No-flour Cacao brownies

Brownies-Recipe-2-1200

So I have to admit, I am a sucker for chocolate!  Lately, I have become really interested in cacao, and being that it’s a superfood, I am always looking for new recipes that contain this tasty ingredient.  I hesitantly tried these brownies because they just seemed too good to be true.  However, they were delicious!  Dark chocolate lowers beware, these are addictive!

Very Simple Ingredients:

  • 2c organic cacao powder
  • 2c organic coconut sugar
  • 4 organic free range eggs
  • 1c organic coconut oil
  • 2-4 tbsp of coconut or pea protein milk

Very Simple Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350.

1. Mix the dry ingredients well

2. Mix the wet ingredients well

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients

You may need to use an electric mixer to mix thoroughly.  At first, this “batter” seems pretty sticky and thick.  You can add a little more milk if that is the case.  Flatten the batter onto a well greased 8X8 inch pan.  Bake for about 15-18 minutes.  Let it cook.

Cut into square and store in the fridge for a tasty treat when you are craving chocolate!

Health Benefits:

Cacao: This is not the same as the copycat, pesticide and processed cocoa!  Do not confuse them!  Normal cocoa powder and chocolate have been chemically processed and roasted, which destroys a large amount of the antioxidants and flavanols (the things that keep you young and healthy) (Ellen, n.d.).  Raw cacao is packed with antioxidants, 40 times more than blueberries, which has the amazing power to be able to absorb free radicals.  Cacao is high in iron (7.3mg per 100g), making it higher in iron than spinach and beef!  It is also full of magnesium, which can optimize energy production for a healthy heart.  Raw cacao is high in calcium, and has more than 300 phytochemicals and nearly four times the antioxidant power of regular dark chocolate, and contains protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, and sulfur.   According to Dr. Mercola. “Cacao can improve heart health, cholesterol, stress levels, and inflammation, to list just a few physical advantages. Fringe benefits cacao releases into the brain include anandamide, endorphins, phenylethylamine, and serotonin, all sparking descriptives like “blissful” and “euphoric.” All this satisfying goodness comes from a frothy mug of hot cocoa or a creamy bar of unadulterated chocolate. It’s no wonder the Spanish called it “black gold.” (Mercola, n.d.)

Coconut sugar: Coconut sugar is a natural sweetener derived from coconuts.  It is high in trace elements such as iron, calcium, potassium, and some short chain fatty acids, polyphenols, antioxidants and inulin (Axe, 2018).  The inulin can stimulate the growth of bifidobacteria in the gut, which can boost the immune system and upregulate oral tolerance through Tregulatory cells.  Bifidobacteria have been known to help restore the good bacteria in the gut that may have been destroyed through chemotherapy, antibiotics and the like (Axe, n.d.).  As a result of inulin, this may be a safer alternative for diabetics or those with blood sugar issues, since inulin may help reduce absorption of glucose (Axe, n.d.)

Organic Eggs: The benefits of organic eggs may be worth the extra cost. They come from chickens that were given 100 percent organic feed, free of any agricultural chemical residues (Kannall, 2017).T he feed given to the chickens cannot come from crops that are genetically modified, treated with pesticides or herbicides, or fertilized with chemical or synthetic products. The chickens also cannot be treated with hormones, antibiotics or other pharmaceuticals.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notes that some of the pesticides used in food production may cause cancer, skin irritations, nervous system disruption or hormonal imbalance in humans. Organic eggs are free from any of these potentially harmful chemical residues (Kannall, 2017).  Omega-3 eggs are typically fed a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, and therefore lay eggs that are higher in Omega-3 fatty acids than chicken that are only grain fed.  “Omega-3s play a critical role in brain function and growth, reduce inflammation and may prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis” (Kannall, 2017). Eggs from free-range chickens may contain two-thirds more vitamin A, seven times more beta-carotene and three times more vitamin E than conventional eggs (Kannal, 2017). These differences likely come the diet of organic hens that free-range.   An independent study conducted by “Mother Earth News” confirms that free-ranging chickens lay eggs with two times the omega-3s, one-third of the cholesterol and one-fourth of the saturated fat as conventional eggs.  Other health benefits of eggs is that they are a good source of protein, iron, riboflavin, vitamin B-12, phosphorus and selenium.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil is made up of mostly medium chain fatty acids, caprylic acid, lauric acid, and capric acid.  Most of the fats we consume take longer to digest, but MCFAs found in coconut oil provide the perfect source of energy because they only have to go through a three-step process to be turned into fuel (Axe, n.d.). This makes coconut oil easier to digest, not readily stored as fat, can have antimicrobial and antifungal properties, and can be easily converted into energy.  Coconut oil has anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties, and it can be protective to your skin and hair.  A study published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy found the capric acid and lauric acid in coconut oil made for an effective natural treatment for candida albicans and yeast infections as well!

References:

Axe, J. (n.d.). Is Coconut Sugar Good for You? Retrieved (2018, May 28) from https://draxe.com/coconut-sugar/

Axe, J. (n.d.) 20 Coconut Oil Benefits for Your Brain, Heart, Joints and More.  Retrieved (2018, May 28) from https://draxe.com/coconut-oil-benefits/

Ellen, B. (n.d.) Cacao: 5 Little Known Benefits of This Amazonian Superfood. Retrieved (2018, May 28) from https://begoodorganics.com/blogs/subscriber-only-recipes/7991527-cacao-5-little-known-benefits-of-this-amazonian-superfood

Food Facts. (n.d.). What is Cacao Good For?  Retrieved (2018, May 28) from https://foodfacts.mercola.com/cacao.html

Kannall, E. (2017, October 3). Benefits of Organic Eggs. Retrieved (2018, May 28) from https://www.livestrong.com/article/67236-benefits-organic-eggs/

 

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About mandyfitness

fitness trainer and certified nutritionist ISSA Certified Personal Trainer ISSA Certified Sports Fitness Nutritionist MS Biology Clemson graduate student of Biology (Summer 2016) Spinning instructor Group Fitness instructor
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