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Going back a little while and slightly off tangent but do bear with me here – I decided to look into having my eyesight corrected, and after the initial assessment I couldn’t drive for a while due to my eyes having had dye put in them, nor see very far for a short while and so I had to keep local and stumbled across a health food shop, where a lady was promoting a particular brand of coconut oil – it was the first I heard of it – and we ended up having quite a chat about its benefits both nutritionally and cosmetically and.. as it was quite expensive and I was about to part with a rather large sum of money for the surgery I didn’t purchase any at the time but it was lodged in my mind ever since.. though if I recall correctly I did leave with a packet of coconut flakes which were a little more purse friendly and provided the topping for these brownies! And in case you are wondering, yes I did have my eyes ‘done’ and I am very happy with the results!
Coconut Brownies
Moving on, a few weeks ago I received a box of lovely coconut based goodies from Cocafina.  they have a delicious range of all things healthy and coconut based, and following this post I have a little giveaway of some coconuty treats for you so don’t forget to come back soon! 
From my box of Cocafina goodies, I used their coconut nectar and coconut oil to make these bad boy brownies. Or should they be greedy girl goodies as they are technically good for you? These happen to be dairy free too so are good for certain dietary restrictions. There is also fruit in them too so you can almost pretend they are good for you, in the form of mashed ripe banana to replace some of the usual butter, in fact there is no butter at all in these – I used just 60g of coconut oil instead for the whole batch! As a result they are certainly lower in fat than regular brownies, always a win! 
To replace the sugar I used their Coconut nectar, which is extracted from the sap of coconut flower buds, its lower GI than compared to regular brown sugar – 35 compared to brown sugar at 64, so far less spiking to your blood sugars. Have I sold them to you yet?
Not really knowing how the coconut nectar was going to affect the mixture, both sweetness and texture wise as I normally melt the sugar, which is more dense – and coconut nectar is the already consistency of maple syrup, nor the coconut oil in lieu of butter, I decided to base these on my banana and rum brownies and hope for the best mostly! My oven is on the blink, and everything baked now gets cooked at what the oven dial says is 210o which in reality is about 170o or thereabouts!
For my first proper experiment they came out pretty darn good. A little fudginess to the texture, crunchy coconut flakes on top with a delicate coconut note mingled with the slightly bitter chocolate. They were popular at work and everyone was intrigued as to what both coconut oil and nectar were, I should of left a card with them I repeated myself so much! They are best left a few hours before diving in to allow the coconut on top to soften and the flavour’s to mingle together.
Coconut Brownies
60g coconut oil
200mg coconut nectar
100g dark chocolate
2 large eggs
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder 
1 tsp baking powder
2 medium, ripe mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 175/ 180o depending on your oven. Prepare a lined 8” square baking tin.
In a saucepan, weigh out the coconut oil, coconut nectar and heat until melted, stir in the chocolate and leave for a couple of minutes to cool slightly.
Mix together the flour, banana, vanilla, egg, baking powder and cocoa powder. Stir through the melted chocolate mixture until just combined and pour into a lined 8” square baking tin.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until it bounces to touch and the kitchen smells like you are in chocolate heaven – it’s a fine line between well cooked and raw so best to check with a toothpick – if minimal crumb comes out its ready. Cool for 15 minutes or so in the tin before placing on a rack to cool fully.

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