Sometimes people enter our lives and completely transform them for the better. A year or so ago I started working at the library and got to know my colleague (also a family friend) much better. What a treat! She and I are very similar in many ways and get along rather famously. I really have been blessed with such a great co-worker and friend!
She has to go in for surgery on Friday so I decided to make something for her to munch on in her week off for recovery. I decided to use the basis of a recipe I know she’s eaten of before and enjoyed. This is based on Deliciously Ella’s sweet potato brownies which I made a while back to much approval. I decided to change it up slightly to add in some raspberries with the idea that it would introduce some key nutritional properties pertinent to a post-op recovery situation. My colleague is very conscious of what she eats for health reasons, so I try to always keep my goodies non-abrasive and explain why I use certain ingredients. Since I’m always amazed by the benefits of different foods, I thought I’d share:
Sweet potatoes – a good source of vitamin A, which is beneficial to healthy skin and tissue. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties which aids in recovery. Also, for the rest of us – it plays a key role in regulating blood sugar levels – diabetic friendly!
Dates – contains dietary fiber, good to minimize the impact of post-op medication on the digestive system. They also contain iron and potassium, as well as other minerals essential to the promotion of red blood cells and for regulating blood pressure.
Almonds – high in dietary fiber, they also contain anti-oxidant properties, as well as the usual troopers of iron, calcium and other wonderful elements to help maintain and restore your body post-op.
Raspberries – contain anti-inflammatory properties and are also high in dietary fiber. Best of all, they aid in maintaining a healthy circulatory system and in strengthening the veins.
Maca powder – among other things, Maca aids in restoring red blood cells, which is great for treating/regulating anemia and also helps wounds to heal faster!
With all those health benefits, what’s not to love, especially when there’s chocolate involved? These brownies are made for sharing and happiness!
Ingredients (makes 16 squares):
- 2.5 cups sweet potatoes, steamed and peeled
- 3/4 cup pitless dates, soaked in hot water for at least 15 minutes
- 1 cup fresh raspberries, washed and patted dry. Divide in two.
- 1/3 cup ground almonds (I used some flakes I had lying around and put them in my mill)
- 1/3 cup ground sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 4 TBSP cocoa powder and 1 TBSP carob powder
- 1 TBSP maca powder
- 1/4 cup soy milk
- 1/2 – 1 cup ice water (the brown rice flour I find always sucks the life out of accompanying ingredients, above and beyond the stickiness of the sweet potatoes)
- 2 TBSP agave syrup
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 8×8″ baking pan – spray it, go wild.
- Steam your sweet potatoes for 15 or so minutes in the microwave – you can leave the skins on or not (I peeled mine).
- Blitz them in the food processor with the dates and milk, as well as half the raspberries – use water as necessary to make it less sticky.
- In a big bowl add in all your ingredients (except the leftover water and half the raspberries) and mix together. Add in the milky date and sweet potato mixture and stir to combine. Add more water as necessary. If you can hold the the dough at the end of the spoon without some oozing then it’s too tough and you need to add more water. Not to make it runny but at least so that there is sufficient liquid to bake away.
- Fold in the other half of the raspberries, then use the back of a wet spoon to scoop and flatten your brownie mix in the pan.
- Bake for 15 – 20, then let the brownies cool for half an hour so on a cooling rack, then use the flaps of your baking sheet to lift it up and let it cool down briefly under some sort of cover as you wipe down the bottom of your baking pan if there’s moisture.
- After all that cooling out of the fridge pop your brownies back into the pan (without baking sheet) and let it chill in the fridge for an hour or so before cutting. Nom nom!
The raspberries just take these brownies to the next level – tangy sweet bites nestled in-between soft, fudgy chocolate potato delight. One can also vamp these up with some ginger pieces, stuff it full of nut pieces (cashews, mayhaps?) or, for utter decadence, top it with melted chocolate dotted with goji berries or something equally nom.