Sweet Potatoes for Dessert

The words, ‘sweet potato’ and, ‘brownie’ are not words you would think to find in the same sentence. Strangely enough, they actually go together quite well, and not just in the same sentence, in an actual dessert. I love chocolate, and so does Adam and the girls. I like sweet potatoes, but my family wouldn’t go near them with a 10 foot pole, unless they are in the form of a fry. Initially, I thought this would pose a problem when making sweet potato brownies, but amazingly, it didn’t.

I love sneaking healthy ingredients into desserts. The best thing about these brownies is that you would never know they are loaded with nutrient rich sweet potatoes because they are amazingly delicious. They are decadent, chocolaty and have passed the kid, husband and friend test with flying colours. I feel no guilt in serving them to my family, or eating multiple on my own (and I have). The whole batch lasted less than 24 hours. Eat them on their own, or if you are feeling really adventurous, serve them with my chocolate avocado ice cream (https://myflockoffour.com/2016/02/22/ice-cream-thats-good-for-you/).

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Here is the Recipe for the Sweet Potato Brownies – It Makes 16:
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 TSP Baking Powder
1/4 TSP Salt
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Honey or Agave Nectar
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil – Melted
1 TSP Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cup Sweet Potatoes
1/2 Cup Ground Walnuts (optional)
1/2 Cup Mini Dark Chocolate Chips

Here is the Recipe for the Chocolate Ganache Topping (optional but a delicious addition):
1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1/4 Cup Almond Milk

Here are the Directions for the Sweet Potato Brownies:
1. Preheat Oven to 350F (on convection setting if you have).

2. Wash 1 large sweet potato well, dry and bake for about an hour. Once the potato is baked and cool, blend it until it is super smooth (no lumps), then begin making the brownie batter.

3. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, or lightly grease a non-stick 8 x 8 baking pan.

4. In a bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until combined.

5. In another bowl combine the brown sugar, honey/agave, coconut oil and mix until combined. Then add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

6. In batches, add the dry ingredients to your wet ingredients. Once all combined, add the sweet potato and mix until combined.

7. Add your chocolate chips and ground walnuts and mix until combined.

8. Pour the batter into your baking pan, spread it evenly, then bake for about 20 minutes.

Here are the Direction for the Chocolate Ganache Topping:

1. In a double boiler (small pot filled with a little water, boil water, add metal bowl on top of pot) melt your chocolate chips.

2. Slowly add almond milk and combine until the ganache is the consistency you want. I like it a little runnier because it is easier to work with and you end up using less – which means you will likely have some leftover and when nobody is looking you can eat it on its own with a glass of red.

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Enjoy! Would love to hear your thoughts on the recipe if you try it. More sneaky and delicious desserts to come.

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Chocolate Lover’s Healthy Granola Hearts

Happy Valentine’s Day! It is indeed the sweetest day of the year, and a great opportunity to scope out your child’s Valentines Day school stash – it is like Halloween for parents. Valentine’s Day has been strategically placed, a few weeks after the holidays, just in time to allow us to get over the chocolate hangover, and ready to endure another few days of gluttony.

I LOVE chocolate, and find every excuse to eat it. With this recipe, now I can, so can my Valentine’s, and so can you. I’ve been making homemade granola bars for a long time; they are healthy, cheaper then buying at the store, I can put whatever I like in them and they are really easy to make…so why not turn then into a healthy indulgent snack?

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Here is the recipe – it makes 12.
1 Cup of Rolled Oats
1 Cup of Spelt Flakes
1/2 Cup of Wheat Germ
1/4 Cup of Hemp Hearts
1/2 Cup Cocoa
1oz Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Honey
1/4 Cup of Dark Brown Sugar
2 TSP Vanilla Extract
1/2 TSP Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Dried Diced Strawberries
1/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

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Here are the Directions:
1. Preheat your over to 300F and grease 1 glass baking dish.

2. In a bowl, mix the rolled oats, spelt flakes, wheat germ, hemp hearts, cocoa powder and salt together and set aside.

3. On medium heat, in a sauce pan, melt the coconut oil, honey, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Once the sugar is dissolved and the mixture bubbles, cut the heat and pour into your oat mixture, mix thoroughly and add your diced dried strawberries and 1/2 of your chocolate chips – try not to eat all of it before you bake it.

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4. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter (if you like) to form heart shaped treats. Put the cookie cutter right into your baking dish, pack the granola mixture into the cookie cutter and gently lift the cookie cutter to achieve the shape.

5. Bake your hearts at 300F for 25 minutes. When they come out, sprinkle with the remainder of the chocolate chips.

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These tasty treats are beyond delicious, and adorable. They are the perfect opportunity to eat chocolate for breakfast, or any time of day. When I make them I can’t keep my daughters’ or my husband’s hands out of them. Enjoy,,,and Happy Chocolate Day!

 

 

 

 

Fake Pops

Cake pops are a little taste of heaven. If I could, I’d eat them all time, but for the sake of my waistline and health, best to find a comparable alternative. I’ve done that, and now I am sharing it with you. I call them, ‘Fake Pops’, looks can be deceiving, but there is not an ounce of cake in these little bites of delightfulness, and barely an ounce of sugar. The best part about them is they are actually healthy, and kids love them. You have probably heard the term, ‘power balls’, or, ‘vegan truffles’, this is my spin on those recipes, but taking them a step further by turning them into a legitimate dessert.

Here is the Recipe – it makes 24.
3 Cups Dates
3/4 Cup of Walnuts
1/4 Cup Hemp Hearts
1 Cup Cocoa
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
24 Lollipop Sticks

Here are the Directions:
1. In your food processor, blend the walnuts & hemp hearts until they are as fine as you can get them. Set them aside.

2. Blend the dates until they become a, ‘dough’. If your dates are a little dry, soak them in some hot water for 5 minutes.

3. Add the walnut & hemp hearts into the date dough and blend everything together. Then add the cocoa, blend, then the coconut oil and blend until all ingredients are mixed together well. The, ‘dough’ should feel like a nice moist cookie dough. If it feels dry, add a tiny bit more coconut oil.

4. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Use a little melted chocolate, dip the lollipop stick in the chocolate, then into the ball and set aside.

6. Decorate as your heart desires! I used mini M&Ms – a little sugar is good for the soul. The balls are sticky so you can just press them M&Ms in, or use a bit of melted chocolate to stick them on.

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Not only are these Fake Pops delicious, but they are loaded with antioxidants, omega-3 and omega-6, vitamin E, fibre and so many more valuable vitamins and minerals. The M&Ms are colourful, and they taste good – see, they have a benefit.

Hope you enjoy!