These grain-free brownies are packed with protein and healthy fats thanks to the addition of the nut butter and almonds. No one would ever know they also contain courgettes. Low in sugar, this is a rich and indulgent treat. Pecan nuts are little nuggets of nutrition – they are rich in many phytochemicals and antioxidants which can help protect the body’s cells and DNA from damage as well as support immune health.
You will need:
200g/7oz/heaped ¾ cup almond
200g/7oz dark chocolate, 70%
cocoa solids, broken into pieces
100g/3½oz/½ cup xylitol
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g/2¼oz/heaped ½ cup ground
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 courgette, about 125g/4½oz,
60g/2¼oz/½ cup chopped pecan
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease and line a square 20cm/8in baking tin with baking parchment.
2 Put the nut butter, chocolate and xylitol in a saucepan over a low heat and warm gently to melt the chocolate. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add the eggs, vanilla extract, ground almonds,
cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda and process to combine. Process in the courgette, then stir in the chopped pecans, if using. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin.
3 Bake for 20–25 minutes until firm to touch. Leave to cool in the tin, then cut into 16 squares.
For more information on the role nutrition can plan in fertility and pregnancy visit our nutrition section
This and more delicious recipes are in Zita’s best selling book Eat Yourself Pregnant.