Category Archives: Slices

Brownies with a difference

What a great way to increase your fibre intake….

These brownies are delicious, you would not know that they have chickpeas in them!

The addition of chickpeas allows the amount of fat you would normally add to brownies to be greatly reduced and of course the fibre greatly increased.

I was a bit doubtful myself as to what they would turn out like, but I will definitely be making them again…enjoy!

Hi Fibre Brownies

Makes 16 brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp linseeds
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4  eggs
  • 3/4 cup wholemeal self raising flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 170ºC

Line a 8″ x 8″ cake tin with baking paper.

In a blender, process linseeds to a fine powder.  Add chickpeas and process until smooth.  Add vanilla, oil
and eggs.  Blend for 10-20 seconds to a smooth consistency.

In a mixing bowl, combine sifted flour, sugar and cocoa.

Add combined bean mixture to dry ingredients, mix well.

Pour batter into baking dish.

Bake for 30-35  minutes, or until brownies are cooked through and knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Each (60g) brownie has 816kJ or 194 calories, 1 g of saturated fat and 2g of fibre

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Low Fat Chocolate Brownie

You would never guess that this brownie is low fat!  It is a seriously lusciously chocolatey, moist and delicious brownie.  In fact when I took some to a recent function, nobody realised that it was low fat, the brownies all disappeared really quickly and I had quite a few compliments!

The original recipe is from the Heart Foundation’s ‘Deliciously Healthy’ Cookbook. Of course I have changed it ever so slightly. I cut back the sugar a bit and used half wholemeal flour to increase the fibre content (and slightly lower the GI!)  Using Dutch cocoa is the secret to getting the gorgeous dark color and the deliciously rich chocolatey flavour.  If you can stop it from being eaten, it will keep well for up to 4 days (I haven’t managed to have any left past then to check!).  I’m sure it would also be fine to freeze for a week or so. 

Best of all, it’s really quick and easy to whip up a batch.  Enjoy 🙂

Low Fat Chocolate Brownie

Makes 32 brownies

1/2 cup of wholemeal plain flour

1/2 cup of white self-raising flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

3/4 cup Dutch cocoa

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup of sandy brown sugar 

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla essence

1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil

200g of low fat natural yoghurt

1/2 cup of apple puree

200g  frozen raspberries or other mixed berries, optional but very yummy

Method

Preheat oven to 170°C. Line an 18 x 28cm slice tray with baking paper

Sift together the flours, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa into a large bowl.  Mix in sugar, then stir through berries to coat well with flour.  Make a well in the centre

Whisk together the eggs, oil, vanilla, apple puree and yoghurt in a medium bowl. Add to the flours and fold through until well combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tray and bake for approx 30 minutes.  It is cooked when the brownie is firm to touch, however it may still be a little soft right in the centre.

When cooled, cut brownie into 8 x 4 = 32 slices

Each delicious (32g) brownie has a mere 62 calories, 1.5g fat of which a tiny 0.4g is saturated and 0.8g fibre 🙂

(A 32g ‘regular’ brownie would normally have around 150 calories, 8g total fat and 4g saturated fat – unsure about fibre content but guaranteed to be less!)

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Nigella’s Muesli (Breakfast) Bars

I am always trying to encourage kids to get in the kitchen and learn how to cook.  No matter what age, they can help and from my experience, they love it 🙂

You may remember my first ever post was for my favorite muesli bars (which are still my favorite) so why would I post another muesli bar recipe?  Because it is so quick and easy, even kids can make it.  Besides they do taste pretty good and since we all have different tastes, you may even prefer them!

A gorgeous friend of ours, Fi told me about these bars and how when making them she struggles not to eat the entire batch! That was enough encouragement for me to try them and I discovered just how easy they are. 

The original recipe is available here on Nigella’s website.

The first time I made them I changed a few things (I can’t help myself) – macadamias instead of peanuts, skim rather than full fat condensed milk and since I only had half the amount of cranberries, I substituted with sultanas.  As I prefer more dried fruit in my muesli bars, the second time I made them (seriously they are so quick and easy to whip up) I added dates and apricots.  Both my husband and I prefer them with this extra fruit.

