March 16, 2017

LUMA cherry cola brownies

LUMA cherry cola brownies

One time I made waffles for my sister and her response was, “is there gluten in them?…” Upon learning that there was not, she said “then I don’t want them.” It’s odd but she actually prides herself on a high-gluten, high-sugar diet (I swear we’re related). Each time I frequent her apartment she offers me a gummy worm or sour patch kid. Every time we go out to eat, she always orders a Coke. Yes, a millennial in 2017 actively chooses to order a sugar bomb soda with every meal. She claims to dislike water, and the sweeter the liquid the better.

While I don’t personally drink regular soda, I am realistic in that I know not everyone is excited about drinking healthier alternatives like tea, water, and kombucha. Each person in my life is at a different point on the health spectrum, and so I think it’s important to know of slightly better alternatives to traditionally sugar-filled food products.

luma ingredients

LUMA is one such alternative. It is a soda that contains only 4g of sugar per can (1/10 of the sugar that normal sodas have)with zero artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are known to disrupt the gut microbiome (learn more about that here), which is why I choose to avoid them. The natural sweeteners used in LUMA are honey and monk fruit juice concentrate. While honey is high in sugar, it is a form of probiotic fiber as well as has other benefits, like anti-bacterial, anti-viral and even helps regulate blood sugar. In fact, in one study, honey was found to reduce blood lipids, homocysteine, and CRP in normal and hyperlipidemic subjects (Al-Waili, 2004). It also caused less elevation of plasma glucose levels (blood sugar) when compared with those who consumed dextrose (Al-Waili, 2004). Monkfruit juice concentrate has a glycemic index of 0, meaning it also won’t spike blood sugar (Horowittz, 2013). Decreased blood sugar spikes lead to overall decreased inflammation in the body (more about that here).

While LUMA has honey and monk fruit extract, it does not contain aspartame or stevia (sometimes just too cloyingly sweet for me). Furthermore, the natural flavors and natural colors come from fruits and vegetables, and there are no artificial preservatives like sodium benzoate.

SO! I gave the LUMA cola to my sister and I used cherry cola in these dark cherry cola brownies. It added just a hint more sweetness (this + 2tbsp of maple syrup were the only sweeteners I used for the entire pan!!!) and made the texture extra fudgey.

Make sure to click this link or discount code TWIST to receive the limited time offer (for the next 30 days – ending on April 15, 2017) of 15% off any order.

brownies branding

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1 cup cherries (1/2 for batter, 1/2 for topping)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Luma cherry cola (ingredients: carbonated water, monk fruit juic concetnrate, honey, natural flavors, fruit & non-GMO citric acid
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Get it going:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Combine dry ingredients: almond flour, buckwheat flour, cacao powder, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine: egg, 1/2 cup melted cherries (I bought them frozen and heated on the stove top until they were softened), 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tbsp maple syrup, and 1/2 cup Luma cherry cola.
  4. Mix dry ingredients with wet. When well combined, fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Heat other 1/2 cup frozen cherries until softened and swirl on top of batter.
  6. Bake 22-25 minutes

tray + branding

Thank you to LUMA for sponsoring this post. I am so thrilled to be able to find and represent brands who offer better alternatives to traditionally unhealthy and inflammatory food products.

Al-Waili, N.S. (2004). Natural honey lowers plasma glucose, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, and blood lipids in healthy, diabetic, and hyperlipidemia subjects: Comparison with dextrose and sucrose. Journal of Medicinal Food, 7(1), 100-107. doi:10.1089/109662004322984789

Horowitz, S. (2013). Sugar alternatives and their effects on health. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 19(1), 33-39. doi: 10.1089/act.2013.19102

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  • Marah

    This looks delicious! I love how you always provide research to support the health benefits (or lack thereof) I always feel like I learned something and know that it’s not just some claim that came outta nowhere.

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