At the end of this post, there’s an awesome brownie recipe. They’re only 140 calories each, but they taste like they should be twice that much. The trick is I used pureed squash instead of oil, butter or shortening. So if you have some old squash lying around persecuting you and you want to make some amazing brownies out of it, head right down there and get started. I’m going to ramble a bit first.
Last week was challenging. It was a veritable smorgasbord of Things I Don’t Want To Deal With: doctor’s appointments, family obligations, PMS, even a bonus technology crisis. My laptop? I threw it on the ground. Because I tripped on the cord. Thank you for the new laptop, Mom. 🙂
So it was nothing I couldn’t live through and come out of on the other end smiling. Hooray! But still, challenging. And I knew chocolate therapy was the only way to fully restore peace to my being. I considered buying a candy bar, but I reminded myself that I’m a wonderful person and as such deserve more than a 240 calorie, 30 second thrill. It’s physically impossible for me to take more than 30 seconds to eat a candy bar, unless it’s king size, and we’re not even going down that road right now.
In keeping with the mood of the week, I also had half an aging acorn squash lurking around in my fridge, squinting up at me reproachfully every time I opened the door. I really feel bad when I don’t use something and have to throw it away, like my carelessness robs it of its big chance to succeed as a foodstuff. Which is kinda true. So by Thursday night, I’d had enough of the week, enough of the sad old squash, and totally enough of not having chocolate deliciousness. I lost it. Before I knew what I was doing, I was in the kitchen, pureeing the squash, peel and all, and making a basic brownie recipe out of it. I even threw half a cup of chocolate chips in there that I’d somehow restrained myself from scarfing in a mad fit of instant gratification seeking.
The brownies were AWESOME. Better than I even imagined, and when it comes to food, I have a pretty wild imagination. The were big, chewy, fudgy, and every bite was delightfully laden with chocolate chips. It was the wonderful naughtiness I craved! Yet, I worked it out and they were only 140 calories each! Kiss the ground! I ate them like it was my job and still felt sexy.
The moral of this story is: when life is full of old squash, don’t give up and throw it away in defeat. Make brownies instead.
140 Calorie Double Chocolate Brownies
makes 12 good-sized brownies
approx. 1 cup squash puree (I just winged it and pureed half a baked acorn squash. Didn’t even peel it. Here are some good instructions for baking squash if you need them. I think any kind of squash would work.)
1/2 cup water
3 tbs peanut butter
1 tbs vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Stevia In The Raw® (count this as 1/2 cup sugar if replacing with another sweetener)
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa (I used Hershey’s® Special Dark, a Dutch-process blend)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips (or use any chocolate chips for a non-vegan version)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Have an 8″ x 8″ baking pan and some nonstick spray handy.
2. Stir the wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and use a whisk to stir them together thoroughly. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. If the batter seems stiff (which could be due to a dry squash) add more water a tablespoon at a time until it stirs easily. Add the chocolate chips. Eat a spoonful or two of batter and do a pleasure-fueled happy dance.
3. Lightly coat the pan with nonstick spray and spread the batter inside. Bake for 23-25 minutes. Be careful not to overbake; you want the insides fudgey and slightly gooey. Try to let the brownies cool completely on a rack before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature. Stored right in the baking pan, covered with foil, they’ll keep for a week.
Per brownie, roughly 56g: 139 calories; 5.1g fat (2.1g sat, 0g trans); 0mg cholesterol; 113mg sodium; 23.9g carbohydrates; 2.5g protein; 2.4g fiber