My son Nick picked up the nickname, “Picky Nicky”, almost from the first day he could talk. Although we no longer call him Nicky, (he decided that was a girl’s name), we still know him as picky. I tried tricking him once by making chili with half ground beef and half ground turkey. (He’s not a ground turkey fan.) No other changes were made. He took one bite and said, “You did something different. I don’t like it.” If it looks, smells, or even feels funny to him, he will not even taste it.
Which is why I was so surprised when he came over the other day and tried, without prompting and with fair warning of the ingredients, one of my healthy brownies! He not only tried it, he liked it. I was shocked! I think I still am.
One thing that will make these brownies so irresistible, even to YOUR picky eaters, is their glossy, dark chocolate surface. You can’t help but want to dive right in. Once you do, the melting dark chocolate morsels and walnuts will keep you coming back for more.
Chocolate is a weakness for me. Although I am trying to eat better all the time, I can’t seem to give up this one true friend who has always stood by me in my hours of need. So, a healthy version was called for. Some of the ingredients may seem unfamiliar to you, but don’t let that stop you from trying this simple recipe. I want to encourage you to try new things. As I’ve said to Nick many times, at least try it. If you don’t like it, don’t eat it but, please, just try it.
And, if you can’t find some of the ingredients at your local store, look on Amazon.com. I can find almost anything I’m looking for there!
3 Tbs. Flax meal
9 Tbs. water
1/3 cup applesauce, unsweetened
1 Tbs. espresso powder mixed with 1/4 cup hot water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sucanat sweetener or white sugar
1 cup Hershey’s Dark Chocolate morsels, melted (I melt them in the microwave)
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup Hershey’s Dark Chocolate cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Hershey’s Dark Chocolate morsels
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350.
To begin with, you need to place the flax meal and 9 Tbs. of water in a small pot. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes. When it’s done, it will have the consistency of egg whites, which is what they will be replacing in this recipe. Set this aside to cool.
I’m replacing some of the eggs, but not all of them, for two reasons: First, when a baking recipe calls for more than three eggs, you can’t replace all of them or the food suffers. The second reason is, although eggs, and especially whites have great benefits such as protein and omega-3’s, I just happen to think using a white and throwing the rest away is wasteful. Not to mention the fact that five eggs in one recipe (that is not an omelet), just seems like a lot of eggs to me. (If you would like to use all eggs it will take 5 whole eggs)
Flax meal is a “superfood”. It has cancer fighting lignans. It also has omega-3’s just like eggs. And, it helps with digestion. So, you see why I am so willing to use it as a substitute here.
Next, with a mixer, beat together sugar, applesauce, eggs, flax meal, and water mixture, espresso, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cocoa (I always sift my cocoa after measuring just to get out any lumps), and baking powder.
Mix together the wet ingredients and the dry just until combined. With a spoon, mix in walnuts and dark chocolate chips. Pour this mountain of gooey chocolate deliciousness into a prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.
I like to taste them warm out of the oven when the chocolate morsels are at their melty best, but if you want to let them cool first be my guest. That is, if you you can.