As a kid, having dessert for breakfast was the dream. As an adult... well, it's still the dream, but we're more aware of the consequences of chowing down on a ton of sugar first thing in the morning. In the latest episode of Alt-Baking Bootcamp, Sashah Handal, a baker, nutrition coach, and trainer, demos how to make a nutrient-rich version of a classic treat that she says you can eat for your morning meal. (Not joking.)
"You have all the good fats, all the protein, all the good carbs so it makes for a really perfect grab-and-go snack... or even a brownie for breakfast," Handal says of the recipe, adding that it hits all your macronutrients. Brownies for breakfast? We're in.
Typically, brownies call for both granulated and powdered sugar, plus refined flour and other ingredients that, while delicious, can cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash. Not exactly the best way to start your day. In Handal's version, the base is a nutrient-dense ingredient that you already know and love but may be surprised to find in a brownie recipe. Ready for it? Sweet potato. That's right, a root veggie is the main ingredient in these brownies. "Now before you shy away from the fact that it's made out of sweet potatoes, don't worry," Handal says. "You're not gonna taste them at all and the delicious starchiness of the sweet potato actually lends to the most moist and amazing brownie."
Not only does a sweet potato base make for a gooey, dense brownie, it also packs in the nutrients. Sweet potatoes are a major anti-inflammatory agent, a good source of gut-boosting fiber, and strong source of vitamin A, which helps you maintain a strong immune system. "[The vitamin A content] is the major difference between sweet potatoes and white potatoes," Christy Brissette, RD, previously told Well+Good. Vitamin A is also linked to protecting the skin against UV damage and preventing and treating acne, which means that a diet that incorporates sweet potatoes is great for your skin. Finally, sweet potatoes are packed with potassium—in fact, they actually have more of this heart-healthy nutrient than bananas. (One serving of sweet potatoes has roughly 950 milligrams, while a banana has 422 milligrams.) "You would never know that the base is sweet potato, and you would also never know that it's so good for you," Handal says.
These delicious brownies are also loaded with good carbs to keep you full all day long, Handal says. Another core ingredient in the recipe is peanut butter, which pairs perfectly with sweet potato as vitamin A is fat-soluble. Peanuts are loaded with plant-based protein and antioxidants, too.
Perhaps the best part about this sweet potato brownie recipe, however, is that you only need to use one bowl for the recipe, so cleanup is a breeze. Press play on the video to see the full sweet potato brownie recipe in action, and find the ingredients and instructions below.
Peanut butter and sweet potato brownie recipe
3/4 cup sweet potato puree (make sure to process for a smooth batter)
1 cup crunchy or creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup oat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Add the sweet potato puree, peanut butter, and maple syrup to a mixing bowl, and mix well with a handheld or stand mixer (or use a whisk) until fully combined and emulsified.
2. Add the oat flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder to the bowl and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula so all the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.
3. Scoop brownie batter into an 8-by-8-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper and spread evenly into all corners of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating in the oven halfway through. Allow brownies to completely cool before cutting into squares.
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