Double Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownies

SP brownies

SP brownies

“So, exactly how many of your Recipes of the Month are chocolate?” – Michael’s reaction when I disclosed to him what my May 2018 recipe was going to be. 😀

Originally I was planning on coming up with some kind of Tex-Mex recipe for Cinco de Mayo last weekend… but nothing special was coming to me!  When it comes to blogging, I can’t force the creativity to go in a certain direction; I have to go with what flows and what inspires me – and I just kept going back to chocolate.  Surprise, surprise!

I’m actually shocked it took me so long to get this one right (3x since the end of April – third time’s a charm?).  But I’d been making sweet potato brownies for fun at home a lot over the last year, and they’ve been a success pretty much every time with my guests and taste testers.  The challenge is that often when I’m cooking/baking, I’m not measuring – I just throw a bunch of impromptu ingredients in a bowl or blender depending on what I have on-hand in my kitchen.  So any time somebody asks me for my recipes, I try to guesstimate exactly what it was that I did (measurements) and this one just couldn’t seem to be replicated on paper! Until now.

Either way, I won’t say it hasn’t been a blast finalizing and taste-testing this recipe for double dark chocolate sweet potato brownies multiple times in the last month… 😉

Just like my other chocolate recipes (i.e. the chocolate avocado mousse and dark chocolate coconut snowballs), this one too is versatile in that it can be had at any time of day.  I’m pretty sure a generous amount of sweet potato brownies have been integrated into my breakfast a handful of times in the past week, paired with a side of fresh fruit! 

Being a huge nutrition nerd, I secretly love the fact that when I combine vitamin C from strawberries or grapefruit or pineapple with the non-heme iron in the cacao powder in these brownies, I’m substantially increasing the bioavailability (absorption) of plant-based iron from my breakfast each morning.

Raw Cacao

If you like to bake, and you’re going to make something chocolate (like brownies), or you’re a “choco-holic” like me, raw cacao powder like this one makes a great staple in place of cocoa powder (1:1 swap ratio).  Cacao is rich in flavor, and for a few extra $ you will get significantly more vital minerals (potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous) which help improve / balance dozens of things in our body including but not limited to mood, sleep, blood pressure, PMS, energy levels and even bone health. 

If you’ve seen my other blog posts, you probably know I also like to opt for more nutrient-dense sweeteners such as coconut palm sugar and raw honey or maple syrup if I have them at home.  Generally speaking, I notice HUGE differences in how I feel energetically (not to mention less physiological food cravings) when I use nutrient-dense ingredients in my own creations. I am sharing this information with you because it’s really easy and really enjoyable! 

But please note:  this doesn’t mean I don’t still have desserts made with “normal” sugar when I’m out and I want something sweet!  Deprivation is not good, and it’s counter-intuitive if you’re trying to have a healthier relationship with food.  Moderation and balance are key!

Oh, and sweet potatoes!

Sweet potatoes

This recipe actually happened by accident at some point in 2016 because of sweet potatoes.  I had a bunch of them that I wanted to use, but didn’t feel like eating them plain or as pancakes.  

(Annnnd I’m pretty sure my assignment to make black bean brownies as a dietetic intern at the University of New Hampshire also gave me some inspiration for this idea! I remember really enjoying that assignment and my roommates at the time reaped the benefits too.)

A few of my favorite things in sweet potatoes (1):

  • Beta-carotene (it’s the anti-oxidant which helps prevent aging and dis-ease, and it’s what gives sweet potatoes their orange pigment… also the pre-cursor to fat-soluble Vitamin A)
  • Vitamin C 
  • Manganese 
  • Copper 
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Vitamin B6
  • Biotin
  • Potassium
  • Fiber

Again: our body uses all of the above nutrients on a cellular level.  Imagine the wonders of difference it would make in your quality of life if you got more of those nutrients, more often.  And the best part is it’s at no cost – you still get to love what you eat.  It makes a great difference in how we feel when we are truly nourished at this level! 

I personally find that when we cook or bake things with lots of love and intention, regardless of what we are making, generally speaking it makes eating into a sacred experience. 

brownies

That said, here’s my final “guesstimate” of what happened in my kitchen based on lots of practice:

cacao powder

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked sweet potato or butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup softened coconut manna (or coconut butter) – NOT coconut oil!
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: ½ teaspoon baking powder

Brownie ingredients

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a square 8×8 pan or round cake pan with butter or coconut oil.

In a food processor or blender: combine all ingredients EXCEPT chocolate chips.  Blend for several minutes until batter is smooth and fudgy – no lumps!

Transfer to bowl and stir in chocolate chips; optional: save some for topping.

Bake at 350 F for about 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven, until brownies pass the “toothpick test”.

Makes about 9 to 12 flat, dense, fudgy, very chocolatey brownies.

Cool for at least 30 minutes in the fridge before slicing and serving.

Cover and store in the fridge for up to 5 days, or the freezer for up to a month (I can’t imagine these brownies sticking around for long enough in my household, but to each their own!).

OPTIONAL:  Double the recipe and bake in normal brownie pan for about 30-35 minutes (I haven’t tried this yet, since I didn’t keep enough ingredients on-hand to do so).

OPTIONAL:  Swap the coconut manna for peanut butter (I also haven’t done this so I can’t tell you how it would turn out).

OPTIONAL:  Don’t have cacao powder?  Use cocoa powder!  Don’t have coconut palm sugar?  Use brown sugar!  Don’t have real maple syrup?  Use agave or raw honey or another liquid sweetener of your choice.  Again, I haven’t tried these alternatives but who says you can’t get creative?

As a courtesy, if you decide to modify/share this recipe, please credit Whole-istic Living 🙂 

Thanks and have a wonderful week!

<3 Jenna

References:

  1. The Food Processor, Version 10.12.0, ESHA Research, Salem, Oregon, USA

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