Healthy Habits: Triple Chocolate Avocado Brownies

“You’d have to do the impossible….”

As a child my father told me that I could do anything I set my mind to, and I believed him. His words served me well as I grew, helping me to succeed at things folks were quick to say I could not, to endure difficult situations I felt ill-equipped to handle, and to learn how do things I might not have otherwise tried.

I did learn that simply setting one’s mind isn’t always enough, of course, but at the end of the day, having confidence that you can achieve does tend to open up possibilities which are closed to folks who don’t even make the attempt.

So, when a friend who is allergic to wheat, dairy, soy, rice, apples, nuts, peanuts, coconut, flax seed, eggs, and bananas told me she hadn’t had a brownie in 15 years, I took up the challenge. How could I not? What did it matter that I couldn’t use any of the usual substitutions for traditional ingredients in brownies? I was determined to make a brownie my friend could eat.

My friend wasn’t convinced I could make a brownie from “nothing” as she said, and especially not one that would taste like a brownie, but it helped that she wasn’t allergic to avocados and that she wanted a fudgy brownie as opposed to a cakey or chewy one.

The beauty of avocados is that they can substitute for eggs and the fat as one item so both eggs and butter could be substituted for in the traditional brownie recipe. Most nontraditional recipes would then use a dairy free milk but my friend is allergic to most versions. I opted to use water but I needed the water to be thick. Using unsweetened chocolate as part of my flavoring added the thickness I needed to the water. Then, I only needed to refine the chocolate-ly taste by adding unsweetened special dark cocoa powder, Enjoy life mini chocolate chips, and cinnamon.

I tried the brownies out on a group before taking them to my friend, and the reviews were positive, and one person commented, “The whole piece tastes like the inside of a brownie, which is the best part!”

When I took a pan to my friend, she couldn’t believe I had done it – made a brownie she could eat. I, of course, had trusted that once again my father’s words would be true!

Triple Chocolate Avocado Brownies

Ingredients:

1 cup mashed ripe avocado (usually two avocados)

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 cup boiling water

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup agave

2 cups gluten free flour blend (I used King Arthur’s whole grain version)

3/4 cup Hershey special dark unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 11 x 15 pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mash the avocado in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the unsweetened chocolate into a measuring cup or bowl which can sustain heat and pour the boiling water over it. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the liquid is slightly thick.
  4. Add the chocolate water mixture to the avocados, along with the vanilla and agave.
  5. In a smaller bowl, mix the flour with the unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until moistened.
  7. Add the chocolate chips and stir until the batter is well mixed.
  8. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until the brownies are slightly puffed and just a slight indent remains in the center when you touch it.
  9. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan on top of a cooling rack.
  10. Remove the brownies from the pan by lifting the parchment paper, and slice the brownies into squares to enjoy.
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