**WARNING: The following recipe is suuuuuuuper chocolately**
When I tell people I’m a health nut, I think some people assume that must mean I deprive myself of all things good and never enjoy food. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I truly believe food is meant to be enjoyed. In fact, to channel a bit of Ron Burgundy, meal time in our house is kind of a big deal. 😉
For me, eating healthy means eating a variety of whole, REAL foods. I stay away from the processed stuff as much as possible. If it’s comes in a box and includes ingredients I can’t pronounce, I tend to avoid it. I do eat a lot of fresh fruit and veggies, but that is because I honestly enjoy them.
However, being healthy doesn’t mean grilled chicken breast and broccoli for every meal. Now, don’t get me wrong, chicken and broccoli are yummy and have their place…but sometimes, a girl needs chocolate. Lots of chocolate. I could write several blog posts on the health benefits of dark chocolate alone (hello, healthy fats and antioxidants!).
Last night, we had the pleasure of a movie night with amazing friends and delicious food. My friend Hannah made some fantastic brownies…which inspired me and sent me into a must-have-chocolatey-baked-goodness frenzy today. The result? A combination of some of my favorite foods. Pancakes. Chocolate. Peanut Butter. In the words of Joey Tribbiani: “What’s not to like?”
Brownie Batter Pancakes
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup oat flour (You can simply place rolled oats in a food processor or blender. Oat flour is the secret to extremely MOIST whole grain baked goods. Try it. Trust me.)
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 T unsweetened cocoa
2 T ground dates (aka date sugar)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (you could replace this with milk or regular yogurt…but the Greek yogurt packs a healthy, high protein punch)
4 85% dark chocolate squares, broken into small chunks (optional)
Mix the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. Stir until you form a batter…add a bit of water as needed to reach your desired consistency. Fold in the dark chocolate, if desired. (And, seriously, how could you NOT desire dark chocolate?!? This will add fat to an otherwise fat-free batter — but, remember, healthy fats are our friends. The healthy fats in dark chocolate actually combat belly fat and help leave you satiated as well…what’s not to love?)
Let the pancake-making begin! (I like to use a Toastmaster pancake maker that makes adorable little, perfectly round pancakes.) Cover in your favorite toppings, or spread each pancake with hot chocolate peanut butter sauce (recipe below). Commence chocolate coma of goodness!
Hot Chocolate Peanut Butter Sauce
4 T all natural peanut butter
1/2 cup (heaping) unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 T raw honey
Heat the peanut butter in the microwave (or stove top, if you prefer) until it is thin and melty. Add the cocoa, applesauce, and honey. Stir vigorously until the sauce is thick. If you prefer a thinner sauce, you can add a little water. Spread on pancakes, waffles, cupcakes, bananas (which is what Nathan and I did with the bit of left over sauce we had), strawberries…you name it! 🙂
Keep in mind you can use other sweeteners or flours if you choose…mashed bananas in place of applesauce…brown sugar, maple syrup, or sucanat as a sweetener…experiment and do your thing, darling! 😉
Any foods you love that could use a healthy makeover? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do! Happy eating!