Monday, January 31, 2011

Low Fat Chocolate Brownies

This entry isn’t as all-natural whole food-y as I like to be but it’s a quick and easy favorite. We love our chocolate and nothing beats a warm, gooey, fudge brownie when the craving hits. You can probably make these from scratch but sometimes it’s nice to be lazy. What we do is bake brownie mix without the oil. Good oil in small amounts is very healthy but a typical 120 calorie serving is only a tablespoon. When your brownie mix calls for a half cup of oil, you’re looking at almost 1,000 calories of pure fat. What we do is skip the oil and substitute it. We’ve used many substitutes but the one we used today is natural unsweetened applesauce. It works to bind the ingredients together while keeping the brownies moist. 

We started with a basic box of brownie mix that called for 1/2 cup oil, 1/4 cup water, and 2 eggs. We mixed the brownie mix with the 1/4 cup of water but instead of adding 1/2 cup of oil we added 1/2 cup of applesauce. Don’t worry, it doesn’t make the brownies taste like apples! 

You could use the eggs or egg whites but we used egg protein powder instead for an additional nutrition boost. We just mixed one scoop protein powder with an extra 1/4 cup of water.

We mixed it all together and poured into a greased brownie pan and baked according to the directions. It took about 45 minutes to cook and we let it cool 10 minutes before serving. You’ll know they're done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. 

The brownies turned out great! They baked up a lot - almost like a cake. They were chocolatey and moist so we didn’t miss the oil or eggs at all. 
A few other concoctions to try is mixing the brownie mix with a can of diet soda. We’ve done this with ginger ale and they turned out well but personally we’re more likely to have the applesauce on hand than soda. We’ve also used brownie mix and a can of low sodium black beans. These are personally my favorite! They have more calories than using applesauce and water but they are packed with fiber, fairly high in protein and are super fudge-y. 

Prepared as directed
Prepared with substitutions
14.5 g
4 g
38 g
39 g
26 g
27 g
These stats are comparing the package to our substitutes. The applesauce does add a little sugar and therefore a little more carbs. If you're diabetic you'll want to look elsewhere because the bulk of the sugar is in the mix already. The mix also considered a serving 1/20th of the pan. In our 8 x 8 inch pan 1/20th would be a mouse bite! These calculations are for a more generous 1/12th pan serving. You could also experiment with nuts, fruit, oatmeal, peanut butter, different batters the possibilities are numerous. Bring these to your next get together and no one will believe they’re low fat!

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