When I started writing a recipe for healthy brownies, I decided to take a somewhat conservative approach. I wanted the brownie to taste as close as possible to a traditional brownie, but with added health benefits. This required a couple of changes to the standard brownie recipe:
- Changing the fats to a more healthy kind by exchanging butter for olive oil.
- Using whole wheat flour instead of standard flour.
Other recipes for healthy brownies that I’ve looked at seem to have many different ideas of what constitutes a healthy brownie. For some, it’s whole wheat flour. Others like to add mashed up fruits and vegetables, such as avocado, applesauce, or bananas. Some attempt to completely eliminate sugar or butter. And then there are recipes for healthy brownies that are written to accommodate sensitivities such as gluten or lactose.
In terms of flavor and texture, other healthy brownie recipes claim to measure up to a traditional brownie, but in many cases that just isn’t the truth. Fruits and vegetables can add different flavor notes that aren’t in your standard brownie, and removing too much fat or sugar changes the texture of the brownies completely. So, I’ve done my best to deliver the brownie flavor and texture that you expect, while giving you a little more peace of mind about its health impact.
And how do these healthy brownies taste? Other than being a little chewier than the average brownie (thanks to the oil and to the whole wheat flour, both of which increase chewiness), you’d hardly know the difference! Ten people taste tested these, and the most common comment was, “If you hadn’t told me, I’d never have known they were healthy!”
If you’re looking for more healthy brownies, you should also try this recipe for Applesauce Brownies. They’re super soft and work great as a quick snack!
- 1/4 cup olive oil you may substitute another vegetable oil
- 2 TB water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder plus 2 TB unsweetened
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat the oven to 325 and prepare an 8 inch square pan by lining it with parchment or aluminum foil.
- In a large bowl, combine the oil, water, and vanilla extract. Beat together with a whisk or fork until combined.
- Add the sugar, salt, cocoa powder, flour, and eggs. Stir until just combined.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out evenly. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs but no wet batter on it. Set pan on a rack to cool.