April 19, 2013

Clean eating avocado brownies

Yesterday I pounded out some angry speedwork on the treadmill as the giant TV in front of me played CNN's constant coverage of the Boston bombers dropping off their bags of explosives. CNN played it again, again, again, again, and again, in a pretty constant loop. I started the run with the idea that it would help decompress, get away from the news, and focus just on my breath and nothing else, but I wasn't counting on that news coverage being unavoidably in my line of vision. It turned all of my steps into hard angry strikes aimed at these horrible men who every few minutes planted a bomb right in front of me.

From today's news coverage, I learned that this man actually lived the scenario that the news looped for me yesterday. Unimaginable to wake up from losing both legs with that memory etched in your mind.

And as time in the manhunt drags slowly for all of us from a distance, I can't even begin to comprehend how it must feel for the families locked in their homes, waiting. My prayers are constantly for them.

If you're looking for some ways to help, Skinny Runner compiled a list that you can check out.


The angry run worked up a huge appetite for me. I made homemade spaghetti sauce so that we could eat one that didn't have added sugar. And by the way, why do all jarred spaghetti sauces add sugar? My sauce turned out equally tasty (or better) without sugar. Does anyone know why all store spaghetti sauces add sugar? Or do you know of any that don't (and don't cost a million dollars)?

The biggest treat of the night were these homemade clean eating avocado brownies.

This recipe was passed from friend to friend (thanks, Ekke!), so I'm sure that it's somewhere else on the internet that I should be crediting. But I don't know where, and I have to share it with you before I forget because they are really fantastic. The texture, which a lot of my clean eating recipes don't get quite right, is almost identical to regular brownies.

Personally, I like the taste of these even better than regular brownies, but I'll throw out the disclaimer that my taste buds might be morphing. I ate fries the other night and thought they were kind of gross. That has almost never happened in my life. Back to the brownies, they are definitely not as sweet, but they have a strong chocolate flavor. The avocado and eggs make them a pretty filling snack too. I'd love to throw some extras in there like maca powder and flax seed to up the healthy ante of these. 

Here's the recipe for you to try:

Clean Eating Avocado Brownies

3 small, ripe avocados
4 oz. of unsweetened chocolate, melted in 1 T coconut oil
1/2 cup of honey
3 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T vanilla
1 T rice flower (or coconut flower)
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Puree avocado in food processor until there are no lumps.

Beat all remaining ingredients together with avocado using an electric mixer, until smooth and fluffy. 

Pour into 8x8 greased dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. 

I think it would taste great with a nutty flavor added, maybe using flax seed or some other chopped nuts. I also considered adding a banana to make it sweeter. I'm not sure how that would affect the texture, but I'd like to experiment with it. This recipe seems like it would be a great base for a lot of experimental add-ins. 

And if you are drinking milk with your brownies these days, here's a question for you. Have you noticed a trend of pricing whole milk lower than 1% or skim milk?

Most places I purchase milk are the reverse of this. Whole milk is the most expensive and it gets cheaper on down to skim. But I like to buy whole milk for my kids and for making our milk kefir, so I'm hoping for this let's-make-whole-milk-cheaper-than-skim trend to catch on. 

Is whole milk or skim milk cheaper where you shop? 

Do you have a favorite healthy(ish) dessert?

What was on your mind during your most recent run? I can't get the victims in Boston out of my mind, and I'm not sure when that will change. I'm hoping that tomorrow's 18 miler with friends will be a good distraction. 


  1. Avocado brownies. Interesting. I've heard of white bean or chickpea brownies!
    Boston has been my inspiration on hard runs this week.

  2. I should try the brownies and see if my family notices the difference (I wouldn't tell them till after the fact!).
    I never even look at the price of whole milk (laziness, I guess).
    My last run was a great time of reflection (no news channels for me!!).

  3. All week Boston has been on my mind, especially when I run!! We had our TV canceled a while back and I have not sought out any video footage but I have read a few articles to keep up with what is going on and it just breaks my heart and frustrates me!

    I am going to try those brownies!! I'm hoping for a food processor for Mom's Day so we will see how it goes then!

  4. I had the same experience during my treadmill run yesterday. I found myself pushing hard because *if those people can go through what they went through, then I can sure as hell do this*.

