If you like chocolate, biscuit, brownie, nutty-type things this is for you. If you want to eat the most delicious chewy, chocolaty dreamy biscuit that is also healthy, this is most definitely for you. AND if you’re following the Paleo diet this is also for you.
I have found the ultimate healthy chocolate brownie recipe and it’s AMAZING. Please make them, these gluten-free, dairy-free delicious chunks of chocolatey delight will make you and those around you (if you choose to share them) happy.
It all started last week when we had friends over for dinner who are following the Paleo diet (for those unfamiliar with this it is a diet based on the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate, which cuts out all grains, potatoes, dairy, refined sugar, legumes and any processed foods – you can find out more about the Paleo diet here). I saw this as a perfect opportunity for some adventures in Paleo cooking and found some real gems of recipes that are tasty, healthy and fit the Paleo guidelines. But it was these chocolate and nut biscuits that were my pièce de résistance. They taste like they shouldn’t be good for you, they taste like they’re filled with butter, sugar and flour, but they’re not! They made my Paleo-following friends extremely happy
Enough of my raptures about this dessert, let’s get to it. On perusing the ingredients you may well be thinking “they can’t have eaten cacao powder in the Paleolithic era”, you are probably right but in some interpretations of the diet things like cacao and dark chocolate are allowed.
Here we go……
▪ 1 cup ground almonds
▪ 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
▪ 1/4 cup raw cacao powder or coco powder (unsweetened)
▪ 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
▪ 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
▪ 1/2 cup maple syrup
▪ 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios
▪ 1/4 cup dark chocolate (90% coco solids) cut into chunks
These are all based on the standard American cup size.
1. Preheat oven to 180C/gas mark 4/350F.
2. Get out your food processor and add the ground almonds, desiccated coconut, raw cacao or coco powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and pulse until all ingredients are nicely blended together.
3. Slowly pour in the maple syrup and pulse until you get a soggy dough.
4. Scrape out onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and mix in the pistachios and chocolate chunks.
5. Shape into a log-like shape (as you can see mine started off good but ended up looking like a cow pat!).
6. Pop in the oven and bake for 23-25 minutes, until the outside is cracking but still feels quite soft to the touch. Transfer to a cooling rack (with baking paper still intact). Cool, peel off the baking paper and cut into chunks.
Why so healthy?
- Nuts – Almonds are packed with minerals (manganese and magnesium, which are important for energy production in the body) and vitamin E (contains antioxidants that are great for heart and skin health). Almonds also contain heart healthy monounsaturated fats, these fats have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol and the risk of heart disease (also helped by their vitamin E content). Due to the fat, protein and antioxidants in these nuts they also protect against diabetes (prevent surges in blood sugar levels). Pistachio’s share many of these health benefits (prevent cardiovascular and diabetic conditions), they contain vitamin E and A antioxidants, which are good for the immune system, skin and also reduce inflammation in the body.
- Coconut – Contains a special type of fat (medium-chain triglycerides), which is absorbed by the liver rather then stored in fat cells meaning they give us energy and actually help boost the metabolism helping to burn more calories and aid in weight loss. Coconut contains a good amount of fibre, the oil in coconuts also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- Raw Cacao/dark chocolate – High in a range of antioxidants, iron, fibre, zinc and magnesium. This plethora of nutrients mean cacao is heart protective, anti-ageing, energy boosting, while at the same time helps to relax the nerves (due to the magnesium), what a force of nature!
Who’d have thought that eating something that tastes remarkably like a chocolate brownie could help you lose weight, protect your heart and boost your energy levels. Wonders never cease!