It’s long been known that chocolate can be good for you. Of course, there’s the rather unscientific “chocolate is made from cocoa which is made from cocoa beans. Beans are good for you so chocolate is good for you…” argument. And then there are various studies that have been conducted; we thank the scientific community for this.
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In fact, a small experimental study presented at a conference in April, found that dark chocolate can decrease stress and improve mood, memory and immunity. (Spoiler alert: It’s the cocoa that’s so good.)
So what does that mean? Well, chocolate can move from your “no” list to your “go” list. The catch? Your chocolate bar needs to have a high percentage of cacao, usually over 70%. Your favourite off-the-shelf milk chocolate or white chocolate just isn’t going to cut it.
So does this mean we can all enjoy brownies guilt-free? Well no. Adding some dark chocolate to your regular brownie pre-mix isn’t going to do you any good either. It’s packed with sugar. And even if you try to make your own brownies, most recipes call for a worrying amount of sugar anyway.
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Google “healthy brownie recipe” and a whole lot of options will come up and trust us, we’ve tried a lot of different recipes. I’ve tried the banana and peanut butter combo, but it just tasted like a banana peanut butter block. And the sweet potato brownies? They’re not bad but they’re not good either and here at MH HQ we don’t do sub-par… especially not when it comes to brownies.
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After buying too many butternuts because they were on special at Pick ‘n Pay (we’ve all been there) and failing to eat them, I needed to find a way to use them. This led me to these badass brownies. Roasting the butternut brings out a natural sweetness and the combination of the peanut butter, cocoa powder and coconut milk gives it a rich fudginess that even the best unhealthy brownies struggle to match. Best part? You can make it in a blender.
Butternut blender brownies
- 1 cup butternut
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (or any other nut butter)
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup cranberries (optional)
- 1/2 cup blueberries (optional)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)
- 1/4 cup granola (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a square baking dish.
- Roast the peeled and chopped butternut with no oil, until soft.
- Blend the roasted butternut, peanut butter, cocoa powder, coconut milk and protein powder together.
- If using, mix the optional ingredients into the batter.
- Spoon the batter into your baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
This article was originally published on www.mh.co.za
Image credit: iStock