Monday, July 23

Good Eating Monday: Cocoa Brownies

 Greetings! Welcome to the last full week of July!
Today I'm going to share a family classic recipe we used to make as kids, that my sisters and I still make, that even the grand-kids have made.

Yup. Cocoa Brownies.
Mother told yesterday it was a recipe she found on a Hershey Cocoa container years ago. (Probably in the 60's at least.)

Cocoa, the powder that's the main ingredient in chocolate, is the part that's good for you.
It's the flavanols in it that make it heart and skin healthy.
*Cocoa flavanols in studies have proven able to disarm free radicals, preserve cell membranes, protect DNA, prevent artery-clogging plaque, improve blood flow to the heart & lower blood pressure.
(I've read it takes about 1oz of 70% or higher DARK chocolate daily---milk chocolate does NOT work the same.)
*Cocoa flavanols in studies have also shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which reduces the potential type-2 diabetes development & improves the skins resistance to UV rays.
*However, it is cocoa powder that has the best direct source of high quantity flavorols versus chocolate candy.
[*cited from Healing Spices by Dr. Bharat B. Aggarwal]

Classic Hershey Cocoa Brownie Recipe
Melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) of margarine, butter or lite-butter
Measure into sifter: 1 1/2 cups flour
                                  1 teaspoon baking powder
                                   3/4 teaspoon salt
                                  1/2 cup cocoa powder (regular or special dark)
In Medium Bowl:
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar added gradually, beating in each time.
Add flour to egg & sugar mix, stirring
Add melted margarine/butter and 1 teaspoon Vanilla: blend well.
Set oven for 350 degrees. Pour brownie mix into a oil sprayed 13x9 baking pan.  Bake 25-30 minutes. Cool and cut into bars. Makes 24 brownies.

Suggestions to increase healthiness of  basic Brownie Recipe:
*Use lite-butter instead of margarine, because it's lower calorie and real dairy. It bakes in brownies fine.
*Replace the 2 cups of white sugar with either 2 cups of "Sugar in the Raw", which is real ground unprocessed cane OR use 1 cup of Splenda for one of the 2 cups of sugar.
*Make whole grain by using 1/2 cup white flour, 1/2 cup wheat flour and 1/2 cup of either unprocessed wheat bran or oatmeal, which ever you have on hand for 1 1/2 flour measurement. Or just work with the wheat and white flour to 1 1/2 cups.

 Trick for all "middle" pieces:

My sister, Pat, would trim the edge off all around the pan of brownies, cutting about 1/4 inch off, so every piece was a "middle" piece, meaning no "edges." The family would get to eat the "trimmings," while she took the rest off to work with her.

Do you have a favorite handed-down family recipe?
Please share it in the comments!

Or a link, if you've posted such a recipe in a blog!

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