Who doesn’t love brownies? This dairy-free, gluten-free version combines two superfoods: dark chocolate and sweet potatoes. The result? Delectable, nutrient-dense brownies that you can eat breakfast! It’s also a man-friendly recipe that involves mostly mixing and stirring—with a little chopping (the chocolate).
Dark Chocolate and Heart Health
Eating a small amount of dark chocolate on a regular basis is associated with improved heart health. Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols, which can benefit heart health in three ways: 1) by lowering blood pressure; 2) by improving blood flow to the heart; and, 3) by creating less sticky blood platelets….all of which reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke. A study, published in the International Journal of Cardiology, tracked participants who consumed flavonoid-rich dark chocolate versus non-flavonoid white chocolate for two weeks. Researchers found that, among healthy adults, flavonoid-rich dark chocolate intake significantly improved heart circulation compared to white chocolate, which had no effect.
Dark chocolate has its own unique nutritional profile and health benefits. However…if you’re allergic, sensitive or reactive to chocolate in any way, don’t start eating it now!
The intensity of the unsweetened chocolate is tempered by the natural sweetness of the maple syrup and sweet potato. The moistness of of the brownies can be attributed to the sweet potato, also a rich source of immune-boosting Vitamin A. If the flavor of unsweetened chocolate is too intense for you, feel free to use bittersweet chocolate instead.
Sweet Potato Brownies
1 15-ounce can of pureed sweet potato OR plain pumpkin puree
OR 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 6 oz each), roasted, peeled and pureed
4 tablespoons to 8 tablespoons maple syrup (labeled Grade A, Dark or Robust OR Grade B)
**Personally, I use 4 tablespoons organic maple syrup for minimal sweetness, but if you need or want the brownies to be sweeter, you can add up to 8 tablespoons maple syrup
3 eggs (ideally, pasture-raised or organic), at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Optional: 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and place rack in center of oven.
Using butter, coconut oil or olive oil, lightly grease a stainless steel square baking pan. Line the pan parchment paper and grease the parchment paper as well.
In a small bowl, whisk together unsweetened cocoa, coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
Place chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a non-reactive, heat-proof bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of low-simmering water, (you will have first brought the water to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer); the bottom of the bowl—with the chocolate and coconut oil—should not be in direct contact with the simmering water. Stir until chocolate and coconut oil are completely melted. Carefully remove the bowl from the pot and let the chocolate mixture cool.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the maple syrup or honey, eggs, vanilla extract and ginger (if including), using an electric mixer or stand-alone mixer. Mix well.
If you are using roasted or cooked sweet potato, place (peeled) sweet potato in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy (no lumps). Add pureed—cooked or canned—sweet potato to the egg mixture and blend well.
Add the melted chocolate and coconut oil, and blend until completely incorporated.
Using a large spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients (cocoa mixture) into the egg, sweet potato and chocolate mixture until just combined. Do not over mix.
Pour mixture into parchment-lined baking pan. Using spatula, make sure that the batter is evenly distributed.
Bake for apx. 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let brownies cool and set—about 45 minutes to 1 hour—and cut into 16 squares.
Enjoy! P.S. They’re great for breakfast the next day!