By Jillian Teta
You see, I have this lil’ problem. I call it a strong love for chocolate, but others may call it an addiction. Chocolate, in my eyes, is just the cat’s meow. I am constantly drinking unsweetened cocoa drinks, putting cocoa powder in my smoothies, you name it.
But today was different. Here in North Carolina, they don’t deal with snow like they do up in Boston (where I am originally from). So, we had a few inches of heavy, wet snow yesterday and last night, and now, everything is closed and all of my training clients cancelled.
What was I to do in this snowpocalypse, with a whole free morning? After I slept in another couple of hours, I decided it was high time to get in the kitchen and mess around with….well, chocolate. I wanted a confection that I could feel like I was indulging in, but was actually quite healthy and free from dairy products and sugar.
I have to say, I have come off of competition and/or clean-eating diets and have dove right into a steady stream of cookies, pastries and other sultry dishes right out of the pages of Bon Appétit magazine, and people, I am here to tell you this: if you are serious about body change and maintaining even a reasonable amount of definition in your midsection, that is not the way to go. Been there, done that, and have multiple T-shirts.
Yet, although you will not likely find me free-basing butter, sugar and full-fat milk products, I remain true to my “eat, drink and be merry” persona. There are SO many ways to have your (brownies) and eat them too, without compromising your waistline. Not to mention, rich in almonds, walnuts and cocoa, these guys are chock-full of magnesium and health-giving phytochemicals that are great for your brain, heart and blood sugar control J
Which brings me back to the original point. These tasty little morsels. When I bit into them, it was at first soft and warm, then a bit of chewy sweetness, and a nice surprising crunch from the walnuts, and then back to soft chewy yumminess. If you are anything like me, I can assure you that you will find these beauties divine.
Pre-heat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray with zero-cal cooking spray like PAM.
2 ½ cups almond flour
1 scoop vanilla or chocolate whey protein powder (I used and love Jay Robb)
¼ tsp sea salt
½ cup raw organic cocoa powder or baking cocoa
¼ cup coconut syrup sweetener
¼ cup liquid maltitol or Joseph’s sugar free syrup (Optional: use ½ cup of wet sweetener of choice…nutrition facts are for this recipe, though)
¼ – ½ cup filtered water
2 oz (about 30) walnut halves
In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (except walnuts), breaking up clumps of almond flour until well incorporated. Add sweetener and ¼ cup of filtered water, and stir to make a dough. At first, the dough will look dry and clumpy, but pulls together nicely to form a sticky ball. Add additional water as needed. Stir in walnuts. Drop by tablespoonful onto baking sheet. Bake at 300F for 15-17 minutes, until dry but soft. Makes roughly 16 brownie bites.
Serving size: 1
Fat: ~11 grams
Carbohydrate: ~7 grams
Fiber: ~3 grams
Protein: ~7 grams
Play with this recipe and let me know how you like it! I love to hear from you!