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When you’re studying with friends and you hit a slump, it can be tempting to reach for something sweet. But there’s a way to get a sugar-style fix without dishing out junk food. Instead, try making these brownies, which are made using substitutes for unhealthier ingredients.
Deakin University Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Sciences/Bachelor of Commerce student Desi Karandaglidis says that while it might seem surprising to add avocado to your brownies, it’s a great source of healthy fat and a good substitute for butter too. ‘The honey is a substitute for refined sugar, as it is a natural sweetener without the added calories,’ she adds.
When you’re feeding a group, Desi also suggests adding fruit and vegetables where suitable, which is why we’ve added strawberries to this tasty share plate. ‘They are a more nutritious, wholesome snack and also add a lot of flavour,’ she says.
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup melted coconut oil
½ cup honey
¼ cup roasted hazelnuts
¾ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup plain flour
⅓ cup dark chocolate (to serve)
1 tbsp icing sugar (to serve)
Handful of strawberries (to serve)
1) Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
2) Mash avocado and mix with egg, vanilla extract, coconut oil and honey. Set aside.
3) Roughly pound or chop hazelnuts.
4) Sift cocoa powder and flour into a separate bowl and then combine with the avocado mixture and half of the hazelnuts.
5) Line a 20 x 20 centimetre baking tray with baking paper or spray with oil.
6) Pour mixture into the tray and spread it out to the corners, then sprinkle with a handful of hazelnuts.
7) Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Cool.
8) Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
9) Cut brownie into fingers, then dust with icing sugar, drizzle with melted chocolate and serve with strawberries and remainder of hazelnuts.
To make this recipe gluten free, replace flour with hazelnut meal or gluten-free flour.
To make this recipe egg free, replace egg with mashed banana or chia (mix 1 tbsp ground chia seeds with 1 tbsp water and allow to soak for five minutes).
There is increasing community interest in food, nutrition and health, and a growing demand for specialists in these fields. Learn more by studying one of Deakin University’s food, nutrition and dietetics courses.
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