When my daughter Maisie first started solids I found myself with a glut of pureed butternut squash. So I did what anyone would do with such a problem: I made brownies.

Jeff came home from work surprised to see the pan on the counter, still warm from the oven. “So what are these?” he asked.

“Brownies,” I replied.

“I know that,” Jeff said. “But what’s really in them?” He just couldn’t believe that I could just make a pan of regular old brownies. And he’s right – I can’t. Or rather I don’t want to.

I find baking with healthy, plant-based ingredients infinitely more exciting then using refined sugar, flour or butter (although I do list butter in the healthy category!). It’s just too easy; you know a “regular” cake or cookie will be tasty, but even after five years of wholesome, “healthy” baking I’m still delighted when something turns out amazing. In fact most conventional baked goods are just kind of blah to me now.

And then there’s the satisfaction of seeing someone devour a healthy treat that I’ve made. “You’d never even know” has become my catch-phrase when it comes to baking. I’ll hover over Jeff, waiting for him to take a bite of something I’ve made and to tell me it’s good so I can exclaim, You’d never even know these brownies are made with squash! Or You’d never even know the cookies contain no sugar! I am looking forward to the day that I can share a homemade treat with my girl so she learns that healthy is delicious.

So what’s so exciting about gluten free flour and natural sugars? I don’t accept that healthy food and delicious food need to be mutually exclusive concepts. Food can be healthy and delicious. Whether it’s a blueberry muffin full of fiber and sweetened with maple syrup, a big salad made with fresh local produce or a simply prepared piece of fish, we shouldn’t have to compromise on food tasting great and making us feel great.

If you’re looking for inspiration, here are a few of my favourite healthy tasty treats!

Six Treats You’d Never Even Know are Healthy

  1. The aforementioned Butternut Squash Brownies from Meghan Telpner, pictured above
  2. Ultimate Breakfast Cookies from Baked the Blog
  3. Almond Date Truffles from Sprouted Kitchen
  4. Chocolate Chunk Nut Butter Blondies from My New Roots
  5. Double Chocolate Cloud Cake from Anna Jones (this rocked my family Easter dinner btw!)
  6. Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars from Smitten Kitchen