good effort


So the Whole Life Challenge is going swimmingly.

(I don’t know why I chose that particular word. I dislike all water sports.)

The problem is that I think I may be missing the point.

While everyone else is getting used to gnawing on carrots and celery all day, I’m, well, getting creative.


I’m experimenting with just how many non-compliant foods I can make without breaking any rules. Sugar-free, gluten-free, cheese-free baking? I’m all over it. I’ve made matcha cookies and banana bread and cheesecake and chicken pot pie and brownies.

But while I haven’t technically cheated, I’m not sure that the creators of this challenge intended for me to eat brownies all the time.

But hey – they’re 68-calorie brownies. It doesn’t get much better than that.


Brownies (gluten-free, sugar-free, paleo)

Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine
Makes 16 small brownies


one cup dates, pitted and chopped – if you use super hard dates you may need to soak them first.
two cups beets, chopped and cooked
half cup cocoa powder
half teaspoon baking powder
pinch red pepper flakes
one teaspoon cinnamon
three eggs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8″ square pan and set aside.
In a food processor (I used my Vitamix), blend dates and beets until mushy. Scrape into a mixing bowl and stir in remaining ingredients.
Spread into the prepared square pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Note: you have to let these cool completely (even throw them in the fridge) before serving – I can’t stress this enough! I tried one right out of the oven and almost tossed the whole batch. Instead, because I’m lazy, they sat on my counter for a few days until I pawned a couple off onto my friend and she texted me a few minutes later to tell me they were amazing. So I tasted one and she was right. (I probably shouldn’t have written that online; she’s never going to trust me when I give her baking again.)

One thought on “good effort

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