brain health brownies

Can these fudgy chocolate brownies actually contribute to good brain health? Yes, they can!

The quinoa cooks up in minutes and adds nutty, whole grain flavors to these fudgy brownies. The quinoa packs in a lot of brain health nutrition, too: fiber, flavonoids, omega-3 fats, and protein, including all nine essential amino acids. Extra-virgin olive oil provides brain-friendly fats, and dark chocolate and cacao gives you heart and brain-healthy flavanols.

– 1/3 cup dry quinoa (or 1 cup leftover cooked quinoa)
– 1/2 tspn kosher salt, plus more for cooking the quinoa
– 2 large eggs
– 1/2 cup maple syrup
– 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
– 1 tspn pure vanilla extract
– zest of one orange, ½ tspn orange blossom water, or 1/2 tspn orange extract (optional)
– 2 Tbsp water
– 3/4 cup quinoa or almond flour
– 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
– 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (such as Guittard extra dark)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line an 8″ square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
To cook the quinoa, bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until plump and the grains sprout a tail, about 12 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
Whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, orange zest (if using), and the water in a medium bowl until smooth. Fold in the quinoa flour, cacao powder, and ½ teaspoon salt until no streaks of flour remain. Set aside 3 Tbsp of the cooked quinoa to top the brownies, then fold the rest into the batter, along with the chocolate chips, stirring until evenly distributed.
Place in prepared pan and even out. Sprinkle the remaining quinoa on top.
Bake until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean, about 22 to 26 minutes. Cool brownies in the pan for at least 30 minutes. Lift parchment paper and place brownies on a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.

Recipe provided by:

Dr. Annie Fenn, author of Brain Health Kitchen;
in coordination with Sharp Again Naturally; 914-281-1404

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