These brownies are my absolute finest creation!! My photography skills do not at all give these fabulous little gems credit. I cannot believe how well they turned out! First, because I had four helpers in the kitchen, and second because I came up with this idea on a whim! I had plantains to use up and two 40-pound boxes of “just dug” sweet potatoes. I also picked up a bunch of fresh beets. So… my inspiration for a great packable school snack that served two purposes was born.
I purchase my sweet potatoes from our NC State Farmer’s Market. I buy a 30-pound box for $12!! I used orange flesh, Covington and white flesh, and O’Henry potato for this recipe. The orange flesh potatoes contain more beta carotene. The white ones are the least nutrient-dense, but serve as one of my sweeteners in this recipe. I bake my potatoes at 375 until I start to smell them. Then I open the oven and squeeze them gently to test for doneness. When they are soft… they are done. It usually takes about 40 minutes.
Beets and beet greens are a staple in our house. I typically boil the root and marinate them in balsamic or apple cider vinegar for a quick weeklong side dish. I use the greens raw in smoothies and salads every day. Beets are immune boosters, support detoxification, and lower blood pressure. They are the second main sweetener in this recipe. You want the beets to be fork tender for this recipe. The big ones take a little longer to cook… about 30-45 minutes in simmering water. Let them cool for a bit and then run them under cool water while you peel the skin away with your hands or a paper towel.
I use my Vitamix (aka, dream blender) for this recipe because it is absolutely an amazing tool! You could also use a food processor or other high-speed blender.
This recipe made two big freezer bags full of small brownies. You can easily cut the recipe in half if that is too much.
4 Tbsp flaxseed meal
12 Tbsp of water
3 large beets (boiled, chopped, and peeled)
2 medium sweet potatoes (baked and peeled) (I used one orange and one white)
2 large green plantains, peeled
4 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 cup carob powder
3 cups pumpkin seeds meal* (Grind the whole seed in your blender)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp real salt
3/4 cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips
*Remember to soak and toast your raw seeds first to aid in their digestibility)
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Bake your sweet potatoes and boil your beets first.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two 8×10 inches baking dish with parchment paper. In your high-speed blender, grind the flax seeds into a fine meal powder. Combine the powder with water in a small bowl and let it sit to gel for about 10 minutes.
Grind your pumpkin seeds in batches into a fine powder. Pour finished flour into a large bowl. Add baking soda, powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Finally, add your carob powder and stir to combine.
To your blender, add half of the chopped beets, 1 peeled plantain, and one sweet potato. Pour in half of your melted coconut oil and blend again until smooth. Repeat for remaining beets, plantain, sweet potato, and coconut oil. Pour each batch of puree into the dry ingredients. Mix well with a sturdy whisk or a hand blender.
Finally, fold in your chocolate chips if you choose to add them. Truthfully, I added them to kick this recipe up a notch. But, after tasting the finished product, I realized I could cut them out and it would still be delicious!
Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes.
This is most definitely not healthy food. I would put it solidly in the treat category. Even when you take out the chocolate chips, it’s still a brownie. It just does not have any inflammatory ingredients. Though the ingredients have health-promoting properties, I caution you about using them as a veggie substitute. I feel strongly that children need to experience the act of eating vegetables in their whole form. Seeing mom and dad have them on their plate is also HUGE. Adding the veggies into smoothies or hiding them in sauces is a great start. But, also adding them into burgers, eggs, casseroles or other combo dishes is another trick. You cannot go wrong with veggies!!
Treats like this and all of my baked goods and muffins are a safe way to give your active, growing kids additional calories they need to fuel their bodies. They are not meant to be meal replacements. I hope you enjoy this shockingly delicious recipe as much as my family did!!