Nutrient Dense Desserts and Treats – Brownies with Avocado Frosting


Nutrient dense foods. What are they and why do we need them?

Nutrient dense profiling is the scientific way to rank or classify foods according to the nutrients they contain.

Getting enough nutrients into our bodies can be challenging at times, especially as we age. It’s important to get the best ROI and we do that by focusing on nutrient dense food choices.

These types of foods offer the biggest ROI – return on investment, supplying us with a wealth of rich vitmains, minerals and other nutrients that keep our bodies healthy without adding unnecessary calories. In other words, foods with high nutrient value rather than high calories are considered nutrient dense.

Nutrient dense foods are low in sugar, starches, sodium and bad fats, while offering an abundance of nutrients – vitamins and minerals (micronutrients), lean protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates and unsaturated healthy fats. They provide the biggest bang for our buck as opposed to nutrient poor choices that weigh us down with calories but leave our bodies craving nutrients.

When our diets are poor and our food choices fall into the high calorie range rather than the nutrient dense range (as an example – American diets tend to be high calorie but low in micro nutrients), we find ourselve hungry shortly after eating. “Why? When we have not met our bodies need for nutrients (supplying it with lots of dead-calories instead), it keeps sending the signal to eat because it is still hungry for the correct nutrients.

The end result is not a healthy one as these kinds of foods are usually loaded with added sugars, salt, and trans or saturated fats – none of the good stuff along with excessive calories. The only thing we may gain from eating these types of foods is weight and an open door to disease such as diabetes. Issues most are trying to avoid.

Can’t we just take a supplement to fill the nutrient gap in? While supplements have their place in our diets, getting our nutrients the natural way, via the foods we consume, is a much healthier and positive way to ensure our body absorbs them.

Foods that are naturally nutrient-rich include –

Veggies and fruits – low in fat but add important nutrients, color and flavor to our diet.

Fish and lean meats – choose low-fat, lean cuts of meat (high in protein but low in fat)

Dairy – Skim milk, low-fat milk, fat free or low-fat cheeses and plain yogurt (add your own healthy berries without all that sugary syrup kicking in unnecessary calories) are all good sources providing our bodies with calcium and vitamin D to keep our bones strong.

Legumes, nuts, seeds – Nature’s bounty, rich in protein while offering a high density of monounsaturated fats. Healthy fats are different in structure and essential to cell growth. They also offer important protection for our organs. Since these types of choices are also relatively high in calories via their healty fats, be sure and monitor your intake, but include them in your diet.

Whole grains – grains are either refined or whole. Whole grains have not been stripped of the bran and germ that refined grains are. They provide our bodies with much needed fiber and are a good source of energy. You may find refined grains beefed up with added vitamins, but the fiber is not replaced.

The good news is, nutrient dense foods are not limited to meals but can transform the otherwise “guilt-ridden” dessert and treat into something that is actually healthy for us. Creating healthy desserts and treat choices using nutrient dense ingredients is easier than you might think.

Normally caloric dense and nutrient poor, this recipe turns Brownies (a long-time family favorite) into a healthy choice!

Brownies with Avocado Frosting

Recipe Type: Desserts and treats

Who doesn’t love a rich chocolaty brownie? A long-time favorite with all ages, brownies can now be added to the “healthy dessert” list. Adding avocado and using the right healthy ingredients transforms calorie dense brownies into healthy-brownies -those that contribute to our health rather than detracting from it. Sure to become a family favorite!

  • Base
  • 1½ cups walnuts
  • 1 cup dates, soaked at least 30 minutes and drained
  • 1/3 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • Place walnuts in food processor and process until broken down and crumbly.
  • Add dates and cocoa and process until well combined. Spread into a small dish or pan.
  • Frosting
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid
  • ¼ cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  1. Add dates and cocoa and process until well combined. Spread into a small dish or pan.
  1. Place all ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth. Spread over
  2. the brownie layer. Place in fridge to firm up then cut into bars.

Enjoy more delicious raw dessert recipes like this one:

Blended Bites











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