It truly takes a village to create something like this and not only did I learn so much through the process about recipe development and translating research into information everyone wants to hear, but I learned so much more about amazing benefits food has on ailments that we deal with every single day!
I was just wrapping up studying for my RD exam when Joy reached out asking if I wanted to create a drool-worthy, yet helpful recipe using some of the healing foods in her Simple Food Remedies book. To say I was in need of assistance lifting a brain fog after that exam is an understatement!
The foods I am focusing on are:
Let’s take a dive into each food to learn how in the world these foods can be enjoyed together in a way that helps us think more clearly.
Caffeine in coffee may help increase alertness, boost mood, increase brain function, and make you feel like you have more energy. If you drink coffee in the morning (or any time of day) you probably could have shared that information based on personal experience 😉
Coffee has so much more to offer than simply caffeine to give you a perk! It is packed with antioxidants, which help remove disease-causing free radicals from the body AND may contribute to the boost in brain function.
If you know me, you know I always go for the chocolate flavored sweet treats when given the choice. While many of us love the way cocoa tastes, it also contains compounds that may improve circulation and the growth of blood vessels. More blood flow means more oxygen to the brain, and that means a decrease in brain fog.
Lentils are a legume that are a good source of plant-based protein and fiber. The protein and fiber in this food are a winning combination that helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which can help increase mental clarity and focus. These beans are also pretty budget-friendly and do not take a long time to cook like many other dried beans.
This is just a brief overview of the nutrients in these Brain Fog Lentil Brownies. Joy Bauer shares ALL the details and research in Simple Food Remedies 🙂
Even though there are amazing health benefits to these brownies, they are still a dessert (and I wanted to make them that way!). I based the recipe loosely off of Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies 🙂
Pop one of these brownies into your lunch to enjoy before heading into your afternoon, and hopefully your attitude and mental focus will be at their best.
Lift your brain fog with these lentil brownies. Lentils, coffee and cocoa powder are power foods that will help increase your mental clarity!
½ cup oil (can sub with 1/2 cup applesauce or use ¼ cup applesauce and ¼ cup oil)*
½ cup cooked lentils (red or green work well)**
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy free if necessary)**
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp instant coffee granules
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
¾ cup cane sugar or maple syrup
¾ cup all purpose flour (can sub gluten free 1:1 blend if necessary)****
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
½ cup chocolate chips for topping, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spritz a 9.5×11 baking dish with your favorite non-stick cooking spray.
In a food processor fitted with a sharp s-blade, process the oil (or applesauce if using), lentils and cocoa powder.
Melt ½ cup of chocolate chips and add to the lentil mixture in the food processor. Pulse a few times. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla and sugar.
Stir the warm chocolate lentil mixture into the egg mixture.
In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
Pour this into the prepared baking sheet.
Sprinkle chocolate chips on top if you want.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until the brownies are firm in the center and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool thoroughly before cutting into 20-24 squares.
*applesauce is not low FODMAP, use cooking oil if completing the low FODMAP elimination diet. **1/4 cup of boiled lentils is considered low FODMAP, this serving is well below the safe limit. ***Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips do not contain dairy or gluten and may work for people following the low FODMAP elimination diet. ****Gluten free flour is necessary for the low FODMAP elimination diet.
This recipe has not been tested for FODMAP content, but ingredients are used in amounts compliant with the Monash University App and guidelines. Please eat the foods that make you feel your best!
Question of the Day:
What foods do you love using to solve daily ailments?
Also…I couldn’t write this post without sharing Bernie and Rooney. When I cook and photograph, they just follow me around…I think it is THE cutest thing 🙂
Check out Rooney trying to smile (crying laughing emoji!!)
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