Why We Love Sugar and a Healthy Recipe for Chocolate Brownies
I will share a recipe for delicious and lovely healthy chocolate brownies but first let’s talk about why we love sugar so much and why it’s making us sick.
Our hunter gatherer ancestors didn’t come across sweet things very often and when then did (Like finding berries or other sweetness in nature), they would eat as much as possible because it was so rare to find it.
Our ancestors consumed a low amount of calories but a HUGE amount of nutrition. On top on this, they moved their bodies regularly as they worked to find food and survive.
Fast forward many many generations and now we live in a world where we sit still in a chair for much of our lives and we have access to MASSIVE amounts of calories but sadly, the calories we consume have very little nutrition.
Because our hunter gatherer ancestors bodies were designed to eat as much sweetness as possible….because it was so rare….we now can’t help ourselves.
If I taste something sweet….my taste buds, my nervous system, my brain are all yelling YES YES YES…give me more.
Remember that sugar to your body is not just sweets and desserts…it’s also breads and cereals and crackers and pasta and juices. It’s also hidden sugar in fast food and processed everything.
With this explanation you can see why we are a culture that is struggling with obesity, diabetes and other preventable degenerative diseases.
Our bodies are just not designed to handle so much sugar.
We could talk for many blog posts about the evils of sugar, but why don’t we move on to the sweet treat I mentioned that has, believe it or not, very little sugar.
This recipe uses coconut flour, coconut crystals, coconut oil and ground chia seeds. There are amazing nutritional benefits to all of these ingredients.
These ingredients bring some better nutrition to something that is normally not the best healthy choice. After a quick run through of some of their benefits, I’ll share the recipe for these healthy chocolate brownies.
Coconut Crystals (also known as coconut sugar) are used for sweetness in this recipe. When the coconut tree is tapped, it produces a nutrient-rich “sap” that exudes from coconut blossoms. This sap is very low glycemic (GI of only 35), diabetic friendly, is an abundant source of minerals, 17 amino acids, vitamin C, broad-spectrum B vitamins.
Coconut crystals are a welcome choice for anyone seeking an alternative to refined sugar.
Coconut flour is a great alternative to other flours. It has as much protein as wheat flour but it has no gluten, a huge advantage for gluten allergies and wheat sensitivities.
This flour is very high in fiber… as in 38.5% fiber. This is the highest percentage of dietary fiber found in ANY flour. This healthy gluten free flour is another excellent way to increase your daily fiber intake.
Coconut Flour is gluten-free and is ideal for those who follow a low carb or gluten free eating plan. It works well as part of a weight loss program because it’s high fiber content helps provide a feeling of satiety. (fullness)
Coconut oil has many health benefits.
This healthier oil has been found to help normalize blood lipids and protect against damage to the liver by alcohol and other toxins, can play a role in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases, and is associated with improved blood sugar and insulin control and therefore the prevention and management of diabetes.
In addition, coconut oil has been shown to have antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. On a more superficial level, meanwhile, coconut oil is thought to help strengthen mineral absorption, which is important for healthy teeth and bones, and can also help improve the condition and appearance of the scalp, hair and skin when ingested or topically applied.
It is rich in the “healthy fats” that we have talked about in previous posts.
Coconut oil is a great substitute for butter or other oils in baking and cooking.
Chia seeds are one of nature’s most nutritious foods. They are a tiny edible seed that’s easily digested.
These seeds are high in protein (they are a complete protein source providing all of the essential amino acids in an appropriate balance), vitamins, minerals and enzymes and the outer hull of this seed is an excellent source of fibre Chia seeds are also a good source of essential oils since it contains almost a third of its mass as omega-3 and omega-6 oils.
Chia seeds, which are black or white in colour, are covered with a highly absorbent hull. The hull can absorb over seven times its weight in water, producing a gelatin-like substance as the seeds are soaked. The gel-like substance acts as a barrier to slow the release of carbohydrates and thus, enabling a slower conversion into glucose (blood sugar) as the seed is digested.
Since the seeds absorb significant amounts of water, the lower calorie and nutritious chia gel gives you a “filled up” feeling. For many, this means eating smaller quantities and ingesting fewer calories. The regular consumption of chia seeds has been a successful weight-loss strategy for many.
And now….what you’ve been waiting for…the recipe. It’s delicious…for realz
Super Energy Chia Double Chocolate Brownies
Super Energy Chia Double Chocolate Brownies
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
- 4-5 tbsp chia seeds ground
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup coconut crystals (coconut sugar)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 +1/2 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan (I used coconut oil and a glass baking dish)
- In a small bowl, mix together coconut flour, chia seeds and baking soda.
- In a small sauce pan, combine coconut crystals, coconut oil and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove immediately from heat.
- Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips and vanilla extract until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
- Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Cool completely.
- Stir in eggs, 1 at a time, beat well after each addition. Gradually stir in flour and chia mixture until smooth.
- Stir in remaining chocolate chips and nuts into batter. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Cool completely. Cut into squares.
I hope that you have learned a little bit today about why we love sugar so much and I hope that you have also learned that with a creativity, it is possible to create a sweet treat with very little sugar…and with lots of amazing nutrition!
Until next time,
Enjoy the healthy chocolate brownies and…
Dr. Peggy Malone is a health care provider who encourages her patients every day to create better habits associated with their health and wellness. She is wife to the hilarious and heavily bearded John, with whom she takes many adventures as well as Cat Mom to the floofy ragdoll Amigo.
Dr. Peggy is also a human being on a mission to create better habits for herself and by doing so, she hopes to inspire others to take up the challenge with her!
You can join her on these adventures every week by tuning into The Improvement Project podcast