How to Make Healthy Brownies Recipe

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Unlike traditional brownies filled with butter, sugar and vegetable oil, this healthier version is sweetened with pure maple syrup and substitutes a combination of applesauce and coconut oil for all that butter.

(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

Things You'll Need

  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

Get Started

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8 x 8 inch pan with coconut oil on a paper towel.

(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

Tip

  • Any non-stick spray would also work well.

Mix the Cocoa

In a large mixing bowl, combine maple syrup with cocoa powder and mix until the batter becomes smooth.

(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

Tip

  • Honey also works in place of maple syrup.

It'll take about 2 minutes of stirring to get the mixture totally smooth.

(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

You shouldn't see any lumps once the cocoa has been incorporated into the syrup.

(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

Add Dry Ingredients

Place a sifter over the mixing bowl to begin adding the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

Tip

  • No sifter? Just use a separate bowl and whisk together all the dry ingredients.

Start with your flour, then add the rest.

(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

Tip

  • This recipe calls for whole wheat flour but if you're not used to the nuttier flavor, cut it with regular white flour, using half of each, for a less distinct taste.

    Want a protein-rich alternative to whole-wheat flour? Substitute 1/4 cup of almond meal (ground almonds) combined with white flour.

(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

Mix lightly, only until the batter starts to come together.

(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

Add Wet Ingredients

Now comes the moisture. Add the egg, applesauce, vanilla and coconut oil right into the bowl and mix well, just until everything is well incorporated.

(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

Tip

  • Coconut oil needs to be at least 70 degrees to incorporate into a batter like this. If yours is cooler, heat it in the microwave just until it's malleable.

Bake

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, evening slightly as needed, and place into the preheated oven for exactly 25 minutes and your brownies will come out perfectly. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

These healthy brownies are even better the next day! Store them in the refrigerator overnight, in an airtight container, for a surprising (and delicious) flavor boost.

Want Frosting?

Of course these brownies are healthier without frosting, but this simple recipe adds a decadent layer of flavor.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/4 dark chocolate (chocolate chips or a cut up chocolate bar)
  • 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Combine the chocolate chips and milk in a glass mixing bowl and microwave for 30 to 35 seconds, stopping every 15 seconds to stir.

The hot milk helps melt the chocolate gently, without any scalding.

(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

Once the chocolate has melted, give it a good stir until your frosting is completely uniform. Then add the Greek yogurt. Stir again until it's smooth. The consistency should be thick but still slightly runny.

(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

Tip

  • Only want a little frosting on your healthy brownies? Drizzle it on now, while the consistency is still quite liquified. Otherwise, let it firm up in the fridge for about 20 minutes before frosting the pan of brownies.

(Image: Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com)

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(Image: Charity Mathews)

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