I can’t get enough of avocados at the moment. Whether that be mashed and spread lavishly on toasted sourdough, or blitzed up in a green smoothie. Blended with a little cacao powder and maple syrup and topped with strawberries for a tasty dessert, or even in chocolate brownies.
Yes you did read that correct, because the secret ingredient in these delicious chocolate brownies is avocado.
I mean really….. is there nothing this little green fruit can’t do?
They’re just so versatile.
Finding the right balance of fats during pregnancy is crucial to the health of your baby and one of the best fats to include in your diet is omega-3 fats, and you guessed it, avocado is packed full of the stuff and benefits you and your baby
Omega-3s provide essential nutrients for both health and development. Although because they are not synthesised by the human body, they must be obtained from either your diet or in the form of supplementation.
|Amount Per 100 grams1 cup, sliced (146 g)1 cup, cubes (150 g)1 avocado, NS as to Florida or California (201 g)1 cup, pureed (230 g)100 grams|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 15 g||23%|
|Saturated fat 2.1 g||10%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 1.8 g|
|Monounsaturated fat 10 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0%|
|Sodium 7 mg||0%|
|Potassium 485 mg||13%|
|Total Carbohydrate 9 g||3%|
|Dietary fiber 7 g||28%|
|Sugar 0.7 g|
|Protein 2 g||4%|
|Vitamin A||2%||Vitamin C||16%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||15%|
Ranks pretty high on my fave things to do! But the jury’s still out on just how beneficial dark chocolate actually is for us. Naturally we all want to believe that the dark stuff is so good for us. That munching our way through a family size pack is equal to chowing down on a bag of kale – Oh if only.
A few years back when I was in the midst of reassessing just how much sugar I ate, I swapped my chocolate treats to the darker stuff. The higher the cocoa solid content the less sugar you’ll be consuming.
Although the calories are roughly the same in milk choc and dark chocolate, diets and counting calories is just not what I’m about. What I am about is healthy options.
By eating the darker chocolate which contains more cocoa solids and less sugar is. that we tend to eat less of. Mainly because it is richer and has a slightly bitter taste to compared with milk chocolate. BUT dark chocolate has more FAT. Why can’t things just be easy hey.
A little while ago there was a huge write up about the flavanols in dark chocolate and this kicked off the whole DARK CHOCOLATE IS GOOD FOR YOU revelation that so many of us read about.
The truth is that would need to eat such a huge amount of dark chocolate for those flavanols to even have a positive effect. Plus let’s not forget that chocolate does contain caffeine which we know is a big NO NO. Bottom line is that it’s really just not worth it. Apples and citrus fruit contain high levels and well we know they’re good for us.
The Good news
The one good thing we can take from replacing our chocolate craving with the dark stuff and is a definite guarantee is that it contains less sugar. Plus eating chocolate raises our levels of endorphins and the feel good neurotransmitter serotonin YAY. CHOCOLATE REALLY DOES MAKE US FEEL GOOD.
The plus side of writing a food blog is I get to be the tester girl that tries the recipes out. It’s a tough life I know. But I’m also my own biggest critic when it comes to perfecting the taste. So my go to proof once I think I have nailed the recipe is always my kids.
With a custom in built ability to taste sweetness and relate that sweetness to deliciousness, I know if they love it I’m onto a winner.
I didn’t however dare mention that these were made with avocado. I’m pretty sure my other taste tester the husband would squirm if he knew, despite loving avocado himself.
I think he’d consider it a whole new level if I was to mention that he’s chomping on the stuff in his brownies.
The other power ingredient
The Linseed or flaxseed as its’ sometimes known is an excellent source of fibre and is rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre. When it is sprinkled on cereal or included in cakes, breads, smoothies, granola bars soups, salads and yogurts it is incredible.
A small amount really does go a long way. The fibre in linseed is less harsh than that of wheat bran and therefore more soothing on your bowel and stomach too.
So, if like me and countless other women out there who are suffering with constipation or just feeling a little sluggish; please give Linseed a go before reaching for the shop brought fibre supplements.
Please just remember to drink plenty of water with them and of course if you’re suffering from any bowel issues such as diverticulitis then avoid.
For specific questions regarding your diet or if you feel that you need extra assistance, please do contact your doctor or midwife to seek guidance.
Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think……. Enjoy xx
Healthy Vegan Brownies
- 8 oz. 220g +70% dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 cup 200g coconut palm sugar
- 2 flax eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¾ cup 75g almond meal
- ¼ cup 30g unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup 50g walnuts, chopped
- HOW TO MAKE A FLAX EGG:
- To make one flax egg mix 1 tbsp. flaxseed meal and 2 ½ tbsp. water. Let it rest for 5 mins to thicken.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Line a 8×8-inch baking pan with baking paper.
- Place the coconut oil and chopped chocolate in a medium size heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of lightly simmering water. Stir the chocolate and coconut oil until they are completely melted.
- In a large bowl, mash avocado and then stir in the chocolate mixture. Whisk in the sugar, then add in the flax eggs and vanilla extract, mix well.
- Next add in the cocoa powder, almond meal, baking powder and salt, mixing until just combined (do not over mix). Finally, stir in chopped walnuts.
- Spread the batter into the prepared baking tin and place it in the middle of the oven. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until the middle is set.
- Let completely cool on a rack and cut into 12 squares.