Uh oh… Brownies that are irresistible *and* healthy? Be careful. You may not be able to control yourself, but you can retain your virtuous aura: there’s no junk in these at all. They are FOOD, and you can indulge with peace of mind.
These are the best gluten free casein free sugar free brownies I’ve made yet. Dangerously divine!
Why are they so good? Apart from being mouth-wateringly delicious, the nutrition rocks! The nut flour contributes protein; both the nut flour and the coconut oil are healthy fats; the other flours high fiber/healthy fat and eggs are nutrition powerhouses. Xylitol, also known as birch sugar, has almost no impact on blood sugar, and many other surprising therapeutic benefits as well. You can learn all about xylitol on my website.
5 ounces unsweetened cocoa bar (You could use dark chocolate and less xylitol)
1/2 cup organic coconut oil or butter from pastured cows (I like to mix)
2 free-range eggs
1¼ cup xylitol (use less if you use sweetened chocolate)
1/2 cup nut flour (I used hazelnut the first time and almond the second. You could also pulse raw nuts in a food processor if you don’t have flour.)
1/4 cup ground flax meal or coconut flour (You could use brown rice, buckwheat , or other gf flour but it might make the brownies a little dryer.)
1/2 teaspoon fine ground sea or Himalyan salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla (or 1 teaspoon vanilla plus 2 teaspoons peppermint extract for mint brownies)
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment or wax paper and lightly oil the bottom. (It makes cutting, serving and clean up so easy!)
Melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler. Stir together until completely melted and smooth. Do not overcook! Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the xylitol and whisk until mixture is smooth and light. Add the melted chocolate mixture into the egg-xylitol mixture a little at a time and continue to whisk for a minute. The chocolate will look smooth and glossy.
In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients: nut meal and other flour, salt and baking soda; whisk together. Add the dry flour mix into the chocolate mixture and mix well for a minute. Add the vanilla, and mix lightly for another half a minute or so.
If you are adding nuts, stir in by hand and spread the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing it out evenly.
Bake in the center of a preheated 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes, or until the brownies are set. Don’t overcook. Err on the side of gooey, if you must.
Cool on a wire rack; and remove the brownies from the pan by gripping the edges of the paper underneath. They keep well in the fridge or freezer but that won’t keep you from going back for more. Or maybe that’s just me!
This was published as my Lifestyle column in Hudson Valley Insider.