I've been getting pretty sneaky in kitchen lately, and becoming a expert at hiding nutritious ingredients in the food I prepare. My kids aren't opposed to the idea of eating healthy foods, but their palates are less refined, their tastes are not always adventurous, and they still turn up their noses at less conventional foods. If they're looking for a treat, they would choose something refined and sugary over protein and fibre. If I want them to eat enough of the good stuff, sometimes I have to disguise it. Our banana, berry, and yogurt smoothies also have spinach and avocado in them. Most of the muffins I bake include quinoa, flax, and chia. I hide finely chopped veggies in sauces and stews. Pureed dates sweeten baked goods instead of sugar. And they have no idea that the tuna salad in their sandwiches is hiding sardines and avocado. Most of the time no one notices, the food tastes good, and everyone's happy. But there have been a few failures along the way. I'm still struggling with homemade granola bars, and I haven't quite nailed a few cookie recipes I've been working on, but I think I've figured out brownies.
I shared this photo of black bean brownies a while ago. They were my first attempt at healthifying brownies, and they tasted great, but the texture was terrible and they fell apart as soon as they came out of the pan.
I haven't abandoned black bean brownies yet, and I have plans to modify the recipe a bit, but in the meantime I made up a batch of avocado quinoa brownies. And they were amazing, fudgey and chocolatey, just as a brownie should be.
I might increase the amounts next time, or use a smaller pan, as they were a little on the flat side. There was an ever-so-slight crunch from the quinoa, which I liked and the kids didn't really notice. Maybe I could cook the quinoa a bit longer. Other than that, I won't change a thing. These are really good brownies.
Feeling sneaky? Or just craving chocolate? Either way, these are what you need.
Avocado Quinoa Brownies
1 avocado, mashed
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup agave syrup
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa (I used dark cocoa)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8x8 pan. I usually put parchment in the bottom. Stir together the wet ingredients with the quinoa and brown sugar and combine. One of my teenagers walked into the room at this point and told me it looked like vomit. Charming.
Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa. I used dark cocoa, which has a slightly bitter taste. Next time I might try half regular cocoa and half dark cocoa. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 20 min, or until toothpick inserted into the centre comes out almost clean. A completely clean toothpick means overcooked brownies. Cool in pan.