Who doesn’t love brownies? This dairy-free, gluten-free version combines two superfoods—dark chocolate and sweet potatoes—resulting in a delectable, nutrient-dense batch that you could have for breakfast…! It’s also a man-friendly recipe that essentially involves mostly mixing and stirring, with a little chopping (the chocolate).
Studies have linked dark chocolate consumption with improved heart health. Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols, which can benefit heart health by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the heart and creating less sticky blood platelets thereby reducing 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. The results showed that, among healthy adults, flavonoid-rich dark chocolate intake significantly improved heart circulation whereas white chocolate had no such effects.
Dark chocolate, like many foods, 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!
If you want a deep, dark intense hit of unadulterated chocolate, these are the brownies for you! I use both unsweetened chocolate (Ghiradelli 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate bar) and unsweetened cocoa powder. I have a bitter bud, so I always rivet to chocolate with a high cocoa content (85% and higher). That said, the intensity of the unsweetened chocolate is tempered by the natural sweetness of the maple syrup and sweet potato—this anti-inflammatory, vitamin A-rich smart carb, contributes to a deliciously moist texture (so much better than wheat flour!). Feel free to use bittersweet chocolate instead of unsweetened chocolate if you prefer.
Sweet Potato Brownies
Adapted from The Iron You
1 15-ounce can of pureed sweet potato
OR 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 6 oz each), roasted, peeled and pureed
4 oz unsweetened dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon organic, raw (or unrefined) virgin coconut oil
4 tablespoons maple syrup (labeled Grade A, Dark or Robust OR Grade B) or raw honey
3 eggs (ideally, pasture-raised or organic), at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons 100% unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon organic coconut flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine-ground Celtic sea salt
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C) and place a rack in the upper third of the 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, and vanilla extract, 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. 40 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!