Day 12

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to bake. And anyone who’s ever baked knows that every recipe contains some combination of the same ingredients: flour, butter, and sugar. 

I’m sure as you’ve figured out by now, unfortunately, all of the things that make cookies and cake and brownies so0o0o delicious aren’t even close to being paleo.

Being someone who loves to bake, but also loves being paleo, I found myself rather torn by conflicting interests.

Great ready for the title drop – this is where the beet brownie comes in.

What I’ve found constitutes the secret to keeping up a paleo lifestyle is really just finding substitutes for the foods you love to eat, not cutting them out completely. Being someone who has a serious sweet tooth and loves baked goods, I needed substitutes for flour, butter, and sugar.

Well, it turns out that there are actually a lot of substitutes, and a lot of paleo baking recipes, which brings us to Day 12, where I present to you, beet brownies.

In these brownies, instead of using white flour, I used coconut flour.

  • What is coconut flour? Coconut flour is a byproduct of coconut milk – when the coconut milk is pressed from the coconut meat, you are left with dehydrated coconut meat which can be further dried out and ground into a soft, fine powder.
  • Coconut flour is packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Most importantly, it isn’t grain based, which makes it a great gluten-free baking option.
  • Coconut flour is very filling, which also helps in preventing you from, ya know, eating an entire pan in one sitting. It’s also super absorbent, so you don’t need as much in your recipes.

Instead of using butter, I used coconut oil.

  • hello healthy sat fats.

Instead of sugar, I used beets and honey. 

  • Beets actually have a naturally sweet flavor because they have the highest sugar content of all vegetables. The pureed beets also provide the rest of the substance of the brownie since we aren’t using other fillers.
  • Honey, as long as you buy it in 100% natural form, provides a source of natural sugar. That being said, honey is still sugarThere is also a significant amount of honey in this recipe, so if you are trying to follow a strict paleo diet, obviously this isn’t the ideal food for you.

To give the brownies their chocolate flavor, I used unsweetened cocoa powder, and a moderate amount of Enjoy Life brand semi-sweet chocolate chunks. These chocolate chips are dairy free, nut free, and soy free, but honestly taste just as good as normal chocolate chips (I’m guessing sugar has something to do with that).

Obviously these brownies aren’t perfect and have some sugar in them. But what makes these so much better than regular baked goods is that they don’t just contain empty calories that normal baked goods do. In these brownies, you’re getting fiber from the coconut flour, protein from the eggs, vitamin C and potassium from the beets, and healthy saturated fats from the coconut oil. Not bad for a brownie.

FullSizeRender (16)
At least they look like regular brownies.

Now, I am not going to lie to you and tell you they taste just like normal brownies, and that you can’t even taste the beets! Cause that’s just a flat out lie. The truth is, these brownies taste healthy. They aren’t fudge-y and they aren’t oozing chocolate. They are very light and pillow-y, and the coconut flour makes them slightly grainy. They also taste like they have beets in them – and you get a nice whiff of beets right when you bring it up to your mouth. They aren’t super chocolate-y, and with every bite I’m just praying I get one of the few chocolate chunks I put in to deliver the chocolate fix I’m looking for. They definitely grow on you after a bit, and honestly I think what I liked most about them was that I really didn’t want more than one. Doesn’t that just make you want the recipe so badly?

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, high quality
  • 1/3 cup + a tbs of beet puree
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 eggs, large
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and slighly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup Enjoy Life chocolate morsels

Instructions:

  1. First, preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9×9 pan with nonstick cooking spray. (I used an 8X8 pan and cooked it for about 23-24 mins)
  2. You can either buy beet puree, or buy canned, whole beets. I used about half a can of whole beets. I also drained and rinsed the beets before I used them. Then, in a food processor, I made the puree by adding the melted coconut oil to the beets. Add all of the wet ingredients together and whisk together. Then, add in all your dry ingredients.
  3. Transfer batter into pan and cook at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the toothpick test comes out clean.
  4. Serve warm and gooey. yeah, they’re not gonna be gooey. sorry.
  5. They taste good with some coconut milk though! (you’re gonna need it to wash ’em down)

As someone who is pretty obsessed with brownies – I can’t believe I’m saying this – I’m not totally sure these brownies are worth it. Don’t get me wrong, this is an awesome paleo recipe if you are specifically looking for a brownie substitue, but if you are looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth that is paleo, I think there are much better ways to do it.

Stay tuned tomorrow, and I’ll give you guys what I think are some much tastier plaeo dessert alternatives.

These brownies are still paleo though, so go ahead and include them in your Day 12 plan if you want! Here’s the rest of your meals for today, Cheers!

DRINK 8 oz. of water when you wake up.

Do some pushups. Get your blood flowing right away.

Breakfast:

  • 8 oz. of water
  • 2 scrambled eggs
  • Green smoothie (mine had banana + white peaches + mango + spinach)

DRINK 16 oz. before lunch.

Lunch:

  • 5 oz. can of tuna (I drained and rinsed my tuna before eating)
  • half an avacado (I just mashed it into the tuna in a bowl)

DRINK 8 oz. after lunch.

Dinner:

  • 8 oz. of water
  • Vegetable stir fry with chicken (mine had carrots, zucchini, broccoli, red & organs peppers, and onions)

The veggies are so good and fresh, it really doesn’t need to be ruined with sauce.

Make sure to drink at least 8 oz. of water before bed!

-Audrey

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