Here in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is in full swing. In the USA, that means celebrating the 4th of July with cookouts, picnics, and other celebrations.
Of course, sweet treats abound at all these festivities, including an American favorite: the brownie, a moist, chocolate, cake-like dessert that is perfect for picnics. With their very high sugar content and white flour base, brownies are anything but bone-healthy.
But what if I told you there’s a brownie that’s actually good for your bones? There is! I call it the Bone-Building Brownie, and below you’ll find the simple yet delicious recipe for these decadent treats that actually build your bones.
Here’s what makes these brownies so good for your bones.
Bone-Building Brownies Provide Alkalizing Protein
These brownies are more than just pH-balanced. They include whey and plain yogurt, both of which are excellent sources of alkalizing protein. Savers already know that while these are both derived from dairy products, their effect is alkalizing.
Because brownies are a snack or dessert food, you can eat one between bone-healthy, pH-balanced meals to keep your protein levels consistent, which, as studies have shown, is essential for building bone.
Chocolate Benefits Your Bones And Your General Health
While chocolate is acidifying, it has a place in a pH-balanced diet as described in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. The Bone-Building Brownie recipe includes two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.
1. Chocolate Contains Antioxidants
Chocolate is full of polyphenols, specifically flavonols such as catechins and proanthocyanidins. These are excellent for your bones and for your health in general. One of chocolate’s catechins, epicatechin, actually enhances bone health by increasing the activity of mitochondria in muscle cells.1 Active muscles stimulate bone growth when you exercise.
2. Chocolate Protects Your Skin Against Sun Damage
This makes chocolate the perfect summer treat! The polyphenols in chocolate actually protect your skin from the sun, and they also enhance your skin’s appearance by increasing “dermal blood circulation” and balancing the skin’s surface hydration.2
3. Chocolate Contains At Least 5 Foundation Supplements
Believe it or not, dark chocolate contains magnesium, copper, zinc, and manganese – all bone-building Foundation Supplements in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. When you cook with foods high in these minerals, you’re nourishing your bones while enjoying a delicious meal or treat.
4. Dark Chocolate Offers Cardiovascular Benefits
Chocolate’s flavonols promote relaxation in the arterial lining, thus reducing blood pressure.3 A 2006 study found that ingesting cocoa reduced cardiovascular mortality by an astounding 50% in elderly men.4 In fact, dark chocolate reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease overall.
Now that you know just how healthy these brownies are, let’s get to the recipe!
The Bone-Building Brownie
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup almond milk or your favorite milk substitute
- stevia powder equal to 1/2 cup sugar (adjust to desired sweetness and based on the type of stevia you will use)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup chocolate whey protein powder
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons chocolate whey protein powder
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut or almond butter
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- stevia to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- For the brownies: in a medium bowl, mix the yogurt, milk, sugar, and egg. In a small bowl stir together cocoa, protein powder, baking powder, and flour.
- Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet until mixed, and pour into a greased 8×8 inch pan.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Test often to make sure it doesn't dry out.
- For the frosting: In a small bowl mix all ingredients and spread on top of cooled brownies.
If you’re searching for delicious and easy-to-prepare bone-healthy dishes, you’ll love Bone Appétit, the companion cookbook to the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. In addition to hundreds of recipes that build and nourish your bones, it contains lots of luscious bone-healthy desserts, some of which are chocolate-based.
Heavenly Chocolate Cake, Nutty Brownie Cake, and Non-Dairy Chocolate Delish are just a few examples of the decadent desserts you’ll find in Bone Appétit. And the best part is, you can enjoy these and other flavorful dishes even more knowing that you’re not “cheating” – you’re actually building up your bones.
Till next time,
1 Nogeuira L, Ramirez-Sanchez I, Perkins GA, Murphy A, Taub PR, Ceballos G, Villarreal FJ, Hogan MC, Malek MH. “Epicatechin enhances fatigue resistance and oxidative capacity in mouse muscle.” J Physiol. 2011 Sep 15;589(Pt 18):4615-31.
2 Heinrich U et al. “Long-term ingestion of high flavonol cocoa provides photoprotection against UV-induced erythema and improves skin condition in women.” Journal of Nutrition,136(6):1565-9. 2006.
3 Schewe, T, Steffen, Y, and Sies, H. “How do dietary flavanols improve vascular function? A position paper.” Archvies of Biochemistry and Biophysics. 2008 Aug 15;476(2):102-6. doi: 10.1016. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18358827
4 Buijsse, B, et al. “Cocoa intake, blood pressure, and cardiovascular mortality: the Zutphen Elderly Study.” Archives of Internal Medicine. 2006 Feb 27;166(4):411-7. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16505260/