This week I needed to make a dessert for some friends we were having over.  The problem with me making desserts is I usually find myself eating more of the dough or batter than I planned on and end up with a sugar hangover.  I always try and find a healthy alternative to somewhat avoid this when I am planning on providing a treat for something.  I think that food should be enjoyed, and treats should be enjoyed, the key is moderation and deciding whats really worth the indulgence. I think its important to avoid constantly feeling deprived. I think that when we feel deprived, we end up OVER compensating later on with a sugar binge, or we just aren’t happy. If you allow yourself a little flexibility in your eating I have found it's better for long term commitment and results. If you're the one in control of the baking, trying healthier alternatives to Sugar, butter, and flour that usually make up these delicious treats, is always a good idea.

This week I experimented with homemade "Date Paste" after hearing some great things about this alternative to sugar.  I like this alternative because its easy to make, its packed with nutrients rather than the empty calories from your average white sugar, and a little goes a long ways!

Dates contain Potassium, iron, magnesium, antioxidants (ranked #1 among all sweeteners), and Fiber.  Also, Date sugar is a lot less calorie dense (1 Cup of Date Sugar has 480 calories, compared to other sugars that range from 720-960 calories per cup).  It also has a lower Glycemic Index number than other sweeteners which means it won't spike your blood sugar levels as high which is important for weight management.

You can substitute Date sugar 1:1 ratio for white Sugar, brown sugar, or in the "paste" form that I made you can sub out Honey, syrup or Agave (You may want to add a little more of the Paste since it is not quite as sweet as these other liquid sweeteners).  It has a mild sort of Caramel taste that is really delicious! 

  • I made the Date Paste by simply blending 1 C of soft medjooled Dates, with 1.5 C water in a blender on high until it was all smooth.  Super easy!

I think you'll enjoy this recipe as a "healthier" alternative when you need a little chocolate in your life :)

FYI: You should know that these brownies are almost more like fudge squares, so don't be expecting a typical brownie constancy.  And they are better after being in the fridge for a few hours a few days (not your typical hot out of the oven brownie).

 

 I know I know, not the best picture, but they were halfway eaten before I even got to the pan with my camera! I guess thats a sign of some good brownies right!

I know I know, not the best picture, but they were halfway eaten before I even got to the pan with my camera! I guess thats a sign of some good brownies right!

  • Recipe:

Sweet Potato Brownies

Yield: Makes 12-16 brownies

Nutritional Information based on 1 of 12 brownies

{Calories: 204, Fat 8.9g, Fiber: 4.4g, Sugar: 10g, Protein: 13g}

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree* (bake sweet potatoes really soft, about 1-2 depending on size)
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup date paste
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup spelt flour or 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup walnuts

Icing  

  • ¼ cup date paste
  • ¼ cup hazelnut butter or almond butter
  • ½ cup fat free plain Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 3 scoops vanilla flavored whey protein powder

 

I have worked with Sonia from "the healthy foodie" to get this recipe, she is awesome, you can find the Instructions and full recipe on her blog through this link:

http://thehealthyfoodie.com/deliciously-healthy-sweet-potato-brownies/

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