Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Are they real?

I can't tell you how many times I've been asked that question.  About my purse, about my chicken soup, my hair colour, about my …, and now about my brownies.

Last night, I made my daughter brownies for dessert.  I had mixed feelings about these brownies.  At first, I was proud of myself because I was able to take a box of your run-of-the-mill $1 brownie mix that I bought using using a coupon and transform it into something "healthy" (don't worry, recipe to follow).  But then, later that night, I was reading this article from the L.A. times about eating unprocessed foods.  I was starting to feel guilty.  What kind of woman, who just purchased a 5-pound-bag each of organic lentils and sprouted grains in preparation of this month of clean eating, bakes brownies from a mix?

me (she says in a quite, shameful voice).

But then this afternoon, I had an epiphany while lounging in bed all afternoon.  For the record, I never, ever stay home like that during the week but due to an adverse reaction to massive amounts of valium due an endoscopy (in case you don't know what that is, it is basically shoving an inch-thick rubber tube with a camera on the end of it down your throat, past your esophagus, into depths of your stomach), I had no choice but to lie in bed and try not to vomit.  But since I am a multitasker, I also managed to watch a little food network and cruise my favorite blogs.  This is what I found:

On Vittles and Bits, a food blog I subscribe to and greatly admire, Maggie made the most gogeous, most delicious looking white chocolate cherry cake using BOXED CAKE MIX!

and even more scandalous?

Jamie Oliver shamelessly used pre-made, packaed shortbread cookies to make Black Forest Affogado, on his TV show, Jamie's Meals in Minutes.  Not only that, but his recipe called for *gasp* instant coffee!  All this from the man who is trying to single-handedly convert the western world to eat healthier.  And if this modern food guru stating that it's not all that bad to eat pre-made, processed food once in a while, who am I to argue?

With all that in mind, I am actually feeling pretty darn good about my brownies, especially since they look (and taste) so darn good.  In fact, these brownies are so delicious and (kinda) healthy, that I had no problem letting my kids bring them as the "healthy" snack for recess:
Chocolate "with a little help from my friends" Brownies:
1 box of your favorite chocolate brownie mix--since you're making it healthier, don't go for the lower fat mix, it actually has more chemicals and processed food than the regular. (thanks to friend #1, Betty Crocker)
1 large or two small shredded zuchinni (thanks to friend #2: Kathe & her garden)
apple sauce
organic, free-range eggs
canola oil

*note: the ingredients may differ depending on your mix's directions, but most of them are pretty similar.

Step one (the only step):
Follow the directions on the box, substituting 3/4 of the oil with applesauce. During the mixing step, add in your shredded zucchini.  I PROMISE you it will all but dissapear in the baking process and it will never be detected by the veggie-phobics you may be feeding.  

Bake, cool, and enjoy!  Guilt free!

So there you go… an (almost) healthy brownie: you've got the healthy omegas & protein from the eggs,  the goodness of the apples, and the vitaminny goodness of the veggies.  They may not be 100% real, but they are 100% fabulous.

In the words of my husband, if you think they're real, they're real.

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