Thursday, May 22, 2014

{Not so}Sinful Almond Butter Brownies

There is nothing better than Summertime. 
Sunshine, water, family, friends, BBQ's, beer, fireworks, fire pits, camping, great tunes, I could go on and on. 
I snapped these gems yesterday while the Littles made memories. 

My water bugs love each other and it is precious. 
Look at this face ^ My heart explodes every time!!

So today marks one week of clean eating. It has not been easy because I really, really, like dairy and sugar. I had one big cheat(ice cream) and I definitely paid for it the next day. My stomach hurt so bad that I don't want to even look at ice cream again. I have maintained a steady weight all week which is a big deal for me. I fluctuate between 2 pounds all the time and the scale hasn't moved since day 3. This might be exactly what I need for maintenance mode!! I am currently 131 pounds, which is 4 pounds under my goal. I also feel less bloated, and more energized!

That being said, I cannot live without dessert in my life. I deeply admire all of you who have the willpower to be strictly Paleo, but I need a little wiggle room. Chocolate is my BFF. 
Also, it is BBQ season and you cannot show up empty handed to a BBQ. It's bad manners. 
Since we were headed to dinner at Mark and Lucy's last night{sidenote: Mark makes the BEST BBQ chicken I have ever had in my whole life!} I wanted to bring a dessert, but I didn't want to ruin my eating for this week and I also didn't want an upset tummy repeat, so these babies did the trick.
{Not so}Sinful Almond Butter Brownies:
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini{peeled or unpeeled, it's up to you. I peeled mine)
1 cup natural almond butter{I used Raw, unsalted, crunchy almond butter}
1/2 cup raw agave syrup
1/3 cup organic cocoa powder
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
handful of chocolate chips of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8X8 pan with parchment paper. Mix all ingredients{you can mix them willy nilly, there's no method to this brownie madness}. 
Pour batter into lined pan and bake 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.{Mine were actually done at 27 minutes, but my oven runs so, so hot.} 
Sprinkle the top immediately with a handful of chocolate chips and let sit a few minutes. Once melted, spread them out to create a nice "icing". 

Now Matt and I have tried a LOT of "diet" brownie recipes, I mean a LOT. Matt's favorite dessert is a good brownie. Not one of them even compares to this recipe. It's not exactly "diet", but it uses real ingredients and they definitely did not make my tummy hurt after eating them. In fact I felt no guilt at all for indulging in these babies. They were dense, moist, a little cakey, a little fudgy and just all around fantastic. And the best part is zucchini season is approaching!! 

If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend heading over immediately to the beautiful Ashley's  The Grits Blog for Little Friday! 

The Grits Blog

Do you leave wiggle room for dessert?

All My Love, 
Meg

9 comments:

  1. I'm going to try this recipe! Looks DELICIOUS!

    And, I'm on the verge of 100% clean eating. The dairy loves me and hates me... Giving it up seems like the only way to get rid of the bloat entirely!

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    1. I can't even explain how good these things were!

      It hasn't been easy, but since cutting out dairy, I have noticed a big difference in how I feel. It is amazing!!

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  2. Those look so darn delicious! Hunter and I are jumping on the cool kid bandwagon - we are starting the "clean" eating diet. Wish us luck lol!

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    1. Yayy Kelly you're going to love it! Good luck !!! (:

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  3. Hey, I really like this! I've GOT to try it! Thank you!!! Today I'm baking a triple layer peanut butter cup cake for my husband's bday. LOL NOT healthy...but we've been on a sweets kick so after the cake disappears..this is next! Wonderful!!

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    1. Thank you!! I cannot live a life without dessert. It would just be so sad. These were so tasty. I bought more zucchini last night so I can make them for our family reunion this weekend!

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  4. YAAAS pinning these and cannot WAIT to try! Also HOW CUTE ARE THE LITTLES!!

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    1. I had dreams about how good these were!
      Thank you! They LOVE water. We start swimming lessons in 2 weeks.

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  5. The first time I tried almond butter, I spit it out. It took about half a jar of me putting it on my bananas every day for me to finally think it was acceptable. Hopefully this recipe makes accepting almond butter much easier.

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