I had some sweet potato mash left after making the muffin bites (blogged about earlier). The muffin bites tasted really good, but were definitely in the ‘healthy’ camp! I wanted to make something with sweet potato that tasted a bit more decadent. I’ve got 2 great sounding recipes that I want to try. This is the first – a vegan chocolate brownie.
In the last post I wrote a bit about the amazing health benefits of sweet potatoes. This recipe has quite a lot of walnuts in it – the original blogger, Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen, was sponsored by California Walnuts. Here’s the link to the recipe. I love walnuts, and keep a jar on the kitchen top so it’s handy for snacking, or adding a few to porridge in the morning, or a salad. It’s important to get walnuts from a shop that has a high turnover because they go off quite quickly I find, and the taste gets bitter. Lidl is a good source of tasty and relatively cheap walnuts. Another place I go is the local middle eastern shop where you can buy 500g bags of delicious walnuts.
Walnut trees grow in England, although they originated in Asia, where there are walnut forests. The Romans brought them over to England, and I remember walking a few years ago in Lincolnshire along an ancient Roman road or path – lined with walnut trees. I like to think that they were descendants of the first trees brought over more than 2000 years ago! The botanical name for English walnut is Juglans regia and according to the Woodland Trust this is where the name comes from:
“The walnut’s botanical name, Juglans, originates in Roman mythology. According to an ancient myth, Jupiter, who was also known as Jove, lived on walnuts when he lived on earth. Therefore Romans called walnuts Jovis glans, meaning ‘the glans of Jupiter.’ The botanical name of the English walnut, Juglans regia, means the ‘royal nut of Jupiter’.” The word glans is Latin for acorn. I am saying no more…
So – how are walnuts good for you? They contain lots of ‘good fats’ i.e. polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and are a good source of plant based Omega-3 essential fatty acid and antioxidants. These are good for brain function, memory and may help improve mood. They are low in carbohydrates – most of the calorie content is derived from fats. A 30g serving is 3.9g carbs and 185 calories. Compared to other nuts walnuts contain high amounts of Vitamin E, which is good for your skin and eyes and also the immune system. (Nutritional info from the NHS.uk, BBCGoodFood.com and Healthline.com).
The recipe was simple to follow, and contained straightforward ingredients. I made the oat flour by whizzing oats in the blender. It all mixed up quickly and took 30 minutes to bake.
The ganache was simple to mix up and coat the brownie. I used my favourite chocolate from Lidl for the ganache and the brownie – 60% dark, vegan Amazonian chocolate. It’s definitely worth getting good quality chocolate for this.
End result? One of the best brownie recipes EVER!! Truly scrumptious. My son came over after his football session – ate one – ate another – took 6 home!
These are definitely in the decadent category. But they are also packed with lovely ingredients like sweet potato and walnuts, dairy free, egg free, flour free (gluten free if you used gluten free oats) and relatively low sugar compared to classic brownies.
Thank you Nadia in your Healthy Kitchen! Can’t wait to make them again.