These brownies get their intense rich flavor and tons of powerful anti-aging antioxidants from cacao powder (an unrefined cocoa powder you can buy at your local health store or Whole Foods) and sweet chopped dark cherries. I used a mix of real butter and coconut oil, which contains the antioxidant Vitamin E to help slow the aging process. I also skipped the processed white flour that can cause bloating and inflammation and used gluten free oat flour (ground oats), for extra fiber instead. And in place of white sugar, I stirred in pure maple syrup (one of my favorite sweeteners) for a natural dose of vitamins and minerals. What do they taste like? Picture a rich and moist but not cloyingly sweet brownie with just a hint of fruity cherries. These literally are the healthy adult's answer to complete indulgence while doing something wonderful for your body. All that being said, my 10-year old nephew is obsessed with these, so they're kid-friendly too. Go Pats!!
Lean & Mean Super Bowl Brownies
All natural cooking spray (I like propellant free sprays)
5 tablespoons of real butter (if you're dairy free and use vegan butter or all coconut oil instead)
¼ cup coconut oil
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen cherries or 1 heaping cup frozen cherries defrosted and drained well
¾ cup pure maple syrup (not the fake stuff!)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup gluten free oat flour (I like Bob's Red Mill brand)
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons cacao powder (unrefined cocoa powder)
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon gluten free baking powder
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 inch glass or metal pan with all natural cooking spray.
Chop defrosted and drained cherries into small pieces (it will be mushy) and pour into a large bowl.
Heat butter and coconut oil in a small pan over medium heat until melted (approximately 7 minutes) whisking occasionally. Pour melted butter/ coconut oil into the bowl of cherries.
Stir in pure maple syrup and stir.
If it's too hot, let it cool for a moment. If not, stir in beaten eggs.
In a separate bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients (gluten free oat flour through baking powder).
Fold dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients, half at a time. Stir until just combined. Don't overmix.
Pour brownie batter into pan and bake approximately 22 to 25 minutes for a metal pan or 25 to 30 minutes for a glass pan or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean (it's okay if they're a little moist)
Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut into squares and serve. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge (they're awesome cold!)
For more healthy and nutritious game day recipes from Chef Valerie, be sure to check out her website. You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook to see what she's cooking up.