Monday, April 2, 2012

Avocado Brownies (with Walnut Butter Icing)


There’s a difference between sneaking vegetables into food, so that children will unknowingly consume them and packing recipes with nutrient-rich and unexpected ingredients to “up the ante”. We could debate which approach is better but frankly I’m all for anything that results in an end product that’s healthier assuming it’s just as tasty.  Carolyn’s blog and twitter handle is OneSmartBrownie. Her last name is Brown if you’re trying to connect the dots “one smart cookie” ok hopefully you get it. Anyway, we thought it was time for C. to tackle her namesake food and make it Foodtrainers’ friendly. She played with ingredients and came up with these Mung Bean, Avocado Brownies. Don’t knock them until you try them; I tried them and I’m glad the portion left in my office wasn’t too large.

No pressure, Lauren suggested I come up with an amazing brownie recipe "something people haven't seen before" oh and "gluten free" with attributes beyond deliciousness. I had heard of black bean brownies so I figured sprouted mung beans would work. Mung beans cook quickly, have amazing nutritionals and we use them on our Dine and Detox program. Why not detox while brownie-ing? As for avocado, I was late to fully jump on the avocado bandwagon. It took me a whlie to like texture but it's one of my 2012 obsessions.
I’m not going to lie, I was shocked these were so good. But because people don’t trust nutritionist's taste buds so I brought them to a concert and my friends demolished them. Who knew mung bean brownies were the new bar food?

Avocado, Bean Brownies with Walnut Butter Icing


Ingredients:
1/2 c sprouted mung beans (used TruRoots)
1/2 avocado
1/4 c dark brown sugar (used Muscovado)
3 organic omega 3 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder (used Equal Exchange Organic)
1/4 c semisweet chocolate chips (used Sunspire)
2 tbsp. organic virgin coconut oil (used 365 organic)
Pinch Himalayan sea salt

Walnuts (DIY walnut butter) or Artisana's Walnut Butter for "icing"

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin tins with oil.
  2. Bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil. Boil mung beans for 4 minutes and then remove from heat. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Drain any remaining water.
  3. Place beans, avocado, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, oil, eggs and sea salt and in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Add chocolate chips and pulse until broken into tiny small chocolate bits.
  5. Pour evenly into mini muffin tins and bake for 10-14 min.
  6. Let cool, then "ice" (lightly) with walnut butter.

2 mini muffin brownies with walnut icing 125 calories, 2 grams fiber (sans icing 90 calories- quite a “100 calorie pack”)
Two Smart Brownies 
Do avocado brownies scare you? Any healthy baking tips or swaps? What do you think of "upping the ante" of recipes or sneaking veggies in? 

23 comments:

  1. Oh YUM!!! Actually, I think the best sounding part of this recipe is the walnut butter you used to icing. I've been making walnut butter for quite some type now, but never thought to use it as a brownie icing. Brilliant!

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    1. You need "icing", right? Avocados, walnuts, beans pretty good. Loved your broc. brownie idea too.

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  2. Ooooh...these sound GOOD. I love avocado, but never thought to bake with it.

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    1. I think avocado is great for texture and pairs well with chocolate in smoothies, puddings and here in the brownies. You want enough to work and not too much so it's baked guacamole.

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  3. We pureee avocado and carrots with some unsweetened cocoa powder to make chocolate fondue. The kids love dipping fruit in it and have no idea their are any veggies in the fondue. Thanks for the brownie recipe. We'll have to give it a try.

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    1. MD, do you think they'd mind if they knew the veggies were there? My kids sort of got kick out of the avocado in the brownies/tried to see if they could taste but they did not. Maybe we have to put carrots in these brownies too. Fondue- delicious.

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  4. Sounds amazing! But where can I find mung beans? (what store - whole foods? and what section of the store)

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    1. Whole foods in the beany section.

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  5. That truly sounds amazing!!! Thank you and I WILL try these! Sweets with lots of cream/butter etc is my down fall & this sounds like a delicious & healthy alternative ;)
    Thanks Terry Russo NP

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    1. Terry, thanks for comment avocado is great for adding creaminess.

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  6. just made chocolate pudding the other day and the base was avocado!!! love avocado. Lauren and crew - you should have an area on the blog where you post your recipes!!!! oh, and I think it's very important not to HIDE from your kids what's inside a food (like Jessica Seinfeld does). My kids liked kale chips so, when I made a smoothie that had kale in it, I wasn't afraid to tell the,

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    1. yum, shari I have recipe from Sue (did cycle for survival) with avocado/dates/cacao it's delicious. We will display recipes better (we need you to consult). I'm with you on hiding but also feel it depends on the eater. Your kids/my kids and many kids are open to tasting and trying. True veggie haters you can put things in food and not advertise it. I would never suggest lying about it though. I would love to see more Judy/avocado recipes. Did she use them (my mom did not except guacamole).

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  7. I agree with not hiding veggies from kids like the Deceptively Delicious cooking style - I think with kids, it's too important to get them used to the idea that veggies and other healthy foods should be part of your daily diet. If you're sneaking it into their diet without their knowledge, then what are they going to do as adults when there's no one to puree carrots into their mac and cheese anymore? But there's also nothing wrong with trying to make brownies a little less bad for you. I have a recipe somewhere for avocado chocolate cake and I've been meaning to try it - this one sounds good also, although I think I might pass on the walnut icing sicne I'm not a fan of walnuts. But then again I'm also not a fan of almonds and I love almond butter, so maybe it's worth a try!

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    1. Icing optional. I like the puree idea, the more veggies the better but agree, we can't live by purees alone. "What happens when they're adults and there's no one to puree carrots" LOL.

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  8. These sound really interesting!
    I am all for trying substitutes. Sometimes though, they don't turn out.
    I will have to give these a try.

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    1. um Kristen we posted 1 recipe, there was another brownie riff that didn't work. Great point.

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  9. Great recipe, and gives me a good excuse to use mung beans. Love the walnut butter topping too! I am very much "anti sneaking", but "up the ante" all the time (love that term!). I want my kids to know thwart they're eating and that these healthier foods taste great too!

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    1. Exactly EA, what's the worst that can happen, they dislike something, it happens.

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  10. I'm a big fan of swaps in cooking. If I can "up the ante" with good taste results, I will. I definitely don't try to add things in secretly. I want my kids to know that I add healthy ingredients because they are good for our bodies.

    Our most recent success was on St. Patrick's Day. My husband and I wanted to make something green for breakfast that would be fun for the kids, but definitely didn't want nasty green food dye. So, my husband pureed about 3 cups of spinach with the milk for our pancake batter. The result was an amazing green color, and the pancakes didn't even have a hint of spinach flavor. The kids stood by the stove waiting for the pancakes to come out of the pan and ate them plain. I count that as a win.

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    1. I am now obsessed with adding spinach to the kids' pancakes, 3 cups and they didn't taste? That's a great upping the ante it is.

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  11. Avocado bean brownies don't scare me one bit. I find them rather intriguing! Hope to see you this week!

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    1. of course not, you spin in the front row and have 10 academic degrees, what scares you?

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  12. Can't wait to make these this weekend! Miss my brownies since going gluten-free (and don't want the box mixes). :)

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