Quite often I find that pre-packaged/commercial food, although marked GLUTEN FREE, contains a lot of things we generally try to steer clear of - high sugar, additives, preservatives, salt - especially for children. It's no secret that I have a sweet tooth so I am the first to put up my hand and admit to being a little heavy-handed with the sugar in my baking but I wanted to see if there were great tasting alternatives out there, especially for my kids. So I set about finding something yum that focused on the natural but still tasted amazing.. Lets face it, if it doesn't taste amazing, no-one is going to eat it so what's the point.
Well I think I'm off to a flying start here.. see what you think!
The recipe below is an adaptation of one found here -> Healthy Chocolate Brownies which in turn, is an adaptation of one found in the book The Healthiest Meals On Earth by Jonny Bowden
These brownies are high in fibre and contain no refined sugar
12 Medjool Dates soaked in 1 Cup of hot water for 10 minutes (pits removed)
*this is an amendment to the original measurement of 1 & 1/2 cups as I feel less water makes a better end product. Still pouring off 1/4 cup of the liquid later.
1 can (400g) of chickpeas rinsed well and drained
1/2 cup GF cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
50g of GF dark chocolate (optional) ~ I used what I had available (40g) and still worked well
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon GF baking powder
Pre-heat oven to 180° Celsius
I used a 9x9x2in square Wilton brownie tin and lined with baking paper
Soak the dates in the hot water for 10 minutes. After this time, pour off 1/4 cup of the liquid and process the dates and remaining water in a food processor.
Combine the date mixture, cocoa powder, coconut oil, chocolate and honey in a separate bowl.
Process the chickpeas and eggs together in the processor until a smooth consistency is achieved
(this will collect any remnants of the date mixture as well) and then stir into chocolate mixture.
Add baking powder and stir to mix in well.
Pour into lined baking tin and cook for 45 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes before cutting
You could always add nuts if you wanted to but these are a great addition to lunchboxes 'as they are' (school friendly). I love this recipe and will definitely be making it again and again. All of the ingredients can be sourced easily from your regular supermarket - you may find that you already have about 90% of the ingredients in your pantry anyway.
You may also choose to try different sweeteners - eg; Rice Malt Syrup, Agave Nectar, Stevia
I have used honey here as I find this preferable to an artificial sweetener - but that's not to say I would never use one.