when you're trying to lose weight and a person with a desperate sweet tooth, you're likely to find some way to work the system. it's not a new idea; it's not even my idea, really, but i've managed to figure out a way to make it a bit more healthy and budget friendly.
so you've probably heard about 2 point brownies or 100 calorie brownies. what's the trick? the standard recipe is to take a chocolate cake mix (devil's food, chocolate fudge, whatever) and add a can of pumpkin. you don't use eggs, you don't use oil, and so you lessen the fat and increase the vitamin content.
however, during the Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2009-2010, cans of pumpkin were hard to come by and they're also fairly pricey. during the same time, i found deceptively delicious by jessica seinfeld. once i got over the fact that she's a rich celebrity's wife and thus should shut up and hire a cook and realized that she actually does cook for her family and my mind was blown, i read it and loved it. essentially, it just suggests that you up the health quotient of everything you eat by adding purees.
purees? you mean like...pumpkin?
i learned about two substitutions for pumpkin that make my chocolate life easier and cheaper: sweet potatoes and butternut squash. from one roasted sweet potato, i can get about a cup of puree, which will make one whole cake mix.* however, i bag them in 1/2 cup amounts and split the cake mixes. i toss in a few chocolate chips, bake them in mini muffin tins, and i have little bite size pieces of awesome that are about 60 or 70 calories each (it really depends on how liberal i am with the chocolate chip dumping). and since sweet potatoes are prevalent everywhere and relatively cheap, there's no reason for me to not get my chocolate on.
and that's an idea i can get behind.
*i don't own a food processor or any fancy equipment. i stick the sweet potatoes in the oven and bake them at a high degree (usually around 400 or 450) for about 40 minutes, until they're very soft. i split them, put the pulp that i scoop out into the blender, and blend. or, if i'm feeling lazy and anti-extra-dishes, i put it in a bowl and smash it some. it's really not complicated, trust me. and these purees are great for other things than just chocolate awesome muffins. but i'll post about that some other time.