Mood-Boosting Pumpkin Brownies (Dairy + Gluten Free)
Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays but not for the reason you might all think. Our next door neighbors when I was in elementary school always threw these amazing Halloween Parties and would go all out with the decoration and the food, it was themed and included a haunted house 90% of the time. I looked forward to this time of the year and being able to recreate the recipes I saw on Food Network.
While my love for healthy foods is strong so is my love for desserts and all things pumpkin. So while I don’t necessarily fill my desserts with tons of sugar, I do fill them up with ingredients that are gonna boost my mood and keep me feeling amazing.
BRAZIL NUTS AND MOOD DISORDERS
Not only are they high in vitamin E they are also high in magnesium, tryptophan, and selenium. They also help the body produce an enzyme which is great for thyroid support. Since they are so full of good healthy fats that are necessary for brain function. Magnesium has been found to have a similar function to lithium which is prescribed to manic-depressive patients as a mood stabilizer.
CACAO AND GOOD MOOD
Chocolate has many health-related benefits, most of them come from the active compound in cacao called theobromine. Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid which acts as a natural vasodilator (dilates your blood vessels to allow more blood flow and oxygen) a diuretic (increases the urination process to rid your body of excess fluids) and a heart stimulant. Because of this, you can see all the positive effects chocolate can have on your mental focus and mood among other things.
Not only is cacao rich in magnesium it is also full of bioflavonoids such as phenylethylamine (known as a natural antidepressant, an organic compound), anandamide (known as the bliss molecule, is a fatty acid neurotransmitter), and serotonin (is a neurotransmitter that is the contributor to the feelings of well being and happiness) among other brain chemicals which increase dopamine.
Pumpkin is high in fiber which not only helps with our digestion but also acts as a prebiotic for a healthy gut bacteria. There is a huge connection between a healthy gut and mood. Pumpkin is also high in potassium, low levels of potassium have been linked to depression, mood disorders, fatigue and more. Potassium also helps regulate your serotonin levels. Remember that high levels of serotonin mean good mood.
Not only are these brownies good for you they taste amazing. The combination of the pumpkin and the cacao powder create an out of the world combined.
What you need for the Mood Boosting Pumpkin Brownies
1 cup of pumpkin puree
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
3/4 cup of cassava flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
10 brazil nuts, turned into flour see notes
1 teaspoon of baking powder + soda
1 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of ghee
1 cup of melted dark chocolate, I used Thera Treats
1/3 cup of cacao powder
2 teaspoon of reishi, and chaga (optional)
Directions to make Mood Boosting Pumpkin Brownies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8″ by 8″ baking pan with parchment paper and grease with a little ghee.
In a large bowl add pumpkin puree, eggs, maple syrup, melted chocolate, and ghee. Mix before adding the rest of the ingredients. Pour into the lined baking pan.
Bake on the center rack of the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the center and sides have set up and a knife comes out clean.
Let cool before cutting into them. I know it’s hard but trust me it’s worth it!
Put the brazil nuts in your food processor or blender and pulse until you have a flour-like consistency. Careful, you don’t want brazil nut butter.