Okay so we are all being super healthy and waving an admonishing finger whenever anyone mentions the dreaded S (sugar) word in front of us these days. The other biggie that everyone wants to avoid is gluten (found in wheat) as it can cause so many health issues. We are counting calories, fretting about fat and foraging for fibre with every nibble of fruit. We are forcing our bods to move more and clearing our minds of all thoughts of chocolate and other such treats.
But be honest, doing all that can be a real pain the the ass. It can be boring as hell and you end up feeling deprived and anxious that you aren’t getting to eat any of the treats that you used to take (rather too much!) for granted.
Buying sugar free cakes and biscuits etc is a nightmare and going for healthy gluten free products can mean that they actually contain more calories than the ‘normal’ varieties.
The answer, make your own sugar free gluten free brownies of course!
While I have baked many a cake, cookie and biscuit in my trusty Aga over the years I have never really been all that concerned about the ingredients other than the fact that they come together well and do their thing to create the right product I am making and of course taste good. I never used to worry about the type of flour (gluten free etc) or that maybe there was just a tad too much sugar involved.
When I wrote Simply Scottish Cakes & Bakes I know I ate way too much of my own baking and developed a taste of baked goods that I hadn’t really had before. I used to be able to walk right past cakes etc and would always have headed for the more savoury option. After doing 6 months of non stop baking and eating I found that I craved the sugary sweetness and it wasn’t until last year that I realised that the whole wheat and sugar thing can actually be totally addictive. The more you have the more you want.
So nowadays I try to bake in a more healthy manner. These gluten free sugar free brownies are a case in point. I get the sweetness and chocolatey nuttiness of a brownie but without the drawbacks of the dreaded gluten and sugar. A win, win situation all round folks!
- 50g/2 oz dark chocolate (over 70%)
- 25g/1 oz cacao nibs
- 75g/3oz coconut oil
- ¼ tsp stevia powder
- 1 ripe banana
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 50g/2oz ground almonds
- 25g/1 oz dessicated coconut
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp cacao powder (or cocoa)
- 50g/2oz chopped walnuts
- 50g/2oz flaked almonds
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of bubbling water (don't let the water touch the bowl)
- Warm the coconut oil to melt it and beat well with the stevia powder in a mixer.
- Add all other ingredients (apart from the walnuts and almonds) and mix well.
- stir in the nuts.
- Spoon the mixture on to a 10" oblong baking tray lined with parchment.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until just firm on the top, don't overcook as you want them to be chewy in the centre.
- Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.