Courtesy of our friend Trish Farano, NDTR
Rhetorical question #1: Are you always looking for ways to include healthier ingredients into what you feed your kids? (And actually what you feed you…)
Rhetorical question #2: Aren’t we all?
I recently tackled making over a traditional brownie by substituting California Avocado in for the butter that would normally be in the recipe. You may not think of avocados as something to use in baking, but health-conscious bakers can substitute avocado for many traditional baking ingredients, such as butter or shortening. Plus, who doesn’t want to cut some calories? Two tablespoons of avocado has 50 calories, two tablespoons of butter totals 204 calories.
Would it pass muster with kids? Heck, would it pass muster with adults? The answer has been a resounding, “Yes!” Using a large and very ripe California Avocado that was pureed via the food processor to a completely smooth texture eliminated any, “Yuck, what is that green stuff in my brownie?” comments and the cocoa powder makes them look like any other brownie. The addition of a few mini chocolate chips didn’t hurt.
I’ve served these brownies to kids and adults, and can tell you the adults were easily as skeptical as the kids about how this brownie was going to taste. I saw them peeking as they took bites looking for telltale green and knowing they were waiting to give me an, “Ah ha!” but it hasn’t happened yet. So try them out. Don’t tell anyone the secret ingredient until they’ve had the chance to sample, but then, by all means, don’t keep it a secret. After all, a brownie that is good to eat and better for you is just too good to keep to yourself. Let the secret be known!
Avo-licious Brownies Recipe
Makes 16 brownies
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large very ripe Fresh California Avocado (8 to 10 ounces), peeled and seeded
2 large eggs
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons mini chocolate chips, (divided)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch baking dish with heavy duty foil allowing ends to stick up; lightly coat with no-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside. Place avocado in work bowl of food processor fitted with steel knife blade; pulse until smooth, scraping bowl as needed. Add eggs, oil, honey, sugar and vanilla to bowl and process until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine; stir in 2 tablespoons chocolate chips. Spread mixture evenly in prepared baking dish. Bake 15 to 18 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs clinging; be careful not to over bake. Brownies may look damp in the center but will firm up as they cool. Cool on wire rack. Remove brownies from pan using foil handles and cut into serving pieces.
Tip: In lieu of a food processor, mash avocado with a spoon or potato masher until smooth.