Healthy Dessert Recipe: Guilt-Free Fudge Brownies

Every once in a while the craving for brownies really hits us hard… the warm, chocolatey goodness as you pull them out of the oven and the perfect impatience of waiting for them to cool (if you can restrain yourself for that long). Whether you like them to be deep and fudgy or light as cake, brownies are an easy favorite. If only brownies had enough vitamins to justify daily indulgences!

Even though brownies will never be considered “nutritious,” we’ve found a recipe that’s a step in the right direction; a healthier recipe for brownies that doesn’t sacrifice flavor and uses healthier ingredients. They key is in gaining sweetness from ingredients that are naturally sweet instead of dumping a ton of sugar into your mixer.  And the great news is that they work for any occasion! They’re great for play-dates, dinner parties, tailgates, or any weekday that you simply are in the mood for brownies. Try them out and let your guilt dissolve away!

Healthy Fudge Brownies

Makes 16-20 brownies 

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup all-natural honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F and spray an 8-9-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a microwavable bowl, heat your honey in 20-second increments until it becomes watery and begins to bubble. About 40 seconds.
  3. Add cocoa powder and brown sugar to the honey and mix until smooth. Let cool.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Combine applesauce, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Then add your cocoa honey mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.
  6. Gradually add your flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix together until smooth. Don't over mix.
  7. Pour your completed batter into your baking pan and place in oven.
  8. Bake brownies for 23-26 minutes, checking with a toothpick to make sure they are cooked all the way through.
  9. Let cool 15 minutes (if you can wait that long), cut into squares and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Jillian Michaels