This post is dedicated to the memory of Joan Hayes
of the blog, Chocolate, Chocolate and More.
The food blogging world lost a popular and loved voice last week when Joan suddenly passed away from a heart attack. She was only 49 and leaves behind 3 school age children who were the light of her life. She was beloved in the food blogging community. Although I never met her in person, I interacted with her online and benefited from the generous friendship and support she offered fellow bloggers. Joan was kind and good, and she will be missed by many.
This week, many food bloggers have collectively celebrated Joan by posting chocolate recipes, because Joan loved chocolate! In her words:
"I believe that chocolate makes everything better, that the smell of something baking in the kitchen can completely lift your mood and that strong family values are built around the dinner table."
I encourage you to visit Joan's blog and Facebook page and Pinterest Board where you'll find an extensive collection of awesome recipes that will satisfy any sweet tooth. Traffic to her site will generate revenue that will continue to support Joan's most precious legacy--her 3 children. At the end of this post, look for my links to eleven of Joan's own amazing brownie recipes. Every time you click on a link and visit Joan's blog, it can help generate revenue for her kids.
Mary at Barefeet In The Kitchen, shared a list of posts dedicated to Joan by other bloggers. You'll find lots of great chocolate recipes there, too.
Also, please be aware of the warning signs of heart attacks for women. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but women may experience different symptoms including nausea, and back or neck pain.
On to the brownie recipe that, in Joan's memory, has chocolate, chocolate, and more!
These decadent, brownies will satisfy any chocolate lover, yet they are surprisingly rich in antioxidants and nutrients from pumpkin, whole grain flour, flaxseed, dark chocolate, and nuts.
Traditional brownie recipes are loaded with oil or butter and sugar. After some experimenting, I came up with a recipe that has as many healthy ingredients as possible while still tasting like a decadent dessert. These brownies aren't exactly health food; but except for the sugar, every ingredient has good-for-you nutrients. Here's how I healthified the ingredients:
It's a vegan recipe as long as you use vegan chocolate.
Nutritional Information (for one brownie): 159 calories, 8.5g fat, 53mg sodium, 21.7g carbs, 2.2g fiber, 41.1g sugars, 3.3g protein. Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 5
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients
Step 2. Roughly chop the chocolate bar, put it in a large microwave safe bowl, and microwave on high. Stop and stir every 30 seconds until there are a few chunks left that can be stirred and melted in. (Total microwave time is approx. 2 min.; actual time may vary).
Step 3. Stir in the remaining ingredients just until mixed with no visible dry flour bits, using half of the chocolate chips and nuts.
Step 4. Spread mixture in a greased 9x13 pan and sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips and nuts.
view on Amazon: my favorite 9x13 metal pan with lid
Step 5. Bake until set in the middle and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with only moist crumbs. (If the toothpick comes in contact with a melted chocolate chip, it will be coated in melted chocolate when it is removed. If so, test in another place until you've tested a spot without a chocolate chip.)
Allow the brownies to cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.
The dark chocolate gives these an intense flavor that the chocolate lovers in my family love. If you prefer a milder chocolate flavor, feel free to substitute semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips.
These have a yummy, fudgy texture, and the nuts add a pleasing crunch. They're great served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Who knew something this decadent could provide healthful nutrients, too? You might also want to check out my similarly nutritious recipe for Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies.
This one is for you, Joan, and for all of the other chocolate lovers out there.
Make it a Yummy day!