Chocolate is not a common ingredient in Greek traditional recipes because it did not really exist in those parts. You could get a chocolate bar as a treat and only zaharoplastia (bakery/patisserie) offered chocolate cakes or sweets. Nowadays everyone uses chocolate and it is even being added to traditional dessert recipes such as baklava and melomakarona. Personally I think that ruins the dessert. Does juicy syrupy baklava really need chocolate? What’s the point? Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate, but please don’t dip melomakarona in it.
Having said that, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate some healthier ingredients in chocolate based desserts that usually contain butter. And here we have it: Brownies made with olive oil and Greek yogurt. I basically replaced the butter with olive oil and Greek yogurt. Not only does this cut down drastically on any saturated fat from the butter, but these brownies contain about half the fat of a regular brownie because I replaced half the fat with yogurt. I also used slightly less sugar instead of 1 cup, I used 3/4 of a cup.
The result is a moist, chocolaty and yummy brownie. Now these are easy brownies made with cocoa powder (not chocolate) and they also don’t even require a mixer. In no time at all you can have a nice chocolate dessert ready. And nutritionally they are only 150 calories a piece with most fats being monounsaturated (the good type) and you are getting some good fats from the walnuts as well.
And of course these brownies taste much better and richer the next day.
Mediterranean Inspired Brownies Made with Greek Yogurt and Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lowfat Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder (you can add 1-2 tablespoons more)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius)
2. In a bowl blend the olive oil and sugar well with a large spoon until smooth. Add vanilla and mix well.
3. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add to the olive oil mixture and mix well.
4. Add the yogurt and mix well.
5. In another bowl blend the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Add to olive oil mixture and mix well.
6. Incorporate the nuts and mix again.
7. Line a 9 inch square pan (22 cm) with wax paper and carefully pour the brownie mixture in the pan, smooth the top with a spatula.
8. Bake for about 25 minutes.
9. Let it cool completely, remove the wax paper and cut in squares.
Makes 12 pieces.