A lot of friends and family are under the impression that I have incredible will power when it comes to food. During the 5 months I ate “clean”, I suppose I did crazy control but I’m also the kind of person who commits 100% once I make a decision to do or not do something. I am definitely an all or nothing kind of girl. When I started this journey, I set out to lose some body fat, gain muscle, be healthier, and just feel better about myself. When I was confronted with foods that weren’t necessarily in line with my then “clean lifestyle”, I had no problem passing on them, even when everyone else around me was stuffing their faces. Fortunately for me though, I LOVE to cook and bake so I could always manage to whip up foods that were still extremely flavorful and I rarely ever felt totally deprived… even when it came to sweets.
I feel like I am happier and more satisfied now that I am able to really “treat” myself every day by following IIFYM, but I don’t think I would say I regret eating clean for those first few months. Not only was I able to completely detox my body from the sugar, processed, and refined foods, but I was REALLY forced to push myself in the kitchen to come up with substitutions for “unclean” ingredients. Because I made every single meal from scratch for those first 4 months, I had to get inventive with food and step out of the box when it came to my favorite old recipes. I learned that for just about every single “dirty” food, there was a “clean” alternative that could be used. Obviously, treats don’t taste exactly the same when you hold out on the sugar and butter BUT they were still extremely flavorful and I never felt like I was missing out on dessert (which is the most important meal of the day next to breakfast in my opinion).
One of the first treats I had to find substitutions for were BROWNIES. Nothing beats a dense, moist, rich, chocolate-y brownie. I’d rank brownies up there with Dutch Apple Pie… that’s gotta say something right? So I began my mission to create the perfect “clean” and healthy brownie. After a few failed attempts at black bean brownies (I don’t care what anyone says, they are gross and yes, I can taste the beans), it didn’t take too many thrown away batches.
I present to you my sweet potato brownies…
The texture on these can completely compare to regular brownies but unlike the regular recipes you would see, these are packed full of good, healthy stuff. Sweet potatoes are really packed full of vitamins and nutrients including A, B6, D, C, iron, magnesium, potassium, and their natural sugars actually process differently than other sugars. They are slow released into the blood stream, so less chance of sugar spikes, fatigue, and weight gain you may have with regular refined sugar. The sweet potatoes in these give the most amazingly dense texture and the perfect amount of sweetness. These are a home run and must try!