Why not give them a go and see what you think…even better, get your kids to make them for you – just make sure they clean up after!

Nigella’s Muesli Bars (aka Breakfast Bars)

  •  2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup sultanas
  • 1/3 cup dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup sunflower kernels
  • 2 Tbspn sesame seeds
  • 3/4 cup unsalted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 400g can of skim condensed milk

Preheat oven to 150 degrees.  Line a 10 inch (25cm) square or similar sized rectangular tin with baking paper.

Place all ingredients except condensed milk in a large bowl and mix until well combined.

Pour condensed milk into a heavy based saucepan (as it is less likely to catch on the bottom) and heat over a low light until warmed through.  Pour warmed condensed milk into dry ingredients and mix through until well coated.

Scrape into prepared tin and press down as evenly as possible.  Bake in oven for approx 50 minutes.   After 30 minutes, check that it isn’t going too brown on top.  If it is, cover with foil and continue baking further 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and leave to cool for about 20 minutes.  Remove from tin and cut into squares while still warm.  Leave to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.

If you cut the slab into 25 squares (5 x 5) each serve has 146 calories and 2g fibre

I prefer them smaller and cut it into 36 (6×6) slices with 101 calories and 1.5g fibre each

and they are a great alternative to those bought muesli bars…

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Oh So Gooey, Lovely Chocolate and Prune Brownies

I have to admit that I am actually not much of a chocolate fan, however I do find these rather yummy 🙂

The original recipe was given to me by a friend and had more butter and sugar in it, which I cut back (slightly) and added prunes which help to add to the lovely, gooey texture.

By cooking the cocoa with the butter and sugar,  you develop the chocolate flavour so that the brownies taste like they have real chocolate in them.  I use Dutch cocoa which is darker in colour and has a richer flavour than those available in regular supermarkets.

I do encourage you to try making them, they are quick and easy.  However I will warn you that it is hard to stop at just one!

Chocolate and Prune Brownies

  • 120g butter
  • 1 ¼ cups caster sugar
  • 2/3 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (100g) pre-soaked prunes*, pitted and roughly torn apart or chopped
  • ½ cup plain flour

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper.

Combine the butter, sugar and cocoa in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until butter melts.  Cook for a further 2 minutes stirring constantly.

Set aside to cool down.  When cooled, add eggs one at a time, using a wooden spoon to mix in. Add prunes, then flour and mix until well combined. Spread evenly into the prepared tin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until just set.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into 24 pieces.

*To pre-soak prunes, simply pour boiling water over to cover and leave to go cold.  Store in the fridge.  I prefer to eat my prunes this way 🙂

 Each little gooey brownie has a mere 106 calories and nearly 2g of fibre!

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The best muesli bars

These are a much yummier alternative to those bought muesli bars with all sorts of extra “nasties”  in them. 

They are also more environmentally friendly too, as bought muesli bars are highly over-packaged!

There is no flour in these muesli bars so they are also good for anyone who is wheat intolerant. 

They go well as a snack in anyones lunch box (not just the kids)…if they make it that far!

Makes 12 good-sized bars

Ingredients
1/3 cup olive oil (or 80g butter)
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup

Dry ingredients:   

1 1/3 cups rolled oats
2 Tbspn dried sultanas
2 Tbspn chopped dried apricots
2 Tbspn dried cranberries
2 Tbspn pumpkin seeds
2 Tbspn sunflower seeds
1/4 cup desiccated coconut

Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.  Line and grease a 20cm square baking tin.

In a saucepan, heat together the oil, sugar and golden syrup.

Meanwhile, mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

When the oil mixture forms small bubbles on the surface, remove from heat, pour into dry ingredients and mix well.

Spoon the mixture into prepared tin and press down to level the surface.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 18 to 20 minutes.
Cool, then cut into bars before serving.

Each muesli bar contains 165 calories

(Or cut into 16 pieces at 125 calories each)

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