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I’m in my third pregnancy and for the health of my baby, I’m trying to not give myself license to indulge in every single craving. Otherwise, I would pretty much just eat junk food 24/7, which is what I did most definitely with my first pregnancy. I wish someone had told me that “eating for two” meant that I needed to be more careful because I have another life to sustain, it is not an excuse to gorge and eat MORE! Thus, from my most recent pregnancy cravings came the idea to experiment with some Paleo brownies!
I wanted chocolate, but I don’t like the gross feeling and sugar crash I get from eating sugar-laden brownies. Paleo brownies are perfect because they are sweetened with coconut palm sugar, which is super low on the glycemic index, so you don’t get a sugar crash afterwards. I’m definitely not strictly Paleo, I’m done with following “diet” plans, but I am naturally drawn to the basic principles of Paleo, which focuses on eating real, whole foods. So when it comes to sweeteners, I prefer to use only real maple syrup (glycemic index 54), honey (glycemic index 50), fresh fruit (varies on the glycemic index), and my favorite, coconut palm sugar (35 on the glycemic index). If you’re like me, someone who is super sensitive to sugar, and prone to being stuck in a cycle of constant cravings, coconut palm sugar may just be a really useful alternative for you!
Will these brownies taste just like the ones from a box in the store? No. I’m not even going to pretend they do. BUT, I will tell you that if you become accustomed to eating REAL food, the stuff in the store becomes way too rich, to the point where my palate feels overwhelmed with chemicals instead of being able to taste anything real. They are not at all enjoyable to me. These brownies are light, and are the perfect balance of sweet and chocolate. I don’t feel a big sugar crash afterwards, and I don’t have sugar cravings a few hours later, like I did with the regular brownies. For this reason, I think these brownies are the perfect treat. Just one leaves me with a feeling of having indulged in healthy self-care for both me and my growing baby girl.
Brownies - Paleo and Gluten-Free
- Coconut oil for greasing 9" X 13" baking pan
- 1 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips or use semi-sweet chocolate chips for non-Paleo, melted*
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted**
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder for non-Paleo
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips for topping optional
- *To melt chocolate you can use a double boiler or microwave it in a bowl, 30 seconds at a time, stirring after every interval, until melted.
- **In the summer coconut oil is usually naturally liquid, but if it is solid, microwave it in a bowl for about 20 seconds or until melted.
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Using coconut oil, grease a 9" X 13" baking pan.
- In an electric mixer or large mixing bowl, add almond butter, melted chocolate, and melted coconut oil. Stir until well-blended.
- Add to mixing bowl eggs, coconut sugar, and vanilla. Stir until combined.
- In a separate bowl, stir together cocoa, sea salt, and baking soda. Slowly add to mixing bowl and mix to combine.
- Pour batter into greased baking pan. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the brownies.
- Allow to cool while still in pan. While still warm (but not too hot), sprinkle with chocolate chips. Wait until completely cool before cutting into squares.