Thursday, July 30, 2009

Healthy(ish) Butterscotch Brownies

I get migraines. Two or three times per week, sometimes more if the weather is bad. At my prenatal appointment yesterday, the midwife suggested cutting out all common dietary migraine triggers for the next two weeks to see if that helps any. This leaves me without: cheddar and other aged cheeses, hot dogs and other foods with nitrites, anything containing MSG, peanuts and peanut butter, sour cream and yogurt ... and chocolate. That's right - no chocolate for two weeks! I can substitute other things - like almond butter for peanut butter, mozzarella or monterey jack for cheddar, etc. And, as is evidenced by my previous post and many other posts, I know that I am perfectly capable of making and enjoying delicious dessert and snack items without using chocolate. But I'm the kind of person where, if you tell me I can't eat chocolate, that's all I think about!

So this is my attempt to curb my sudden intense desire for chocolate by replacing it with something else, to prove to myself that I can satisfy my sweet tooth with something that not only doesn't include chocolate, but also has healthy ingredients too. This recipe (from the More with Less Cookbook) proves to me that yes, I am strong! I can live for two weeks without chocolate! I can survive!

But I don't have to be happy about it.

Healthy Butterscotch Brownies
1/4 cup margarine
1 tbsp. molasses
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. dry milk powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8-inch square pan.

Melt margarine. Add molasses, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir well. Sift in milk powder, baking powder, and salt. Add wheat germ and walnuts. Stir enough only to blend, using no more than 20 strokes. Spread in prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes.

The verdict? Well, it's not chocolate. And it's not very brownie-like either. The bars are a bit chewy, with a very wheaty flavor and texture. But that said, I like them. They even have almost a cocunutty flavor, though there's no coconut in them. They'd probably be even better spread with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting or sprinkled with powdered sugar or something. But they're pretty good plain too. And they have Zaylee's seal of approval.

But they're just not chocolate. Sigh.


Catherine said...

I'm brainstorming for you.

Have you ever made blondies/congo bars? They normally have you add chocolate chips, but maybe you could add butterscotch chips or something.

And what about a warm berry or fruit crisp with vanilla ice cream? That seems perfect for this time of year.

Maybe you could try the chocolate substitutes out there, like carob? I've never tried it, so I can't say if it's good or not. Good luck, life without chocolate is not easy!

Katy ~ said...

LOL. I am not much of a chocolate fan; I go months without eating it. Every now and again I make chocolate desserts for others (namely Ole Sweetie Pi who loves the stuff). I would miss the dairy products though and would be very crabby! Creative twist on the brownies. Well done.

HoneyB said...

Grumpy would probably prefer these over chocolate (unless its his chocolate zucchini bread!). I hear you....hope those two weeks go by fast.

Colleen said...

migrains are horrible. i know where you are comming from. i used to get them constantly. i tried every thing in the book to drugs, and changing my diet. well i ended up having a hole in my heart. my blood wasn't being oxygenated the way is should have been. so causing migraines. it also formed some blood clots that caused some small strokes. not everyone that has migraines has this but just something to look into. it took a long time to figure it out but now that i have had surgery to fix my heart i am so much better. i only get a migraine maybe once every few months. let me know if you want more information. good luck with everything. i love reading your blog.