Everyone loves a fudgy brownie the indulgent treat that most people feel incredibly guilty with each mouthful. But what if I told you, you can make them better for you?
Did you know that the average Australian consumes 3 times the amount of added sugar daily?
That is a huge increase over the years, while our recommended daily intake is only 6 teaspoons of sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons for men an average Australian is consuming up around 17 teaspoons that’s around 70g of sugar a day! It’s as little as having a glass of store-bought orange juice and pre packaged cereal for breakfast with store-bought muesli bar or muffin for morning tea. They all contain added sugar which is hidden and without even knowing it you are already over your daily intake and you havent even had lunch yet.
We all know that soft drinks and sports drink are bad for us with Coke for instance containing a ridiculous 9 teaspoons of sugar in one can or Red Bull which contains 13 teaspoon but we don’t often think about a glass of orange juice or muffin would have the same amount as they are portrayed to us as a “healthy option”. Educating ourselves and our children on food and the effects of sugar in our bodies is I believe one of the most important lessons of this generation.
Sugar has many negatives effects on our bodies when over consumed, some examples are headaches, mood swings, lethargy, unable to concentrate, anxiety, unfocused, hyperactivity, acne, aging, depression, tooth decay, increased hunger, addiction, aggression, irrational behaviour, also increasing the risk of more severe life threatening conditions such as obesity, type two diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
“But my parents and grandparents used to enjoy desserts and cakes all the time containing refined sugar.” Yes that true but they also were brought up on a more healthier natural diet of unprocessed unrefined foods before commercial convenience and fast foods. convenience foods while they are convenient they are also packed with high levels of refined sugars to make them taste better, longer shelf life and to also make them addictive. Most people aren’t even aware that these hidden sugars are contributing to your daily sugar intake and is making the world very unhealthy. Food companies have been very good at hiding this for decades and only once people having been increasingly becoming obese and sick that we have looked closer into this prepackaged convenience food phenomenon.
This epidemic has become a real problem in this generation, it is quite difficult to avoid it completely unless you live a very home based, simple life which let’s be honest most of us don’t, so what I choose to do is when I have control of what I’m eating I buy products without added sugar or artificial sweeteners (there is thankfully a lot more out there on the shelves you just have to look). I make food and snacks that don’t contain added sugar replacing them with natural sweeteners and when I am away from home and it’s out of my control I eat what I think is best. That way I feel like majority of the time you aren’t consuming too much but still can adapt to your lifestyle without being too restrictive.
While it seems over whelming at the start once you become familiar with ingredients and reading labels on products it is amazing how easy it becomes to monitor. Always read labels and if it says sugar in the ingredients list then it contains added sugar. Natural occurring sugar from fruits aren’t counted in your daily recommended sugar intake so don’t worry too much about that. Manufacturers are becoming clever in how they display them too, they will try to disguise sugar as glucose, corn syrup, caramel, sucrose, agave, dextrin, barley malt, molasses, in short they are all sugars and should be avoided.
If you would like to learn more about sugar and the effects it has on our bodies I highly recommend watching “THAT SUGAR FILM” on Netflix or dvd. Damon has personally experimented on himself and has had great success and impact with That Sugar Movement around the globe. (not paid ad just love it)
Cutting out sugar shouldn’t mean not enjoying the things you love from time to time like Brownies so here is a recipe that I have adapted for you, replacing butter with coconut oil which contains more pure saturated healthy fats, it is a fat burner and actually suppresses hunger. Replaced the refined sugar with dates, a natural sweetener also containing added fibre for regular bowel movements. Milk chocolate with 70% dark chocolate which contains more cocoa solids than milk much less sugar and more fibre and lastly flour with almond meal which is gluten-free and good source of protein, iron and calcium.
Making this sweet treat much better for you.
Better for you Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Ganache
250g medjool dates, pitted and chopped
50g 70% dark chocolate, melted
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup almond meal
1/4 cup cocoa or cacao
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
80g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup coconut cream or thickened cream
- Preheat oven to 180’C (350’F) fan forced
- Line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper
- Place dates in a bowl and fill with boiling water let it sit for 10mins
- Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl add melted chocolate, coconut oil, vanilla and mix well with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Drain and finely chop the dates and add them to the mix.
- Gradually add the almond meal, cocoa, and bicarb then add the eggs. Mix well to combine.
- Pour mixture into prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for 30mins until cooked through but still gooey in the centre. Let it cool in tin for 15 mins
- Make ganache by heating coconut cream or cream on stove top on a low heat until just warm and starts to bubble. In a mixing bowl add chopped dark chocolate then pour over the warmed cream and mix until melted and smooth.
- Pour ganache over the cooled brownies, then slice into squares.