It’s a basic truth of life – sometimes you just need a brownie! Nothing fulfills a chocolate craving better than a rich, fudgy square of brownie deliciousness. Fortunately, brownies are one of the easiest recipes to “healthify”. You don’t even need flour to make these scrumptious, naturally sweetened brownies. This simple recipe, consisting of only five easy-to-find ingredients, is perfect to keep on hand for when chocolate cravings strike. You’re only thirty minutes away from a pan of gluten-free brownies that everyone will enjoy. They’re even a good source of protein since one batch includes four whole eggs.

Coconut sugar is a natural sweetener that is less processed than white sugar and rich in naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. It’s available at most major grocery stores now and has a flavor similar to sucanat or dark brown sugar. It adds complexity and depth to this recipe and accents the chocolate flavor. If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, you can cut the quantity down to ¾ cup without missing it.

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Unsweetened chocolate is an excellent source of fiber and minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. It’s one of the best natural sources of antioxidants and it can help promote cardiovascular health. It can even improve brain function and protect your skin from the negative effects of the sun! Cocoa beans are an amazing food and dark chocolate is the ideal dessert for anyone who is health conscious and interested in maintaining mineral and nutrient balance in the body. Recipes like this one that are free of refined sugars and grains are the ideal way to consume dark chocolate (other than simply eating a small square each day!).

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These brownies taste like truffles when eaten cold. Top them with peanut butter, vanilla ice cream, or fresh berries for a delicious, low-key dessert – perfect for weeknights with the family or dinner parties with gluten-free guests. They’re so rich and dense that just a small square is satisfying. You can make them in cupcake tins too for individually portioned cakes, great for adding to packed lunches or bringing along on a picnic.

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If you want to make a fudge frosting as a topping for your brownies, combine 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips and 1/3 cup heavy cream in a small saucepan (you can use full fat coconut milk as a dairy-free alternative). Melt over low heat until mixture forms an emulsified, ganache-like concoction. Pour frosting over cooled brownies while they’re still in the pan, sprinkle with toasted chopped nuts, toasted coconut, or superfoods like goji berries and hemp hearts, then refrigerate until topping is set. Cut into squares and enjoy your ultra-decadent dessert.

Flourless Chocolate Brownies (Makes nine large brownies or sixteen small brownies)

6 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped finely

¼ cup salted butter, chopped into small cubes

1 cup coconut sugar

4 large pastured eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray an 8” nonstick baking pan with coconut oil baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  3. Off heat, stir in butter and sugar, mixing until butter is completely melted.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract, then eggs, adding one at a time and combining completely after each addition. Batter should become thick and glossy.
  5. Scoop batter into prepared pan and level with an offset spatula, tapping the pan against the counter a few times to eliminate any air bubbles.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until just set – it’s okay if the brownies are still a little jiggly in the middle. If you prefer really chewy brownies, bake for only 15 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack, then cut into squares and enjoy!
  7. Store leftover brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to two months.

Recipe Notes:

  • If you don’t have coconut sugar, white sugar or brown sugar will work too.
  • If you have access to it, vanilla bean paste (or a fresh vanilla bean) adds more flavor than vanilla extract.
  • Use the best quality chocolate that you can find for the best tasting brownies.
  • For dairy-free brownies, sub coconut oil, palm shortening or vegetable shortening for the butter.
  • For mint brownies, add 2-6 drops peppermint essential oil. For orange brownies, add 2 drops orange essential oil. Almond extract, caramel extract, butter rum extract, or banana extract would all create delicious versions too.

Integrative Nutrition is the world’s largest nutrition school and Health Coach Training Program. Through our innovative, one-year online course, students learn the principles of health coaching, business skills, and over 100 different dietary theories with lectures by the world’s leading experts.

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