Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sprouted Brownies

You may notice I don't have a lot of dessert recipes on this blog.  This is partly because I am still not very good at high-altitude baking, but mainly because I avoid making desserts for our family most of the time.  If there's a jar full of cookies on the counter, it will get eaten.  If there are no cookies handy, we will have to scrounge for something (hopefully) a little healthier.  Unfortunately, our friend who is currently living with us keeps a constant supply of vanilla ice cream in the freezer to put in his smoothies, but if I tuck it away behind the frozen green beans, I can usually forget it's there.

Anyway, due to my husband's work, most evenings during the summer, our living room is crammed full of college students, hanging out, playing games, or watching a movie.  And college students (especially those who have been working hard outside all day) are generally hungry.  So, despite my horror at the ingredient list, the occasional brownie mix finds its way into our kitchen.  That's fine with me...I try not to be too preachy about what other people eat, and since I never have vegetable oil on hand, at least the brownies get made with real butter.

The problem?  It's really, really hard to explain to a 1-year-old why mommy doesn't want her eating those delicious gooey chocolaty things that all her friends are having.

The solution!  A (slightly) healthier alternative, compliments of Cheeseslave.  While these brownies do contain wheat flour, and so are not gluten-free or GAPs-friendly, the wheat flour is sprouted, making it much easier to digest.

The  main change I've made to this recipe is omitting the vital wheat gluten in the original (it seems to defeat the purpose of using sprouted flour) and adding the extra egg instead.  I've also simplified the directions slightly, because...really?  A separate bowl to combine flour and salt?  I think not.  And I had no problem with unsifted sprouted flour, though the original says to sift.  Also, I had no baking chocolate on hand, so I used cocoa powder and butter instead (I should've used coconut oil, probably, but I was fresh out).  Also, the original recipe's ingredients list mentions 4 oz. semisweet chocolate...but then the directions don't say what to do with it.  I didn't have any, so I just left it out.  Wow, I changed it more than I thought.

All these alterations made the brownies slightly less ooey-gooey with a flaky top, and more cake-like, but they were delicious nonetheless.  By the way, if you're interested in peoples' reactions to vital wheat gluten in a sprouted flour recipe, read the comments at the Cheeseslave original post... entertaining and enlightening. **

6 Tbsp. baking cocoa powder + 2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil (the equivalent of 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate)*
1/2 c. butter*
2/3 c. sprouted flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3-4 eggs*
1 cup sucanat or Rapadura
1 tsp vanilla extract*

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Combine butter and cocoa powder in saucepan on low heat.  In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, sucanat, and vanilla, then stir in butter/cocoa mixture.  Stir in sprouted flour and sea salt.  Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until fork stuck in the middle comes out clean.

*Side note #1: If you can, obviously the ideal would be to use organic, fair trade cocoa (the fair trade, especially... apparently there should be a movie called Blood Chocolate in addition to Blood Diamond), pastured butter, pastured eggs, and organic vanilla.  But we are not all millionaires.  Just use the best ingredients you can, and be glad that at least you're not using HFCS, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cotton seed oil, and potassium sorbate, like the boxed mix does.

**Side note #2: After my St. Bernard ate a few bites of these brownies and I freaked out, I did some research and discovered that he would've had to eat approximately 8 full pans of brownies to have chocolate poisoning.  Pheww....

Posted at Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife, Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff, and Tasty Tuesday at Naptime Creations


  1. Sprouted flour? Feeling like I'm slacking in my grain science education but I have never heard of such thing. Do explain.

  2. Hi, Amanda,
    Whole wheat berries can be sprouted just like any other seed, and then dried and ground into flour. This sprouting helps eliminate some of the anti-nutrients in wheat and makes it easier to digest. In fact, I've heard that some people who are sensitive to gluten (I heard about one who was actually diagnosed with Celiac disease), are able to eat sprouted flour with no problems.

  3. This year at school the cafe ladies made black bean brownies. The kids loved them and didn't know what was in them. I thought I could save you the grass clipping after Tim mowed but our lawn mower chopped them up so much that I couldn't find them in the grass! Sorry. We gave our chickens watermelon rind this week and they loved it. See you Saturday. Coe

  4. Hi, Coe,
    Black Bean brownies sound good! I'll have to try to find a recipe! Those sneaky cafe ladies. :) Thanks for thinking of me with the grass clippings. I'm gonna see if my chickens like honeydew rind as much as yours liked watermelon! We're excited to see you!

  5. love! Hi! Thanks for linking up this week to Tasty Tuesday! Hope to see you back next week! http://nap-timecreations.blogspot.com/


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