My 4-year-old asked me if we could bake something yesterday, so I let her look at my Primal Cravings cookbook and pick a picture that looked yummy. She chose the brownie recipe, so we made a batch and they were delicious! I have another brownie recipe on my site that we love, but it uses almond flour and I know a lot of people have nut allergies, so if you are one of those people, this recipe is for you.
We made two changes to the recipe by using ghee instead of butter and by using raw cacao powder instead of cocoa powder. We used Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder — the only ingredient is Certified Organic Cacao. Cacao contains a naturally rich supply of antioxidants and is a good source of dietary fiber. Raw cacao contains the highest concentrated antioxidant of any other food. It is also known to be one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium, flavanols and polyphenols.
Health Benefits of Cacao
Antioxidants: Cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea. Health benefits of these antioxidants include:
- Promote cardiovascular health – Help dilate bloods vessels, reduce blood clotting, improve circulation, help regulate heartbeat and blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
- Protect from environmental and metabolic toxins – Help repair and resist damage caused by free radicals, and may reduce risk of certain cancers.
Neurotransmitters: By increasing the levels of specific neurotransmitters in our brains, cacao promotes positive outlook, facilitates rejuvenation and simply helps us feel good.
- Serotonin – Cacao raises the level of serotonin in the brain; thus acts as an anti-depressant, helps reduce PMS symptoms, and promotes a sense of well-being.
- Endorphins – Cacao stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the “runner’s high” a jogger feels after running several miles.
- Phenylethylamine – Found in chocolate, phenylethylamine is also created within the brain and released when we are in love. Acts as mild mood elevator and anti-depressant, and helps increase focus and alertness.
- Anandamide – Anandamide is known as the “bliss chemical” because it is released by the brain when we are feeling great. Cacao contains both N-acylethanolamines, believed to temporarily increase the levels of anandamide in the brain, and enzyme inhibitors that slow its breakdown. Promotes relaxation, and helps us feel good longer.
Essential Minerals: Cacao beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.
- Magnesium – Cacao seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency, present in 80% of Americans, is linked with PMT, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and joint problems.
- Sulfur – Cacao is high in the beauty mineral sulfur. Sulfur builds strong nails and hair, promotes beautiful skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas functioning.
Essential fats: There is a misperception that chocolate is fattening. In truth, the fats in cocoa butter are healthy fats. Cacao contains oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, also found in olive oil, that may raise good cholesterol. Also, substances found in cacao are known to help reduce appetite. (Source)
- 2 tbsp tapioca flour
- 3 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
- 1/2 cup butter, or ghee (plus more to grease pan)
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease an 8x8x2-inch baking dish.
2. Whisk together tapioca flour, coconut flour, cocoa/cacao powder, and baking soda in small bowl.
3. Melt butter/ghee, sugar, and chocolate together in a sauce pot. Stir in vanilla extract and salt. Whisk in the eggs.
4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Whisk to combine.
5. Pour the batter into baking dish, and bake until brownies are puffed in the center and not too jiggly when (gently) shaken, about 25-28 minutes. Allow to cool in pan before cutting into 2 x 2-inch squares.
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