Ah, it’s February, and I’m starting to feel the warmth of spring. That may be weird coming from a Southern Californian – as “cold” for us tends to be in the 60s – but even if we’re not talking warmth in the literal sense, there’s something about being on the brink of spring that just gives that refreshing sense of newness and warmth.
And, perhaps, that also brings about renewed love.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I wanted to try to do something special for my husband. We’ve been needing that warmth lately. He’s been trying to eat a more paleo diet and – considering he’s a sucker for sweets – it’s been a bit of torture for him to resist baked goods. I started to look into paleo baked goodies and discovered how easy it is to make them paleo.
Now, if you haven’t heard of a paleo diet, in short, all ingredients are essentially in their natural form. It removes a lot of what we eat in a modern day diet such as refined foods, trans fats and sugar, and leaves you with natural foods that your body should process more efficiently.
Expect this brownie to be softer than your usual brownie due to the sweet potatoes (yes! sweet potatoes!), but the taste and health benefits make it worth every bite. Trust me, my husband will vouch for it.
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup melted coconut oil & a little extra for greasing
3/4 cup almond flour (or meal for more texture)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cooked sweet potato (About 1 and a half sweet potatoes)
Optional: strawberries and coconut flakes
Heat your over to 400 degrees to bake your sweet potatoes. Bake for about 50 minutes or until it’s easy to poke with a fork. Take out and let cool.
Pre-heat the oven temperature to 350°F. Grease 9″x12″ baking pan with coconut oil.
Combine the eggs, syrup, and coconut oil and whisk together. In a separate bowl, combine almond meal, cocoa powder and baking powder.
Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet, then whisk in the sweet potato.
Pour mixture into the baking pan and bake for 25 minutes (add more time if your pan is smaller since the mixture will be thicker).
While your brownies are baking, cut a handful of strawberries into strawberry hearts (or more if you’re feeling very lovey :). To start, cut the top leafy part off by cutting with a “V” shape, then cut each strawberry into 4 slices by slicing down the middle then slice each half once more.
After the 25 minutes of baking, make sure that the brownie is cooked through by inserting a toothpick into it. Once the toothpick comes out clean, take the brownies out to cool. As with a lot of brownies, these are best when they’re left out to fully cool to let any extra moisture evaporate or even enjoyed the next day so it has that extra fudgey texture.
Whenever you’re ready, slice, plate, then garnish with strawberry hearts and coconut chips.
Need more ideas for Valentine’s Day? Stay tuned for Valentine’s recipes from some blogger friends from around the world!
Let me know how you like it!