Paleo Coconut Flour Brownies

Sweet Potatoes and Social Change. Coconut Flour Brownies.

Who says dessert needs to be unhealthy? These brownies are high in fiber, filled with tons of healthy fats, and refined sugar free. Photo By Samantha McClellan

Long before I learned to cook, I loved to bake. 

I remember it beginning with a cake making phase in fifth grade. I’m sure it was a humorous site; my little fifth grade self attempting to make two layer cakes from scratch in the kitchen. The funny thing is, no one complained. My mother, phenomenal cook that she is, is not a huge fan of baking. Aside from a few holiday breads and a standard cinnamon coffee cake, baked goods are not in her repertoire.  So, when I started to bake I was certainly never told to stop. I loved it.

Every year I tried to increase the number of Christmas cookies I made, I made cakes for all events, and by college my best friends and I had developed a borderline-unhealthy obsession for making cupcakes. These were not cupcakes by Betty Crocker mind you, these were homemade works of art. In fact, after one friend’s 21st birthday I forever became known by handful folks as the Bailey’s cupcake girl, after debuting Bailey’s Irish Cream flavored cupcakes at her party. Bottom line: I love to bake. I love the experience, the result, and the feeling of joy that comes from biting into a warm, fluffy, sweet baked good.

This love was forced into a brief hiatus during my initial transition to gluten free living. Most strictly gluten free recipes called for an insane number of flour combinations that were both confusing and expensive. The mixes at the store worked in a pinch but after years of homemade baking I felt like I was cheating and even the best mixes inevitable turned to concrete in 24 hours or less. Thankfully the paleo diet came into my life and my love of baking was born again.

Why anyone would opt to bake with rice, tapioca, or potato flours when coconut flour and almond flour are options is beyond me. Almond and coconut flour, while not perfect substitutes for wheat flour, maintain a wonderful texture, they are usually free of any weird aftertastes and they don’t turn to concrete on your counter or in your stomach. Not to mention, of course, that they are whole, healthy ingredients you can be proud to eat, unaccompanied by the aftertaste of guilt chasing many of today’s sweet treats.

All of this being said, I am far more experienced in the realm of almond flour baking than in working with coconut flour. However, this past Saturday the desire for dessert hit me hard and coconut flour was my only option. Funny how some of the best experiments result out of necessity, because these turned out deliciously.

It seems like a lot of oil when you are mixing it all together, but because of the moisture-sucking nature of coconut flour a lot of liquid is necessary to produce a good result. My only suggestion is that if you want them especially sweet, taste the batter and increase the amount of honey. I didn’t want them super sweet so a few TBS sufficed, however that is simply a matter of personal taste and adding a bit more honey won’t hurt the recipe at all. Next time you are in the market for a good brownie, look no further. These are about as close to the original as you can get, in my opinion, they are high in fiber, high in healthy fats, and low in sugar… brownies don’t get much better than that.

Sweet Potatoes and Social Change Coconut Flour BrowniesIngredients:

1 cup of coconut flour

2/3 cup of cocoa powder

¼ cup of chocolate chips

¼ tsp of salt

1 TBS of baking powder

¾ cup of coconut oil

¼ cup of olive oil

3 eggs

2 TBS of rum

1 TBS of vanilla

5 TBS of honey

½- ¾  cup of lukewarm water

Directions:

Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Melt coconut oil. In a small bowl combine warm coconut oil and chocolate chips. Stir until melted and combined. In a medium bowl combine olive oil, eggs,  rum, vanilla, honey, and chocolate/oil mixture. While stirring slowly combine wet and dry ingredients. The coconut oil will soak up a lot of moisture so slowly add water to prevent clumping. Pour batter into a 9 inch square cake pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Let cool, enjoy! We had ours with the first local strawberries of the year and they were delicious!

What are your thoughts?