You’ll Love These Beauty-Boosting Brownies

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Love is a walk with a good friend. Love is a family group text celebrating the success of someone dear to you. Love is a gentle hug to someone in your community just because. These are some of the life moments to treasure. Of course, there are many more. The foods we eat each and every day greatly impact the quality of our health, the quality of our life. Choose foods that nurture and heal and still give your tastebuds that “wow, this tastes awesome” appeal.

One of the most popular “wow” foods in February is chocolate. Each year, nearly 400 million dollars is spent on some form of chocolate for Valentine’s Day. Candies, truffles, candy bars… chocolate is the feel-good food for so many occasions and rightly so. Chocolate stimulates the brain through its high concentration of flavonoids and it is rich in antioxidants. Dark chocolate is linked to reduced blood pressure and regulating blood sugar which also makes it ideal for February as this is month for heart health awareness.

Brownies make for a yummy “chocolate fix” but wouldn’t it be even better if the brownies were made with healing, nutritious ingredients? These Beauty Boosting Brownies deliver on flavor and health. Major health influencers in this recipe: anti-cancer phytochemicals in purple sweet potatoes, cocoa powder, anti-viral properties in coconut and manuka honey, brain boosting walnuts. Bonus: each of these ingredients plays a role in glowing skin.

Beauty Brownies

Beauty-Boosting Brownies
(Makes 3 dozen)

Ingredients:
2 medium purple sweet potatoes
¼ cup plus ½ tablespoon coconut butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup Manuka honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Fine zest of one medium orange
3 tablespoons coconut flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup chopped walnuts

Directions: Preheat oven to 400*F. Using a vegetable peeler, peel sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks, place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast in oven for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Set aside to cool.

Reduce heat to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with ½ tablespoon coconut butter. In a standing mixer using whisk attachment or using a handheld mixer with ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, mix together eggs, honey, vanilla and orange zest.

In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together coconut flour, cocoa powder and sea salt.

Add roasted sweet potatoes to egg mixture and mix until mostly smooth. Add coconut flour mixture and mix until well blended. Stir in walnuts and spread into prepared baking dish. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Slice into 36 squares, dust with additional cocoa powder when serving.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 brownie
Calories: 92.3
Fat: 2.6g
Saturated fat: 1.3g
Cholesterol: 10.3mg
Sodium: 8.9mg
Potassium: 96.8mg
Carbohydrates: 16.5g
Fiber: 1.5g
Sugars: 10.0g
Protein: 1.1g

Susan Irby, the Bikini Chef, is a radio host for Bikini Lifestyles on 790 KABC, an author and specialist in healthy “bikini” cuisine. Follow her at twitter.com/thebikinichef or visit her online at thebikinichef.com.