The HEALTHIEST Brownies EVER! (Recipe: Easter is Coming!)

Eeeeek!!! You are in for a treat!! I have been making these brownies for a little while now, and Roger has been in his element as I have been in recipe-testing mode! With Easter right around the corner, I thought it was the perfect time to reveal it to you.

As you know, I have very specific criteria that a recipe has to meet in order for it to be Sarah-approved. 😉 It needs to be EASY, TASTY, HEALTHY and FAST! Well, you’re in luck, because other than the fact that you will make these the day before you plan to eat them (pleeeasse don’t skip this step), they definitely check all of those important boxes.

Easy: How do 3 main ingredients sound to you?

Tasty: When I think Brownies, I think decadence–and you GET that with these babies!

Healthy: But HOW? Check the ingredients and prepare to be blown away.

Fast: You will be waiting on your oven to preheat by the time you’ve whipped the ingredients together. Moist, chocolatey, delicious and healthy. Winning all over the place.

So, what are we waiting for?! Let’s get started!

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The Healthiest, Yummiest, Easiest Chocolate Fudge Brownies EVER!
Sarah Roberts

Why I Make This: I am a huge chocolate fan. But I also like to keep things healthy and easy. I have played around in the kitchen long enough, and it's time to share! Here’s the deal: Unless you decide to add a cup or so of chocolate chips, these Brownies won’t have that quintessential oooey-gooey factor. And they aren't super sweet. BUT! If you top them with the ganache I recommend, they sweeten up perfectly and they taste AMAZING. Plus, they’ll leave you FEELING amazing. Win-win.

Please make them, enjoy them and feed them to your family soon (and then thank me later)! Oh, and they've been kid- and teen-approved! Thanks, Ky, Liv and Ollie! xo

INGREDIENTS

Brownies:
1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce (I like Eden brand)
1/2 cup runny almond butter (warm it up if it’s not runny--runnier makes it easier to mix). See Note 1.
1/4 - 2/3 cup raw cacao powder (more = darker, richer; you can use cocoa powder if you don’t have raw cacao powder)
¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (optional)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional, see Note 2)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 inch square cake pan or standard loaf pan with coconut oil or butter.

2. Add the applesauce and nut butter to a mixing bowl and stir well. Then, add the cacao powder, salt, maple syrup and vanilla (if using) and mix until fully incorporated.

3. Transfer brownie batter to the pan and bake for 20-30 minutes at 350°F, or until a skewer comes out clean.

4. Place pan on a wire rack to cool and allow the brownies to cool in the pan completely.

5. Once cooled, refrigerate for several hours (or overnight)—this step makes ALL the difference, so plan ahead!

6. Once chilled, top with ganache (optional) and cut into squares.

Note 1: I have not tried this recipe with any other nut/seed butter, but perhaps you can substitute the almond butter for cashew butter, organic peanut butter, sunflower seed butter or even tahini. Note that the flavour will change, depending on your nut/seed butter. If you do try adapting it, let me know how it turns out!

Note 2: I prefer real vanilla to an extract. To use, scrape the seeds directly from the pod. Use about ¼ of a pod for this recipe.

Note 3: You can use coconut oil for greasing the pan as well as in the ganache to keep this recipe vegan.

Heavenly Chocolate Ganache
Sarah Roberts
Yields: 3/4 cup

Why I Make This: Playing around in the kitchen to develop a healthier chocolate pudding recipe, I came up with this ganache that paired perfectly with the less-sweet brownies. I think you'll agree, this ganache takes them to a whole new level! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder; preferably sifted)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/8  teaspoon Himalayan Salt
3/4 cup milk (See Note)
2 teaspoons grass fed butter
Note: I have also made this recipe vegan by substituting the milk for plain or vanilla almond milk and the butter for coconut oil. To make it vegan, I suggest lessening the amount of almond milk to 1/2 cup, as it doesn't thicken up as much as cow's milk.

INSTRUCTIONS

In a small pot and using a whisk, over medium-high heat add the cacao powder, salt and maple syrup. Stir gently and then add in the milk slowly, combining as you go, and bring to a boil for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning (be patient!). Remove from the heat and add in the butter, stirring to combine. Cool, and then spread onto fully cooled brownies.

Chocolate Fudge Brownies

I love making treats at home that won't leave me drained of energy--both physically and emotionally. I never, ever like to feel guilty when I eat food, and so I tend to enjoy whole-food treats that I make at home where I know every ingredient. Remember, these are still treats, so we need to be mindful of how often we indulge in dessert, but you have to agree that anything made in your own kitchen with love and sweetened with apple sauce and a little maple syrup feels a lot better than desserts made in a factory with refined white sugar and flour. Those "foods" are highly inflammatory, spike our insulin, and leave us craving more, more, more. With the kind of recipe I like, we use whole foods, which ups the nutrient profile, satisfies our bodies better, and the protein and fiber both help us to feel full, so one is often more than enough.

If you celebrate Easter, I hope it is a very special time for you and your family, and perhaps you'll start a new tradition when it comes to the sweet treats you enjoy. And if you don't celebrate Easter, I hope you make these today and enjoy them tomorrow. 😉

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.

P.S. I would love to gift you with my 14 Days of Wellness. Simply enter your name and email address up on the right to begin receiving the messages today. It’s free, with no diets, products, challenges or catches…just a chance to remember how amazing you are…for 14 days.

P.P.S. On May 4th and 5th, 2019, Roger and I are hosting The Healthy Brain and Body Show for our THIRD year! We are so excited to bring this show back even bigger and better! We would love to see you there as an attendee, where we have so much we want to share with you. We can’t wait to explore, connect, learn and shop at the show WITH you! Please say hello if you come. Roger and I will both be there the entire weekend. It would be a thrill to meet you. 🙂 

P.P.P.S. Let’s be friends! I’d love to connect on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. Plus, if you haven’t already subscribed to my blog, you should! That way, you won’t miss anything. Plus, as a thank you for joining, you will receive my 14 Days of Wellness.