Recently, I have been reading a lot of cookbooks and enjoying trying the recipes in them. I have now read a few vegan cookbooks too and I felt inspired to make my own chocolate brownie recipe. It is a delicious, simple and quick recipe. Butternut squash is a strange ingredient in a chocolate brownie, I know, but it does really work well.
Butternut squash is a brilliant source of essential vitamins and minerals. They are also an excellent winter vegetable that can be harvested and stored for several months. Butternut squash is a clean vegetable which means they are not sprayed in pestisides before they are harvested. Therefore, when we eat them we absorb more of the essential minerals and vitamins that we need.
The next ingredient in this recipe is raw cacao powder which is a superfood. Raw cacao has more than 300 nutritional compounds and is one of the richest sources of antioxidants of any food on the planet. White and processed sugar depletes the body of vital nutrients including magnesium, vitamin C and B vitamins that are necessary for energy hormones and weight loss. The nutrients found in raw cacao powder have been linked to a number of health benefits.
Brown rice is another great source of essential minerals and vitamins. It also contains a good amount of protein and fibre. Both of these are an essential part of any eating plan. The protein in brown rice has high levels of vitamin B and the fibre helps the body to pass waste material though the intestines. A diet high in fibre will lower cholesterol, improve blood sugar levels and promote regular bowel movements.
Ground almonds are also high in protein. They are rich in monounsaturated fats and they are an excellent source of vitamin E. By eating almonds we are eating important minerals that help the body to function at optimun health and help to make the skin glow.
Another ingredient in this recipe is dates. Dates have lots of fibre, they can help boost heart health and they have anti-inflammatory properties. They have also been known to reduced blood pressure and reduce the risk of strokes. Dates have been proven to help with pregnancy and the delivery.
To give this recipe a bit of spice I have used cinnamon. Cinnamon is a great spice that add lots of delicious flavour to a dish. It also has medicinal properties and it’s loaded with antioxidants. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties and it may help to cut the risk of heart disease. It can also improve sensitivity to hormones and has a powerful anti-diabetic effect.
Makes 12 – 14 Brownies
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Large Baking Tray
- Small Baking Tray
- Food processor or stick blender and bowl
- Butternut squash x 600g
- Ground Almonds x 200g
- Brown rice flour x 200g
- Raw Cacao powder x 60g
- Baking powder x 1 tsp
- Cinnamon x 2 tsp
- Dates x 100g
- Olive oil (Optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- Next cut the ends off the butternut squash, then cut in half, leave the flesh on and scoop out the seeds.
- (By cutting the top and bottom ends off the squash it will make it easier to cut in half.)
- Place on the large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. (This is optional.)
- Put the squash in the preheated oven for around 30 -40 minutes.
- Once it is nice and soft remove from the oven.
- Leave the oven on 180º for the next part of the recipe.
- Leave to cool and meanwhile put all the other ingredients in the food processor or a bowl. (If using a stick blender.)
- When the squash is cool enough scoop the flesh from the skin and put in the food processor or bowl.
- Blend all the ingredients together until they are smooth.
- Line the small baking tray with baking paper and pour the cake mix into the baking tray.
- Finally put the mixture into the oven for around 30 – 40 minutes, depending on the oven.
- Before removing from the oven put a fork in and if it comes out clean it’s cooked.
These butternut squash brownies are great with coconut cream and maple syrup, served as a dessert. You can also try them with my coconut, vanilla and raspberry ice cream. However, I find the best way to enjoy them is on their own with a nice cup of tea. Heaven!