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Saturday, April 1, 2017

A - Z Blogging Challenge - Avocado Brownie



Welcome to the first episode of the A-Z Blogging Challenge 2017! 

As announced this year's theme is all about fitness, clean, healthy food and weight loss. 

Don't walk away just yet, though. I am going to prove that healthy isn't necessarily strictly tofu, whole grain, tree hugging style!
Let me start with Avocado. Who doesn't love avocado?

It is listed as one of the healthiest (as in weight loss friendly) foods, and even before I knew about that, it's been one of my staples for an office lunch. 



Here are some helpful tips and tricks on how to buy, store and cut avocados because I know how we all feel about avocado, I especially like the belly button tip:







You have probably heard of putting the avocado in a brown bag and leave it in a cool spot for a couple of days. Here's another trick:


Can you believe that between writing and publishing this post I haven't had one single unripe avocado at home? I desperately wanted to try this and let you know how it worked out. So sorry about that. If you've had any experience, please share!

Of course every Mexican dish is better with guacamole, but for obvious reasons enchiladas are currently an exception on my meal plan. In the past three months I made quesadillas once. One time only!

Did you know that avocado can also be used in baking? 

As regular (cheese) cake and brownies are out of question until further notice, I was intrigued by the idea of

Avocado Brownies

What is the role of the avocado in a brownie? 

It is used to substitute the butter: 1/2 cup of butter has 814 calories, plus cholesterol and a super high percentage of saturated fats whereas 1/2 cup of avocado has 184 calories and is full of super healthy monosaturated fats.



But it doesn't stop at skipping the butter. The other bad guys in yummy baked goods are granulated sugar and flour. This recipe uses maple syrup and a tiny amount of Almond Flour. The original recipe asks for coconut flour, but I like almonds better. 

Here's Dani Spies' (Clean and Delicious) recipe:


INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (I used 43g almond flour),
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8x8” baking dish.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine; avocado, banana, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl and add in eggs, coconut flour (I used 43g almond flour), cocoa powder, sea salt, and baking soda until combined.
  4. Pour mixture into the greased baking dish and sprinkle with chocolate chips. (I left those out and saved me some calories)
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool and enjoy!
So a 100g (3.5oz) regular brownie, depending on the richness of the recipe, packs about 380 - 466 calories. The one above (I looked up every single ingredient, phew) 250 calories.

It's still a treat! 


So in order to burn off those calories, how about some retro, good old Aerobics? I found this Kathy Smith's fat burning workout on YouTube. Somebody went through a lot of trouble to convert a good old VHS tape into digital format.  

I quite like it if you're not bothered by the dumb grin of that wanna-be Travolta and the occasional shrieking of the ladies.

How about you? Are you a lucky avocado buyer? What is your favourite way to eat avocado? Would you give an avocado brownie a try?

Hope to see you back on Monday for the letter B, we'll be talking about balance! In the meantime check out what my fellow A-Z Bloggers came up with: Letter A.



PS: The word clouds you are going to see throughout the month were created with Tagul. 
I had a lot of fun experimenting with this free tool.