Brownies! (w/ apples, bananas, zucchini)

“Healthy” Brownies… can it be done?  Ehh, not really, because this still has a cup and a half of sugar in it, but it’s all relative, right?  I mean, if I eat a medium-healthy thing instead of some ultra-unhealthy crazy confectionery from a store, then I’m still doing better health-wise; that has to count for something, right?

Anyway, this is a recipe for a “very moist, low-fat chocolate brownie alternative” … so I’m a bit suspicious, to be honest, but the ingredients sound like it’s worth a shot.  I already like zucchini as a vegetable, so I doubt I’m going to notice the flavor, and having applesauce and bananas contribute some of the sweetness is good, while still having enough sugar that I won’t mentally dismiss it as ‘health food pretending to be tasty food’ – so we’ll see what happens. 🙂

  • 1/2 c. applesauce
  • 2 small-medium bananas, mashed
  • 1.5 c. sugar (1 + 1/2 c.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda (1 + 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 c. finely shredded zucchini
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. nut pieces (walnut is recommended, but I’ll probably substitute pecans)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease and flour a 9×13″ baking pan.

In large bowl, combine applesauce, mashed bananas, and sugar.

Add vanilla and cocoa; mix well.

Add baking soda and salt; mix well.

Add zucchini; mix well.

Add flour and walnuts; mix well.

Spread evenly into prepared pan.

Bake 25 minutes, or until brownies spring back when gently touched.

Source:  http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=474935  Normally, I recommend going to the source website for pictures and stuff, but not this website; it’s full of pop-ups and it re-loads unexpectedly (and the re-loading of the page re-triggers the pop-ups) and there’s only one picture, so really, I can’t think of any reason to encourage you to check out that site. :/

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Apple Pumpkin Butter (Cups)

  • 6 apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree (one ingredient)
  • 1/2 c. coconut milk
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 1/2 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves

Line bottom of crockpot with apples.

In mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, coconut milk, pecans, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Mix well.

Pour pumpkin mixture over apples in crockpot.

Set on low and let cook for 6 hours (or cook on high for 3 hours).

If desired, use immersion blender to make a smooth butter, or just eat it as-is! 🙂

 

BONUS RECIPE:  Chocolate Pumpkin Butter Cups!!!

  • Chocolate
    • For lazy people, melt 1 c. chocolate chips in double-boiler
    • For homemade chocolate, whisk together following ingredients:
      • 3 Tbs cocoa powder
      • 1/4 c. virgin coconut oil
      • 1 Tbs sweetener of choice (honey, maple syrup, etc.)
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • pinch of salt
  • Apple Pumpkin Butter (for filling)

Once chocolate is prepared (either whisked homemade or melted store-bought), line a muffin tray with muffin cup liner thingies.

Spoon chocolate in each muffin liner to fill the bottom.  Using a brush, paint chocolate around the sides and bottom to make a cavity to fill with pumpkin butter.

Place in refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.

Using small spoonfuls, fill chilled chocolate cups with Apple Pumpkin Butter.

Using remaining melted chocolate, cover the filling so the chocolate touches the sides you “painted” earlier to completely encompass the filling.

Place back in refrigerator for 45-60 minutes until set.

After serving, if any remain, store in ziploc bag or airtight container in the fridge.

Source: 

http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/crockpot/apple-pumpkin-butter/

http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/grain-free-goodies/pumpkin-butter-cups/

This blog also has other fillings you can make, so go check it out!

Apple Ring Pancakes

  • 2 medium apples, cored
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
    • 1.5 tsp vinegar mixed with 1/2 c. milk works too
  • maple syrup

Slice apples crosswise into 1/8″ rings (yay for owning a mandolin!).

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Beat in egg and buttermilk until just incorporated.

Heat large skillet over med-low heat; grease lightly.

Dip apple rings in batter and allow excess to drip off.  (If the batter seems too thick, add more buttermilk 1 Tbs at a time, but be careful not to make it too runny.)

Cook apple rings on skillet until golden brown, turning once.  Skillet temperature is key – if it’s too hot, the batter will brown before the apple gets soft.

Serve immediately with maple syrup.

Source: http://www.heatovento350.com/2012/02/vermont-maple-apple-rings.html