These brownies are just different enough to be special. They have a hint of coconut oil which is not only good for you but it makes you dream of walking in the soft sand somewhere far away. The turbinado sugar adds a little sweet crunch. Warning: this is not a firm brownie. It is soft and tender and just plain lovely.
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 4 oz of your favorite chocolate (I used semi-sweet Ghirardelli)
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 cup turbinado sugar (raw sugar or you can use brown sugar)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup of cocoa
- 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour or regular whole wheat
- 1/2 cup of all purpose white flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 inch square pan with parchment paper and spray parchment with non stick spray. Whisk together flours, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Put butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat until melted. Let cool for a few minutes. Stir in sugar then the two eggs, one at a time. Mix well by hand. Add flour mixture and stir until well combined.
Pour into prepared 8×8 pan. Mixture will be shiny because of the coconut oil but trust me, it’s yummy. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool. Pull out by parchment on both sides and cut neatly with a knife.
We love celebrating holidays and taking part in traditions as a family. It makes us feel more connected and forces us to put down what we are doing and spend family time together. Our kids have a sense of belonging and know what to expect.
St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to start a new tradition. There are lots of silly things you can do to make it fun for the whole family. Move over green beer! Here’s a sampling of ideas for you…
- Put green food coloring in the toilet.
- Put green food coloring in the milk (all natural of course).
- Make green pancakes or green eggs for breakfast.
- Leave gold coins all over the house or in the backyard and have the kids hunt for them.
- Have the leprachaun do silly things- turn chairs backwards, pillows on bottom of bed, all lights on, mess up toys and leave a trail of leprachaun dust (glitter).
- Have the leprachaun leave small green treat bags with chocolate coins, green necklaces and a note.
- Eat healthy green all day; green grapes, apples, kiwi, honeydew, broccoli, green beans, peas, zucchini, cucumber, celery, green smoothies, quacamole, green juice or pesto sauce.
- Work together the night before to make a leprachaun trap complete with cookies to lure him in and rainbows for decoration.
- Put natural green food coloring in a bowl and cover with cereal. When they pour in the milk it will turn green.
Check out these great resources…
What are some of your family traditions for St. Patrick’s Day?
Spring is in the air and this is one recipe I was anxious to make again. It makes me think of warmer weather, backyard barbecues and picnics on the beach.
It is quick and easy to make but incredibly versatile. Bring it over to a friend’s house with tortilla chips and it’s an appetizer. Pile it in a whole wheat tortilla with a little shredded cheddar and it’s a lunch that’s healthy and low fat enough to eat every day. Serve it as a side salad with a nice lemony grilled chicken.
Black Bean and Corn Salad
Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and cumin. Add corn, beans, onion and cilantro. Toss gently. Add more cilantro for garnish. Yum.
This is why I am writing this blog. I wanted to do an article on sweetened cereals and have discovered that some of my choices are not so stellar after all.
After cleaning out my pantry and tossing a few boxes that shall remain nameless, here are our top choices. These were chosen by a carefully selected committee (Evan, Maddie and Jack). They were more than happy to overindulge in cereal in the middle of the afternoon. Thanks guys! Does this mean they won’t beg me for Lucky Charms anymore?
These are what I would call middle of the road sugar amounts. Remember I want to find balance. One of the most important things to me is that they are free of artificial colors, preservatives and BHT. These have none of that nasty stuff. They are not without sugar (one has eight grams) but with a balanced approach to the rest of the day’s choices, I think these could all be part of a healthy diet.
Favorite Lower Sugar Cereals:
Kashi Berry Blossoms (Sugars 7g)
Barbara’s Brown Rice Crisps (Sugars 1g)
EnviroKids Amazon Frosted Flakes (Sugars 6g)
EnviroKidz Gorilla Munch (Sugars 8g)
Would you feed your child a Twinkie for breakfast? According to a report by the Environmental Working Group, they will get even more sugar from Kellogg’s Honey Smacks. It contains 20 grams of sugar and is 56% sugar by weight. Yikes!
The EWG reports that children who have a breakfast high in sugar have more problems at school:
“They become more frustrated during the day and have a harder time working independently. By lunchtime they have less energy, are hungrier, show attention deficits and make more mistakes on their work.”
We all want to send our children off to school with the healthiest breakfast. There are lots of things to consider when choosing a healthy cereal: sugar content, fiber, sodium, fat, whole grain content and artificial colors and preservatives. I feel like I need a degree in nutrition to tackle this one. Luckily we have the EWG to guide us.
Here are the EWG’s 10 worst children’s cereals based on percentage of sugar by weight:
Kellogg’s Honey Smacks
- Post Golden Crisp
- Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow
- Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries
- Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original
- Quaker Oats Oh!s
- Kellogg’s Smorz
- Kellogg’s Apple Jacks
- Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries
- Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original
Here are the EWG’s list of best cereals, low in sugar and without GMO’s and artificial colors and preservatives:
- Ambrosial Granola: Athenian Harvest Muesli
- Go Raw: Live Granola, Live Chocolate Granola, and Simple Granola
- Grandy Oats: Mainely Maple Granola, Cashew Raisin Granola, and Swiss Style Muesli
- Kaia Foods: Buckwheat Granola Dates & Spices and Buckwheat Granola Raisin Cinnamon
- Laughing Giraffe: Cranberry Orange Granola
- Lydia’s Organics: Apricot Sun, Berry Good, Grainless Apple, Sprouted Cinnamon, and Vanilla Crunch.
- Nature’s Path Organic: Optimum Banana Almond, Optimum Cranberry Ginger, Corn Puffs, Kamut Puffs, Millet Puffs, and Rice Puffs.
Here’s the EWG’s list of healthier choices that are a bit easier to find. These may contain GMO’s and/or artificial colors and preservatives but have less sugar.
- Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats: Unfrosted Bite- Size, Frosted Big Bite, Frosted Bite-Size, Frosted Little Bite
- General Mills Cheerios Original
- General Mills Kix Original
- Post Shredded Wheat (all varieties)
- Post Grape-Nuts Flakes
- Quaker Oats Oatmeal Squares Cinnamon
- Post Bran Flakes
- Post Honey Bunches of Oats with Vanilla Bunches
Of course cereal is not the only choice for breakfast – oatmeal, smoothies, eggs, greek yogurt with granola or whole wheat toast spread with peanut butter are also super healthy.
For more information:
Next - my top ten lower sugar cereal choices.
What are the favorite cereals at your house?