Is there really such a thing as healthier treats? And if so, how good can they possibly be? I decided to find out for myself with these gluten-free avocado brownies.
The recipe has been saved nearly 100 thousand times on Pinterest. Avocado Brownies. The claim is, they are a healthier version of a terrific treat. And with that many pins, they have to be good, right? I’m about to find out by putting them to the ultimate test: Avocado vs. regular brownies.
This avocado brownie recipe replaces butter with avocados, sugar with honey and all-purpose flour with coconut flour. Keep in mind, not all ingredients bake equally. You can’t just replace an ingredient, follow the original recipe and expect it to turn out perfectly. There are rules.
You can substitute avocados for butter, for example, in a 1:1 ratio, but since avocados don’t melt the same way, it won’t coat our dry ingredients the same either. To compensate, you need to increase your wet ingredients a little. You may also need to decrease your oven temperature by 25 degrees to insure your baked goods cook correctly.
When substituting honey for sugar, the general rule is for every 1 cup of sugar, substitute ½ to 1/3 cup of honey. For every 1 cup of honey you’re using, subtract ¼ cup of other liquids from the recipe. Add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda for every 1 cup of honey used, and reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sounds complicated, right? Since I’m not a chef, to conduct a fair experiment I looked for similar recipes that followed these guidelines of substitution.
Here’s what I came up with:
http://www.frugalmomeh.com/2016/04/avocado-brownies.html (minus the avocado frosting)
https://cafedelites.com/2016/08/28/best-fudgy-cocoa-brownies/ (adding 300g of semisweet chocolate-coconut oil melt)
I let both recipes cool before trying them out.
I'll admit it, I love chocolate. So, I liked both recipes. The avocado brownies tasted a little more bitter to me, but they were still delicious. Clearly, I needed to find some other subjects to test these on. In fact, I have a few people in mind who are a little more picky.
They are adventurous little souls. But don’t let their inquisitive urge to put just about anything in their mouths fool you. They are still brutally honest, and will run away at the simple mention of anything green. I’m talking about toddlers. Without telling them the ingredients I had 4 toddlers try both.
Cruze is 3-years-old. He clearly enjoyed his first bite of avocado brownie. But was much more enthusiastic about the regular brownie option. While he liked them both, his favorite was the regular brownie.
Hannah is 4 and a half. This polite child will tell you she likes something even when she doesn't. You can tell she's telling the truth when she goes back for more. Which, she did with the avocado brownie. However when given the choice, she still picked the regular brownie as her favorite.
Chase is almost 5. He was very descriptive of the different brownie textures and tastes, detecting a "berry" flavor in the avocado brownie. While he liked it, he also chose the regular brownie as his favorite.
Finally, we have 3-year-old Colin. He was just excited to be getting brownies before dinner. He, too, chose the regular brownie as his favorite, but easily finished both treats.
So, all four children said they liked the regular brownie better, but clearly would have eaten them both.
Much to my surprise, this avocado brownie recipe is a win!
Is it healthier? Well, the ingredients are better, but there is still a lot of sugar in both. In fact, here’s the stats for all those who are curious:
So, if you’re looking for a gluten-free sweet treat, this is a great option. But it’s still an option I’d eat in moderation.