Check out these grain-free brownies that are packed with protein and healthy fats thanks to the addition of the nut butter and almonds.  No one would ever know they also contain courgettes.

If you’re trying to get pregnant and preparing your body for pregnancy and conception, fertility expert Zita West has developed a collection of recipes to boost your chances.

Low in sugar, this is a rich and indulgent treat.

Pecan nuts are little nuggets of nutrition – they are rich in many phytochemicals and antioxidants which can help protect the body’s cells and DNA from damage as well as support immune health.

Recipe: Courgette Chocolate Brownies

  • Makes: 16 brownies 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes 
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Nutritional information per brownie: Protein 5.2g Carbohydrate 15.9g, of which sugars 14.1g Fat 17.5g, of which saturates 13.5g Kcals 225

Ingredients

  • 200g/7oz/heaped ¾ cup almond butter
  • 200g/7oz dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, broken into pieces
  • 100g/3½oz/½ cup xylitol
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60g/2¼oz/heaped ½ cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 courgette, about 125g/4½oz, finely grated
  • 60g/2¼oz/½ cup chopped pecan nuts (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease and line a square 20cm/8in baking tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put the nut butter, chocolate and xylitol in a saucepan over a low heat and warm gently to melt the chocolate. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add the eggs, vanilla extract, ground almonds, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda and process to combine. Process in the courgette, then stir in the chopped pecans, if using. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin.
  3. Eat Yourself Pregnant by Zita WestBake for 20–25 minutes until firm to touch. Leave to cool in the tin, then cut into 16 squares.

To find out about the Eat Yourself Pregnant by Zita West, please visit www.zitawest.com

For more advice, visit our Preparing for Conception section.