In our home we believe in a balanced diet. What exactly does that mean to us? It means that there are no forbidden foods and treats are allowed as are most things in moderation. We are a family of foodies. I love to cook, especially bake, and we all enjoy eating my creations. The key to a balanced diet is just that – balance. I have a four year old who loves red peppers and peas as much as she loves cupcakes. The only rule we have at meals is that you have to at least try one bite of everything. You don’t have to eat everything on your plate. As long as you ate reasonably well you can have dessert. And we never use food as a reward (if you’re good you get a treat). I strongly believe that we are raising our daughter to not be a picky eater and to understand how to make smart choices when it comes to nutrition.
Even though my daughter (and the entire family) are pretty good eaters and overall eat fairly healthy I still look for opportunities to throw in some extra nutrition into dishes that are not necessarily “healthy”. I made this batch of brownies the other night and decided that if my family is going to eat brownies, which they certainly will, why not add some “good stuff” to them? I wasn’t sure if my daughter would like them to be honest. Even though she’s not particularly picky she is well known for her ability to detect when I have snuck something into food. Well not only did she not turn her nose up at these brownies, she loved them. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her devour a brownie like that before! These brownies, with apple caramel sauce, were such a hit that I have to share the recipe with you. I took one of my favorite recipes and added a few scoops of Orange Naturals shake mix to them – chocolate in the brownies and vanilla in the sauce. You can use which ever line you want or have – original, men’s, women’s, teen’s or kid’s.
Brownies (with a bonus) with Apple Caramel Sauce
For the brownies:
- 1 1/2 cups of white sugar
- 1 cup of butter OR coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 scoops of chocolate Orange Natural shake mix
- 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
For the caramel sauce:
- 2 cups of apple juice
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 3/4 cup of cream (I use almond milk)
- 1 scoop of vanilla Orange Naturals shake mix
For the brownies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all of the brownie ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Scoop into a greased or sprayed 9×13 baking dish.
Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting.
For the sauce:
Pour the apple juice into a medium sauce pan. Over medium high heat allow the juice to come to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let it continue to boil until the juice is reduced to 1/4 cup.
Add the brown sugar. Do not stir! Gently swirl the pan to mix the sugar with the juice. Over medium heat allow the mixture to come to a boil. Allow to boil for another 5 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. Add the butter and – now you can stir – keep on the heat until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and add the cream or almond milk. Stir in the vanilla powder and mix well until dissolved and smooth. Remove from heat, allow to cool a bit and serve over the brownies.
More From Orange Naturals
If you want some great ideas and inspiration to help keep yourself and your family healthy be sure to stop by the Naturally At Home Blog. You’ll find some really helpful ideas and even some yummy and healthy recipes! Don’t want to miss a thing? Then be sure to sign up for the Naturally at Home Newsletter.
Disclosure: I am part of the Orange Naturals Mom Ambassador Program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.