Sugar-free Strawberry & Coconut Brownies

“I don’t like sugar
But I like my fruit,
Flour makes me itch
So wholewheat’s my loot,
Honey makes me warm
And coconut too,
So I mix them up
For a concoction new,
Moist and comforting
I give the batter a lick,
It may not be chocolate
But it’s a healthier pick,
Thus begins the day
With fruit, grains & fun,
Breakfast or dessert?
Use your imagination..”

Did you know that strawberries lose their color when cooked? Well, ok smartypants, I didn't. 

When I was started cooking my luscious strawberries down, I was worried that the resulting color was because of a mistake. Of course the jaggery was part reason, but the strawberries themselves turned into an incipid (for loss of a better word!) color when subjected to heat. It made me wonder - how do store bought strawberry desserts look so deliciously pink? Food color to the rescue. Slightly worrying, isn't it?

Sugar-free, made with fresh fruit and whole-wheat flour, these brownies will be perfect for all you calorie counting or diabetic people out there. Jaggery and honey not only keep the brownies moist, but also add a hint of caramel-like flavor that personally, I found rather welcoming. 

They say food can drive away the biggest worries in life. And I know these brought a big comforting smile on someone special's face today. And you just can't put a calorie count on that.

2 cups fresh strawberries, diced
½ cup coconut flakes + 2 tablespoons for dusting
6 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
½ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
¼ cup whole milk
4 tablespoons honey
¾ cup ground jaggery
¾ cup whole-wheat flour
A pinch of salt

Pre heat the oven to 375 F.
Heat the butter, strawberries, jaggery and honey in a non-stick pan till the strawberries break down completely (around 8-10 minutes). Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Once cooled, stir in the vanilla essence and coconut flakes. Now mix in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally add the flour, salt and milk and mix till the batter is smooth. Pour in a baking dish, sprinkle some coconut flakes on top and bake for 20-22 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Since the batter has jaggery, the texture of these brownies will be moist & sticky, so some batter may still stick to the toothpick once done. Make sure you don’t bake it for more than 25 minutes. You will notice the edges begin to turn brown and crisp.

Cut into squares and enjoy fresh.