As a lover of all things chocolate, I decided that I needed to make a super chocolatey dessert recipe for my blog. Ever since I was young, my mother has been making brownies from scratch. As one of the most simplest baked goods to create (along side chocolate chip cookies), boxed baking mixes were, and are, never to be found in my house. Therefore, despite this allergen free version being far from a typical brownie, the execution and skill needed to succeed in making it, is still very low. Though cocoa and espresso powder are not Autoimmune Paleo friendly, I new that making a tasty alternative would be a great option for those on the protocol. Because of my deep love for chocolate, carob has never been my favorite. Therefore, instead of seeing it as a substitute, I simply see carob as another ingredient on the “wheel of food.” That being said, these brownies, both AIP and not, have been voted as incredibly delicious. Rich, fudgey, and smooth, with hints of coffee and dark chocolate, these brownies are similar to that of a flourless chocolate cake. In reality, they practically are, just without all of the butter and eggs. Instead, these brownies are filled with literal whole foods (i.e. plantain and sweet potato) delicious saturated fat (yes, lard is good for you), and unrefined maple syrup. As previously mentioned, for the Autoimmune Paleo version, I substituted the carob for cocoa, and whole, ground chicory root for espresso powder. Also, I halved the about of sugar, and added mashed avocado to compensate for the missing moisture content that the maple syrup adds to the finished product.
Earlier this year, I came across a Kickstarter to back Anti-Grain flours. As a business dedicated to crafting vibrant, “gut friendly” vegetable and fruit flours, the folks behind Anti-Grain aim to revitalize the foods we, Paleo-fiends, love. One thing you may notice when viewing their flours are the bright colors that they retain. This is due to the ingredients being U.S.A grow and drum-dried “at relatively low temperatures to retain as much nutrients as possible.” Though I chose to use their sweet potato flour, I do not see why Anti-Grain’s apple and (or) butternut squash flour would not work just as well. All have a slight reminiscence of their derivative ingredient, which ultimately is naturally sweet and flavorful, whether squash, apple, or sweet potato. That being said, if you did not have the opportunity to back Anti-Grain flours, and (or) are waiting until they officially begin taking orders, I successfully made the brownies using tiger nut flour as well. Tapioca and regular sweet potato flour will most likely also work, while I have yet to test water chestnut flour or coconut flour. As a side note, because of the extra moisture that coconut flour naturally soaks up, I would recommend starting with half the amount noted below in the ingredients list. To find all of the ingredients used in the brownies, I have included links to all of them through the names themselves, as I do this in all of my posts to ensure others can find them as easy as possible. *To make these into Christmas Themed, Santa Claus bites, click here. *
Espresso Fudge Brownies
- 1/4 cup Anti-Grain sweet potato flour
- 1/2 cup lard
- 1/2 cup sweet potato puree
- 1/2 cup green plantain puree (From 1 green plantain)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder (or) carob for AIP
- 1/2 cup maple syrup *AIP substitutions below
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp grain free baking powder
- 1 tbsp ground espresso powder (or) ground chicory root for AIP
- Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, puree one green plantain until smooth, transferring to a bowl and setting aside for later use.
- Combine lard, sweet potato puree, green plantain puree, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, pureeing until smooth.
- Add in sweet potato flour, grain free baking powder, espresso powder, sea salt, and cocoa powder, letting the food processor run until batter is fully mixed.
- Line a an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper that overlaps the sides.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, sprinkle with chocolate chips, and place on a baking sheet, putting the sheet in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool fully until taking the brownies out of the pan.
- For a Christmas themed treat, frost with my vanilla buttercream and top with a strawberry.
- Otherwise, cut into desired squares, place on serving platter, and enjoy!
For an AIP Friendly Brownie – substitute carob for cocoa, reduce maple syrup to 1/4 cup, add 1/4 cup ripe avocado, and replace ground coffee for ground chicory root.
If you do not have canned sweet potato puree, simply roast or steam whole sweet potato until fork tender, then puree in a food processor.
For homemade espresso powder, simply set your coffee grinder to the finest setting and grind any coffee you have on hand.
Numbers 6:25 “the Lord makes His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you.”