa powder e.g. Green & Blacks Cocoa Powder)
- ¾ cup plain flour (you can use gluten free, oat, spelt flour)
- ¼ cup ground almonds
- ¼ cup chopped pecans/walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Put the banana, dates, beans, milk, nut butter, vanilla and vinegar in food processor and puree until smooth. Or you can use a hand-blender.
- Add the baking powder, bicarb soda, cocoa powder, ground almonds and flour and pulse a few times until they’re mixed, but don’t over do it. Sprinkle in the chopped nuts and give them a quick mix
- Pour the batter into a greased or lined baking tin. Make sure it’s fairly deep, over 3cm is ideal, about 20cm long
- Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes. They are cooked when a skewer comes out clean, but it’s nice to keep a little gooeyness.
- Let the brownies cool, then cut into squares and serve. These will keep for a few days and are delicious served with a spoon of natural yoghurt or creme fraiche and strawberries.
Let me know what you think! Hopefully that satisfies your chocolate cravings…. and gives you more sustained energy release!