I have been SO good, I mean seriously good with eating healthy and exercising the past few weeks. This morning I woke up before my alarm, ANNOYING! I woke up because I was hungry, and I have been eating pretty much the same amount of calories/nutrients/carbs every day. So with all of my working out, I have added more lean muscle mass and that means that I burn more calories than before even when I am not exercising, just by existing.. pretty sweet! I do need to increase my calories slightly so I can maintain my newly formed muscle but be sure not to over do it because I still have a few more pounds to shed. So with this sense of accomplishment and being woken up early due to too much calorie deficiency, I decided I deserve a brownie, dang it! Do not fret, I am not trying to influence y’all to jump off the healthy eating bandwagon and start a stuff your face with brownies riot, I am just going to offer this yummy and safe to eat recipe that you can make when you feel appropriate 😉
Check it out:
Working as a thickener in recipes, these low glycemic seeds add healthy omega-3′s to your diet. To boot, at room temperature they last longer than flax seed (it’s typically believed that chia seeds can typically stay fresh at room temperature for up to 2 years). Want more? I’ll bring it: Chia seeds are anti-oxidants and contain fiber, calcium, protein, and can help you cut fat in your baking.
Tired yet from its fabulous?
I can do this all day, but I want to share a terrific recipe with you. We can bake and be fabulous at the same time.
Tip: To keep cocoa powder from going everywhere while mixing, add a little at a time with the melted butter (or any liquids) to incorporate.
Tip: Taste test batter to check for sweetness before baking, especially when working with cocoa and sweeteners, but use caution when raw eggs are an ingredient.
Chia seeds contain only 2 net carbs per 3 tablespoons, making them the perfect addition to many of your dishes. Chia gel is wonderful to keep on hand for up to a week and for thickening foods, beverages, you name it (add chia seeds to water at a ratio of 1 Tbsp per 1/2 cup water)! The seeds can also be ground up and used as flour.
For this recipe I went with chia seeds as a thickener to cut back on the flours. This means the result is fewer carbohydrates (2.3 net) but slightly higher on the caloric scale (182). At the same time, the fat and fiber make these a filling dessert with almost as much protein as an entire egg per serving (5.4 g).
Tip: If you remove the cream cheese from the recipe, dial down the sweetener as well.
I ended up using flax seed meal and almond flour, but I’m thinking the flax isn’t as dense as coconut flour would have been. You might try coconut flour instead. It will bump the carbohydrate amounts, but if you try it and love it, please let me know.
As for the flavor? spot on, my chocolate loving friends. Spot on. The drawback? You need to let these sit out overnight to solidify. This recipe is not Atkins Induction Friendly because chia seeds are on the seed rung of Atkins. Play with the baking time a little bit because I really think these need to bake longer than average brownies or they remain too moist.
Chocolate Chia Seed Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
1 Tbsp chia seeds + 1/2 cup water
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal (or coconut flour)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar equivalent in a substitute
1/2 cup brown sugar equivalent in a substitute
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp organic sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 ounces cream cheese, melted
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, make the chia seed gel by mixing 1 tbsp chia seeds + water. Stir well and let sit for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Grease an 8″ x 8″ baking pan. In a separate bowl, whisk together the chia gel, almond flour and flax seed. Add eggs and whisk to incorporate. Add (and mix just enough to incorporate) cocoa, butter, vanilla, sugar substitute, brown sugar substitute, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Pour the batter into the pan. Melt cream cheese in the microwave and incorporate into the brownies by dropping dollops onto the batter. With a knife gently swirl the cream cheese to incorporate into the batter, leaving delicious, cheesecakey trails.
Bake for 35-50 minutes, or until a toothpick (or sharp knife) inserted in the center of the brownie pan comes out clean and the top looks slightly more dry.
Let rest for up to 24 hours. Slice and serve.
Makes 12 brownies.
Nutritional information per brownie: Calories: 182, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 3.7 g, Net Carbohydrates: 2.3 g, Protein: 5.4 g, Fat: 16.8g