A Little Healthier Slutty Brownie?

IMG_0880 The name of these brownies cracks me up. They allude to a dessert that is ‘sleeping’ around with other desserts, which is actually appropriate visual for these very dense and naughty delights.  You have a layer of chocolate chip cookies with a layer of Oreo cookies under a layer of Brownies. The flavor combination is a chocolate childhood memory walk of everything that was good and wonderful in cookies and special after-school treats. Of course these are insanely calorie dense and the only way to make it even remotely better for you is to add some fiber, whole foods, sugar buffers, real chocolate and grassfed butter. So here it goes…. First the layer of Chocolate Chip Cookies. I got my chips from Trader Joe’s and followed the instructions on the bag but substituted 1/2 Whole Wheat “white” flour, added molasses, honey and raw sugar. 2 1/4 cup Flour 1 tsp Salt 1 tsp Baking Soda 2 Sticks Butter (room temp) 1 tsp Vanilla (and vanilla beans) 2 Eggs Chocolate Chips 1 1/2 cups sugar: Raw sugar, 1 Tbsp molasses, 2 Tbsp honey 1/2 cup walnuts Preheat oven 350 Mix flour, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl. Then in another bowl “cream” butter with sugar. Add molasses and honey. Add to flour mix and add chips and walnuts. Spread onto baking sheet. image You can use Oreo cookies (with the enemy of HFCS and crappy oils), so clearly I prefer the slightly more natural ingredients in Trader Joes “Jo-Jo’s”.  Real Vanilla, sugar and cocoa. IMG_0875 Next make your brownie mix. You can make this from scratch, or use a box. I used Trader Joe’s Truffle Brownies. Follow instructions on box (eggs and butter).  Spread on top of Jo-Jo’s and Cookies! image Here it is. There is really nothing not to love about these. Other than just one (extremely small portion) is quite enough. They are super rich and dense.  Typically the biggest problem is what to do with an entire batch (I have MANY new friends because of these brownies; work friends, car shop guys, lobby guard of the building, doctors office staff). These slutty brownies make easy friends. Haha wink wink. But really, I’m of the belief that a rich dessert with quality ingredients where a little bit is delicious but one bite is quite enough make the best of desserts. Having desserts from time to time in tiny portions, one could even argue this is good for you and appetite regulation.  Dense calories with wholesome ingredients that can buffer those calories. These whole foods make those calories not so detrimental and they can’t do as much harm (in moderation). Calorie processing is an expensive process for the body and it produces a lot of waste products. This is how calories can produce metabolic disequilibrium for our livers, hearts and fannies. The fiber, the nuts, the honey, the molasses, these all give us a little bit of clean-up, so a little bit more fudgy-room to move with those calories. So they are less harmful to us when we eat them with those good things. So this is a good thing. Still calorie dense and not a daily treat, it’s still an major upgrade on the original with packaged and processed cookie-cookie-brownie ingredients. Real Food Rocks! IMG_0880 References and further reading on the benefits of added nuts, vanilla, honey, molasses when eaten in context and how they buffer the potential damaging effects of high fat, high sugar, calorie-dense highly palatable foods. Walnuts: Health benefits of nut consumption. Ros E. Nutrients. 2010 Jul;2(7):652-82. LINK Ellagic acid attenuates high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats. Panchal SK, Ward L, Brown L.Eur J Nutr. 2013 Mar;52(2):559-68. doi: 10.1007/s00394-012-0358-9. Epub 2012 Apr 27. LINK Walnut consumption is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women.Pan A, Sun Q, Manson JE, Willett WC, Hu FB.J Nutr. 2013 Apr;143(4):512-8. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.172171. Epub 2013 Feb 20. LINK Effect of a walnut meal on postprandial oxidative stress and antioxidants in healthy individuals. Ella H Haddad1, Natasha Gaban-Chong, Keiji Oda and Joan Sabaté. Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:4 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-4 LINK Acute consumption of walnuts and walnut components differentially affect postprandial lipemia, endothelial function, oxidative stress, and cholesterol efflux in humans with mild hypercholesterolemia.Berryman CE, Grieger JA, West SG, Chen CY, Blumberg JB, Rothblat GH, Sankaranarayanan S, Kris-Etherton PMJ Nutr. 2013 Jun;143(6):788-94. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.170993. Epub 2013 Apr 24. LINK Spices: Effect of vanillin on lipid profile in a model of hyperlipidemia, a preliminary study. Belagali Y, Ullal SD, Shoeb A, et al. Indian J Exp Biol. 2013 Apr;51(4):288-91. 10.3390/nu2070683. Gastrodia elata Blume water extracts improve insulin resistance by decreasing body fat in diet-induced obese rats: vanillin and 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde are the bioactive candidates.Park S, Kim da S, Kang S.Eur J Nutr. 2011 Mar;50(2):107-18. doi: 10.1007/s00394-010-0120-0. Epub 2010 Jun 26. Molasses and Honey: Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. “Molasses extract decreases obesity caused by a high-fat diet, research suggests.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 July 2011. . Honey and cardiovascular risk factors, in normal individuals and in patients with diabetes mellitus or dyslipidemia. Al-Waili N, Salom K, Al-Ghamdi A, Ansari MJ, Al-Waili A, Al-Waili T.J Med Food. 2013 Dec;16(12):1063-78. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.0285. LINK Honey promotes lower weight gain, adiposity, and triglycerides than sucrose in rats. Nemoseck TM, Carmody EG, Furchner-Evanson A, Gleason M, Li A, Potter H, Rezende LM, Lane KJ, Kern M.Nutr Res. 2011 Jan;31(1):55-60. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2010.11.002. LINK Effect of honey versus sucrose on appetite, appetite-regulating hormones, and postmeal thermogenesis. Larson-Meyer DE, Willis KS, Willis LM, Austin KJ, Hart AM, Breton AB, Alexander BM.J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Oct;29(5):482-93. LINK


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