Whether you are looking to adopt a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet or are just trying to find healthier alternatives to some of your favorite dishes, we have great recipes on our site to suit your tastes! Some of our recipes can look a little intimidating, though. That’s why we created a weekly segment called RecipEASY — to make healthy eating easier. We (Kate and Kayla) make a recipe from our site and break it down to give you helpful tips and modifications. Since neither of us are professional chefs, we are always looking for ways to simplify healthy recipes!
This week we made…
Healthy brownies -- is there such a thing? Believe it or not, this brownie recipe is filled with nutritious ingredients AND it tastes good (although, in our opinion, it’s the cashew cream icing that really steals the show)!
We had a long shopping list for this dessert -- but it was totally worth it. Our list included: whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, walnuts, balsamic vinegar, carrots, pineapple, beets, applesauce, dates, vanilla, spinach, egg whites, soy milk, and raw cashews. We were able to find everything except the whole wheat pastry flour, so we substituted it with plain whole wheat flour. Find the full list of measurements here.
To get started, we preheated the oven to 350 degrees. Next, we sorted our dry and wet ingredients. In a mixing bowl, we combined the dry ingredients: both flours, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and walnuts. We bought shelled walnuts, but we chopped them up to be a bit smaller.
In a separate bowl, we started to combine the wet ingredients: balsamic vinegar, carrots, pineapple, beets, applesauce, dates, vanilla, and spinach. We steamed the carrots in the microwave to soften them before chopping them up and combining with the rest of the wet ingredients. Since we didn’t have our normal large blender and had to use a NutriBullet, we blended the mix in two batches. After we blended the ingredients and they looked like a pink smoothie, we added the egg whites and blended for another minute or two.
After we combined our two batches of wet ingredients, we mixed them with the dry ingredients, trying not to overmix them. We lightly greased our baking pan because we were worried about the brownies sticking to the pan. The instructions didn’t call for it, we were just a little paranoid.
We smoothed the brownie mix into the pan and baked it in the oven for 40 minutes. When the timer when off, we checked the brownies with a toothpick to make sure it was baked all the way through.
While the brownies cooled, we blended the soy milk, cashews, and remaining dates together. The icing was a thick, slightly chunky consistency when we took it out, but it spread nicely over the brownies.
Knowing everything that went into the brownies, we were a little skeptical of how they would taste (balsamic vinegar? beets? carrots? really?), but they turned out great! The cashew cream icing complimented the brownies very well. Kate and I both loved the icing so much that we would probably make a double batch of it next time so we could have a thicker layer on top.
Try these brownies and let us know what you think!