    But I had to turn my eyes away from the TV occasionally. I felt sick seeing some of the footage.

    Thanks for the recipe. I never would have guessed that avocado brownies could be tasty! Definitely going to test it!

    My fave right now is still my "milk" shake that has banana, almond milk, and peanut butter as the base. I add chia seeds (finally bought some, and because of you!) and spinach. It's a green monster that goes down like a shake. Obsessed.

  5. Those brownies look delicious! When I did my Whole30 I found that everything I liked had sugar, including salad dressing, seasoning salt, etc. Once I started making my own I found that homemade was amazing and I didn't need the sugar!

  6. This is hilarious. I made black bean avocado brownies tonight for dessert before even looking at this! Ok, so we were 2/4 (husband is out of town) for the final analysis. My oldest and middle thought they were gross, but my youngest and me thought they were DELISH! Check out the blog "Ambitious Kitchen" and you can find the recipe there. It's very similar to your recipe.

  7. Those brownies look great, I should give them a go and will pass onto my sister who eats whole food and makes things like keifer too. I have tried making my oat biscuits w dates instead of sugar but find they don't bind.

  8. I make my own tomato sauces, and was taught to add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to intensify the flavour. It does work, but now you have me thinking I should try healthier honey instead! Perhaps commercial products use lower grade tomatoes with less flavour, and that is enhanced by sweetening? I have a feeling sugar helps preserve fruits too - it is added to fruit yoghurt to preserve it, but not plain yoghurt. But that is something I read years ago and I could have it wrong!
    I have baking on the agenda tomorrow and hope to try your brownie recipe - thanks for sharing!

  9. The brownies look really good. My sister-in-law makes chickpea chocolate chip cookies which are great and simply to make. Her children can't tell the difference and quite frankly neither can I.
    I've never added sugar to my spaghetti sauce and it tastes great. It's my Mom's recipe so it's tried and true and full of flavour. I'll have to check the Organic Spaghetti sauce I bought a Costco to see if they use a sweetener and if so, what it is.

  10. My family adds sugar to take the bitter bite out of pureed tomatoes. If you have canned your own tomatoes, the bitter isn't there.

    I'm giving these brownies a try. Soon.

    -Jenna stopdropandblog.com
    email: firemom at stopdropandblog dot com

  11. I make avocado brownies a lot in my house. When I switched gears over a year ago they became our sweet treat, that and gluten/sugar/vegan chocolate chip cookies. Another one I like to make is avocado chia seed pudding. This is the recipe close to what I use, but I do not use the baking chocolate and I use coconut milk: http://laurenkellynutrition.com/avocado-chocolate-chia-pudding-dairy-free-wheat-free-gluten-free/

    Milk is pricey. I buy the milk that is from the local farm here for my kiddos and it is pretty steep cost wise.

  12. I want these now! And can hardly wait till my avocadoes ripen....

  13. Watching the footage on CNN definitely made me angry. I had a hard time at work all week, but I feel much better now that both suspects are off of the streets.

    Those brownies look so yummy!

  14. I am definitely making those brownies! I have a banana bread recipe that uses avocado and it's awesome. I too have been running angry this week. Sigh.

  15. i just don't know if i can do avocado in my brownies...but if you say it's good-it's worth a shot! i don't have a healthy dessert that i like-other than yoforia...but not sure how "healthy" that place really is.

  16. I am definitely going to try the brownies, but I suspect since I bake without eggs that added benefit of a nice texture you mentioned will be ruined. I'll have to let you know. Otherwise, my favorite healthy/guilty treat is a chocolate chip cookie recipe made from ground walnuts and oat flour. It's delicious!

    1. I need this recipe! Have you posted it on your blog before?! I think I'll go search.

  17. I'm going to have to try those avocado brownies! I've been wanting comfort food lately and this is a very healthy way to fill that craving! Boston was upsetting, but the week before that was much worse for me due to a closer-to-home tragedy. I only started to skate again recently and it's been a welcome distraction. During my most recent skate (as you know I skate, not run) I was just concentrating on improving my footwork and not thinking about any news or events at all.

    1. I'm so sorry to hear that! But glad you have skating as an outlet when times are tough.


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