The following recipe for decadent, healthy brownies is just for readers of this newsletter, “In Step With Jonny”—it’s an advance preview of our forthcoming book, “The 150 Healthiest 15-Minute Meals on Earth” by myself and my co-author, chef extraordinaire Jeannette Bessinger. Enjoy!
Decadent Better-Fat Walnut Brownies
Personally, both Chef Jeannette and I are in agreement: brownies are a food group. They’re not? Really? Well, they should be. But seriously folks… it’s hardly unusual to see a recipe for brownies that calls for two sticks of (non-organic) butter and two cups of white sugar. That’s a ton of calories—and you can do better. Just replace some of the butter with applesauce and use less sugar. Don’t worry- the brownie still has that rich mouth feel, only it comes from a mix of butter and coconut oil (rich in anti-microbal fatty acids) plus the fat in heart-healthy walnuts, (also rich in fiber and minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium). Don’t forget to use dark chocolate—it’s the only kind that contains flavonols, plant compounds that help lower blood pressure and do double duty as antioxidants. The four eggs add plenty of protein, and the optional cinnamon (delish if you ask me) may help to blunt the impact of the brownie on your blood sugar.
Neutral cooking oil spray
4 ounces high quality unsweetened chocolate (such as Sharffen Berger, Dagoba, or Callebaut)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup natural applesauce (no sugar added)
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon, optional
1 cup flour
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
Preheat the oven to 350.
Lightly spray a 9×13-inch pan with oil.
Melt the chocolate, butter and coconut oil in a medium pan over medium heat, whisking to incorporate. As soon as it is melted and mixed, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Beat the eggs and sugar together in a mixer.
Add the applesauce, vanilla and salt and beat to incorporate.
Add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat to mix well.
Add the flour mixture and beat on low just until incorporated.
Fold in the nuts and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly pressed.
Yield: 24 brownies
Note: For more fiber and nutrients, substitute whole wheat pastry flour for the regular flour.