Double Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownies
These sweet potato brownies, crave-worthy though they may be, have less than half the sugar of a boxed brownie. Not only that, they have less than half the sugar of most fruit yogurts. Ditto for plenty of other foods marketed as “good for you,” such as packaged granola bars and whole-grain breakfast cereals. Still, they’re undeniably a brownie: deep, dark chocolate, rich-tasting, a special treat.
A Solution to So Much Sugar
The recipe was the first one I flipped to when the book Half the Sugar, All the Love landed on my doorstep. It’s written by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Anisha Patel, and is devoted to slashing the sugar in 100 sweet and savory recipes. It’s a worthwhile aim, since we are collectively consuming far more sugar than is good for our health. The book tackles makeovers on recipes you would expect, such as cookies and cakes, and those with “hidden” sugars, such as a salad dressings and sauces.
Sweet Potatoes Swap for Sugar
The authors do a terrific job of finding clever ways to cut back on sugar. In these brownies, for example, the recipe relies on sweet potatoes in lieu off so much sugar. That also means a dose of vitamin A and fiber, which have benefits all their own. Each brownie has just six grams of added sugar, which translates to about 1 1/2 teaspoons. I also appreciate the use of nutrient- and fiber-rich almond butter to give these Sweet Potato Brownies some of their richness. The recipe is also flourless, which means the brownies are naturally gluten-free and grain-free, making them ideal for those with food sensitivities. I personally found they satisfied my afternoon chocolate craving without giving me a belly ache or sugar crash.
Don’t Let the Sweet Potato Scare You
If Sweet Potato Brownies sound like a strange idea, not to worry. Nobody will guess the secret. Case in point? I served them for dessert when my brother and his kids came to dinner recently. The guy’s a professional chef with a well-developed palate and even he was stumped. Not only that, his youngest son was so smitten, I sent him home with a goodie bag for his school lunch the next day. And I felt pretty good about it, since it won’t give him a sugar rush and it will give me “best auntie” brownie points.
For more Healthy (ish) Chocolate recipes:
Double Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownies
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed, and boiled until fork-tender (see notes)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond butter
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (6 3/4 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 13 × 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches of overhang on each side, and coat with cooking spray.
Combine the sweet potatoes, almond butter, coconut oil, egg, and egg yolk in a food processor. Process until very smooth, making sure no chunks of sweet potato remain, about 1 minute.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the maple syrup and vanilla. Process until combined, about 30 seconds.
Add the cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda and process until all the dry ingredients are incorporated, about 1 minute more. Fold in 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spread it into an even layer, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons chocolate chips. Bake until the top is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 27 to 30 minutes. Let the brownies cool slightly.
You can substitute 1 cup canned sweet potato puree for the fresh sweet potato.
Excerpted from Half the Sugar, All the Love by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Anisha Patel, MD, MSPH. Photographs by Erin Scott. Workman Publishing ©2019. I received a complimentary copy of the book.