Who knew you could make the most fudgy, moist and delicious brownies with NO butter, NO added oil and NO flour or grains? It's seriously hard to believe but these Healthy Brownies are so fudgy, grain free and delicious!
If you're looking for a healthier alternative to the classic fudgy brownie, this might be it. If you're not, then go on and check out my popular Perfect Shiny Crust Fudge Brownie Recipe!
MAIN INGREDIENTS IN HEALTHY BROWNIES
- Dark Chocolate: what's a brownie without chocolate? Make sure you use dark chocolate with at least 60% cocoa solids. Anything less might make these brownies too soft.
- Tahini: sesame seed paste is the main ingredient in these brownies and one of the prominent flavours! It provides the fat without needing to add any additional butter or oil.
- Maple Syrup: sesame and maple are a flavour match made in heaven! Maple syrup also adds moisture to keep these brownies super fudgy.
- Eggs: 2 eggs provide the structure necessary to bind the fudgy batter together.
- Cocoa powder: you can use either natural or Dutch Process cocoa powder to really boost the chocolate flavour and it also provides structure in the absence of flour.
WHAT BINDS THESE HEALTHY BROWNIES TOGETHER?
Eggs are important to bind these fudgy brownies together, and believe me they are moist! Egg proteins provide structure in what is mainly a very loose batter. Additional cocoa powder adds a bit of starch to absorb some of this moisture.
Almond flour will absorb moisture coming from the eggs and maple syrup, and also provides protein and starch for binding.
Dark chocolate will provide some structure as well once the brownies cool. Once the cocoa butter gets a chance to cool and re-solidify, it will firm up the brownies and give them a chewy texture.
WHAT IS TAHINI?
Tahini is sesame seed paste. It is made from grinding roasted sesame seeds. It has a tendency to separate so make sure that you stir it well before using it in recipes.
Tahini also tends to vary a lot by brand where some are smoother or ground more finely than others; however, I have tested this with several different brands and they all worked well. One of my favourites is Kevala Tahini.
WHAT CAN I SUBSTITUTE FOR TAHINI?
I have only tested this recipe with tahini, but I'm confident that natural drippy almond butter or peanut butter would work. Almond butter and peanut butter have slightly less oil content than tahini so the brownies may have a slightly firmer texture, but I don't think you will be missing much because these brownies are SO MOIST to begin with.
WHAT CAN I SUBSTITUTE FOR BROWN SUGAR?
If you would like to make these brownies refined sugar-free, you can use coconut sugar. What is important to note is that you must substitute by weight and not volume. Coconut sugar is less dense, so ½ cup coconut sugar will weigh less than ½ cup of brown sugar.
So make sure you use 110g of coconut sugar, which is closer to ¾ cup.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1). Melt the chocolate gently in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water or do it gently in the microwave with frequent stirring.
- STEP 2). Add the wet ingredients. Mix tahini into the melted chocolate. Then, mix in brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla & eggs until well combined.
- STEP 3). Add the dry ingredients. Stir in almond flour, salt and baking soda until smooth. Sift in the cocoa powder to remove any lumps before stirring it in. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- STEP 4). Bake. Spread the batter evenly into a lined baking pan then bake!
- STEP 5). Cool. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan before slicing. Chill them for an hour to get nice clean slices.
STORAGE FOR HEALTHY BROWNIES
- You can store these brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a day, but if you plan to keep them longer I'd recommend storing them in the fridge. I actually find they are especially delicious chilled!
- To freeze, allow brownies to cool completely, then cut into squares, wrap individual brownies in plastic wrap and place in a resealable bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS
- Use dark chocolate with minimum 60% cocoa solids or bittersweet chocolate with 70% cocoa solids. This makes sure the brownies are not too sweet and provides the right cocoa content to set these brownies
- High quality tahini really makes a difference so find the best you can
- Do not over-bake in order to get that really fudgy texture
Fudgy Grain Free Healthy Brownies
- 4 oz 113g dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
- ½ cup 120ml tahini
- ⅓ cup 70g packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup 60ml maple syrup
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon 5ml pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup 25g almond flour
- ¼ cup 21g cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup 85g dark chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on each end.
- Melt dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, or melt it gently in the microwave. Stir in tahini, brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix in eggs one at a time. Mix in almond flour. Sift in cocoa powder and baking powder and mix it in well. Mix in salt, then fold in the chocolate chips.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes until slightly puffed with a shiny surface and a toothpick inserted someplace between the edge and the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.