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10 Easy Brownie Recipes Made Healthier

Many store-bought baked goods, like brownies, sure do look good but are basically impossible to “fit into your macros” without sacrificing huge portions of your daily calories.

They’re also not very healthful, being little more than tasty concoctions of refined flour, butter, eggs, sugar, and flavoring, and trans fat.

Many people think the only solution is abstinence from such delectables but they’re wrong–with a little work you can doctor up “cheat foods” like brownies to make them lower in calories and higher in nutrition.

For example, simple go-to methods used by bakers to reduce the butter and/or oil, including applesauce and Greek yogurt.

It’s also a cinch to switch some of those carbs for protein in your typical brownie recipe; all you have to do is replace half the flour with protein powder – preferably unflavored, vanilla, or chocolate.

If you don’t do well with wheat or gluten, you can ditch the flour altogether with a healthy substitute such as hazelnut meal, coconut flour, or even black beans.

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Sweet Potato Blonde Brownies

Serves 16

Believe it or not there are people who don’t want to eat chocolate every day, and this recipe is for those folks who prefer desserts with lighter flavor. They rely on sweet potatoes not just for their starch but the naturally sweet, buttery flavor.

This protein blondie actually contains no butter or oil. Instead, the fat comes from creamy coconut milk.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

62

Calories

7 g

Protein

5 g

Carbs

2 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 small sweet potatoes (or 1 large sweet potato), baked

2 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 scoops vanilla casein protein powder

1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (full-fat, not light)

1/3 cup water

1 large egg

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or more to taste)

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Healthy Triple Chocolate Brownies

Serves 16

How can fudgy brownies be good for you when they’re loaded with three different kinds of chocolate?

These look rich and sumptuous, but what you can’t see is that these are also zucchini brownies. That’s right, some of the substance comes from two medium or three small zucchinis, which cut the calories per serving and add a heap of micronutrients.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

268

Calories

3 g

Protein

42 g

Carbs

12 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup water

1 egg

1/2 cup natural apple juice

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. espresso powder

1 tsp. salt

2 cups shredded zucchini

1/4 cup hot fudge, warmed

1 cup (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chunks

2 tsp. chocolate extract (optional)

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Butterscotch Cheesecake Brownies

Serves 12

Butterscotch brownies are far from “health foods,” but you can amp up the protein and satisfy your urge for cream cheese brownies “guilt-free.”

You could actually use any brownie batter to carry the flavor. This one is all about the swirled topping made from butterscotch chips, a package of cream cheese, and an egg yolk.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

287

Calories

4 g

Protein

34 g

Carbs

17 g

Fat

Ingredients

Brownies:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Butterscotch Cream Cheese:

3/4 cup butterscotch chips

8 oz. (1 package) cream cheese, softened

1 large egg yolk

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Smoked Porter Bacon Brownies

Serves 12

Sometimes we all deserve an extra-special treat and when you’re ready for a serious reward, reach for these intensely awesome brownies that combine three of life’s greatest pleasures: chocolate, bacon, and beer.

Pick up a smoked porter if you can find one. If not, a standard porter or other dark beer will work too. Either way, you’ll get to sip on the rest of the bottle while the brownies are in the oven.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

492

Calories

6 g

Protein

62 g

Carbs

25 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 1/3 cups (8 oz.) dark chocolate, roughly chopped

1/2 cup smoked porter

2 1/3 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cocoa powderå

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. smoked paprika

4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped

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Flourless Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Brownies

Serves 12

The looks of these rich brownies are deceiving. Although they look like regular homemade brownies, they have a secret ingredient that will make people walk into the kitchen to catch a whiff of the heavenly scent of Nutella.

Instead of wheat flour, they rely on hazelnut meal, which also makes them gluten-free. And these nutty chocolate brownies only take 5 ingredients to make!

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

327

Calories

4 g

Protein

31 g

Carbs

21 g

Fat

Ingredients

10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

3/4 cup butter, roughly chopped

4 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup hazelnut meal

Get the Recipe

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Raw Raspberry Brownies

Serves 8

Brownies are known as a baked good, but that doesn’t need they need to be baked. Since these raw brownies never touch the oven, they are definitely on the fudgy side of the spectrum.

That offers plenty to sink your teeth into, as does the raspberry-cashew layer in the center. And they’re naturally sweetened with a combination of Medjool dates and maple syrup.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

581

Calories

7 g

Protein

90 g

Carbs

27 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup raw almonds (or other tree nuts)

1/3 cup + 1/2 cup cacao powder

4 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

12 Medjool dates

2 cups fresh raspberries (frozen works too)

2/3 cup raw cashews

4 Tbsp. shredded coconut

1/4 cup + 6 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1/2 cup cacao butter (or more coconut oil)

Get the Recipe

Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Brownies

Serves 8

Instead of using cocoa to make brownies, you can use chocolate protein powder. In this recipe, that also replaces the flour, making gluten-free brownies with unbelievable macros.

To tailor these for a “clean eating meal plan“, swap out the sugar for 1/4 cup stevia baking blend to reduce the calories and make sugar-free brownies.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

200

Calories

14 g

Protein

16 g

Carbs

10 g

Fat

Ingredients

3/4 cup WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

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Fudgy Brownies with Coconut Flour

Serves 12

Coconut flour can be tricky to bake with because it adds moisture, but in this recipe that works in your favor to make fudgy brownies.

Replacing wheat flour with coconut also results in paleo brownies. Whether you eat paleo or not, take it to mean that these brownies are loaded with healthy fats from the chocolate, coconut, eggs, and butter.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

202

Calories

3 g

Protein

20 g

Carbs

14 g

Fat

Ingredients

7 Tbsp. coconut flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. butter, melted

3 large eggs, room temp.

1/2 cup pure honey

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (3 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

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Oreo Brownies

Serves 12

Of course these vegan brownies would be healthier by leaving out the Oreo cookies – but why would you want to do that?

The cocoa brownie base is delicious on its own, if you want to bake it that way. However, each fudgy square is downright addictive with the creamy, crunchy, topping made with crushed cookies.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

427

Calories

6 g

Protein

69 g

Carbs

16 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. flax meal

3 Tbsp. water

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda

7 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

2/3 cup (4 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup boiling water

1 1/2 cups sugar

6 Tbsp. Earth Balance

1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

16 Oreos, crushed

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Flourless Black Bean Brownie Cupcakes

Serves 12

Are these brownies, muffins, or cupcakes? Luckily, with this recipe you don’t have to pick! One unfrosted brownie cupcake make a wholesome breakfast thanks to the black beans, yet one bite will have you convinced it’s also chocolate cake.

So whether you eat one in the morning, afternoon, or evening, this flourless chocolate brownie will meet your needs.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

159

Calories

4 g

Protein

23 g

Carbs

7 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

3 large eggs

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. brewed coffee (optional)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Get the Recipe

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