Fudgy mouth-watering brownies with all the healthy swaps without sacrificing any of the flavor. Jaws seriously hit the floor after taking a bite and learning they are gluten free, dairy free, paleo and refined sugar free. Taste for yourself!
Which kitchen tools are needed?
- Mixing bowl
- Whisk (large spoon or fork will also work)
- 9x9 inch metal baking pan (for other sizes baking time will vary)
- Measuring tools (cups, teaspoons)
- Parchment paper (optional)
- Mini spatula (optional)
Key Ingredient Tips
High Quality Dutch Cocoa Powder: A high quality pure (unsweetened) cocoa powder is KEY to your homemade brownies having an amazing chocolate flavor. I've used too many low quality cocoa powders to know that they can take make a fudgy recipe dry and flavorless. You want to use a pure cocoa powder that is dutch processed with a high fat content (at least 1 gram of fat per 5 gram serving) for a rich and fudgy chocolate flavor. I LOVE Valrhona cocoa powder, I buy it in bulk on Amazon or get it at Whole Foods. I've read that Droste & Guittard are also great brands, but haven't tried them yet. And as an added bonus, unsweetened cocoa has no sugar and is a great source of iron and potassium!
Pure Maple Syrup: Let's be honest... brownies need some sugar or else they taste more like a chocolate protein bar than a delicious brownie. But we don't need to use cane sugar which has zero added health benefits. Pure maple syrup is a natural sugar from the sap of sugar maple trees that has been boiled down. It is lower on the glycemic index than cane sugar (so it doesn't spike our blood sugar as quickly) and it provides us with lots of nutritious anti-oxidants and minerals. Always buy 100% pure maple syrup, ideally from somewhere that is known for their maple syrup, like Vermont! There should be no other ingredients listed.
Neutral Oil: Brownies need a good amount of fat so instead of butter, I prefer to bake with avocado oil because it has a neutral flavor, is a monounsaturated fat (good fat) and I don't have to worry about burning the oil since it has a high smoke point of 400°F.
Eggs: Eggs add moisture, texture and rise to the brownies. If you can afford them, try and buy eggs that are pasture raised, non-GMO or organic, and certified humane. Pasture raised & certified humane eggs are from chickens who have lots of room inside and outside to be happy chickens and eat what chickens eat (bugs, grass, etc). These chickens may still need to be fed some feed which is why it's important to also look for a non-GMO or organic label. "Cage Free" and "Free Range" are marketing scams because the chickens are not free, they live indoors! Nutritionally it's also worth the extra cost and due diligence because pasture raised eggs have much more omega-3 fat, vitamin D, vitamin E and beta-carotene than conventional eggs.
Flour: Any type of baking flour or all purpose flour (gluten filled or gluten free) will work great for these homemade brownies. I use gluten free flour whenever possible because like most people, I'm sensitive to gluten. You may be sensitive to gluten if you notice symptoms like bloating, IBS, brain fog, upset stomach after eating gluten and if that's the case you may want to avoid gluten when possible because the gluten isn't being metabolized properly in your body.
Ingredient Substitutions & Variations
- Avocado Oil Substitutions: use the same amount of grapeseed oil, butter or plant based butter.
- Egg Substitution: to make these brownies vegan, the 2 chicken eggs can be substituted with JUST Egg, you'll need 6 tablespoons of it for this recipe (3 tablespoons = 1 egg). However, this will impact the taste to be a little bland compared to using eggs.
- Gluten Free Flour Substitution: use the same amount of any kind of all purpose or baking flour.
- Sea Salt Substitutions: If you aren't using fine sea salt, use this salt conversion chart to see how much salt you should use. Ideally, you should be using a finely ground salt for baking so that the salt distributes evenly without a crunchy texture.
- Variations: Add in a half cup of your favorite brownie toppings - chopped pecans, chocolate chips, dried cherries.
- Use a ripe avocado: you should be able to make an indent in it easily when you poke it with your finger.
- Mashed avocado: The better your avocado is mashed or blended the less likely you'll be to have bits of avocados end up visibly in your brownies.
- Brownie Cutting: Let brownies cool to room temperature before cutting them with a sharp knife and remove with a mini spatula.
- Non-Stick: Use parchment paper and/or spray your pan with avocado oil before pouring the brownie batter into the pan for easily removal of the brownies. I like to buy pre-cut sheets of parchment paper, cut two sheets to the width of my pan and overlap them (one vertically and one horizontally). This is an easy way to add parchment paper without the annoying crinkled parchment paper creases that can impact the shape of the brownies. I then lightly spray the parchment paper with avocado oil.
Be sure to store them in an air tight container - they can last up to 4 days at room temperature and up to 1 week in the fridge (since they have avocado in them).
Yes, you can but the texture might be a bit wet or different after they thaw overnight in the fridge.
Wait for the brownies to completely cool to room temperature or put them in the fridge to cool. Place a large sharp knife (I use an 8 inch chef's knife) under hot water until the blade is hot. Dry off the blade carefully and then cut your brownies! It's important to clean the knife and repeat the process for each cut. Never "saw" your brownies, cut in one long motion. A mini spatula is also super helpful from removing each brownie from the pan cleanly.
Yes! Chicken eggs can be substituted with JUST Egg can also be used (3 tablespoons = 1 egg).
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I hope you love these maple syrup brownies! If you make it I’d love if you could leave a rating & connect with me on Instagram @passthesprouts!Print