This healthy brownie recipe is lower in sugar than the average and might make both your tastebuds and PT happy.
In moderation, it could help you stop sugar cravings and stick with your health plan for longer. Some research has found that dark chocolate has the potential to make you feel more satiated than savory snacks, milky chocolate, and regular pastries.
Meaning it beats chips, candy bars, and some cupcakes.
Isn’t that great news?
Chocolate may help you stay on track while on -and off- a diet!
Whether you’re on a diet for your health, to lose weight, or because you’ve transformed your lifestyle, chocolate could support your goals when you indulge in it mindfully.
The best part is that it is not just with our healthy brownie recipe; this applies to many other sweet alternatives featuring healthy chocolate. Lucky for you, we have several of those recipes in our blog and we’ll keep on sharing them.
It’s a win-win all around!
You get the health benefits of cocoa in vegan brownies that taste like the real thing -or even better- plus a handy healthy chocolate guide to enjoy this superfood without any guilt or fear of deprivation.
The key is simple: understand what makes chocolate healthy, and what makes it unhealthy.
Just start reading labels! These will tell you what other ingredients are mixed with the chocolate and in what proportions they are present in your treat.
If a recipe for healthy vegan brownies calls for four and a half cups of table sugar, it’s probably not as healthy as one that only uses only a third of that (or a sugar alternative!)
In addition to our finger-licking healthy brownie recipe, we will share:
- What makes chocolate “healthy”
- How to read recipes and labels
- The health benefits of cocoa for your body and mind
- How to make chocolate a nutritional ally (instead of the enemy!)
But first, let’s answer the important questions:
I'm on a diet - can I have chocolate?
Yes, with this handy guide!
Not all chocolate is healthy or diet-friendly. The health benefits of cocoa are available almost exclusively in dark chocolate that has 70% or more cocoa content.
What does that mean? A healthy brownie recipe will likely not used the premixed stuff.
Chocolate is the resulting byproduct of roasted and processed cacao beans, a fruit that comes from the Theobroma cacao tree. Some call it a super fruit due to its remarkable antioxidant content.
This guide will show you what kind of chocolate to eat on and off a diet.
#1 Challenge the Good vs. Evil Mindset:
If you find yourself thinking, “I really want that chocolate, but I’m on a diet” you may be creating a negative association with food. Instead of thinking of “good food” vs. “bad foods” focus on nutritional content and satisfaction, no food is bad in moderation.
When it comes to chocolate you have options: chocolate with less nutritional value - think traditional candy bars- and chocolate with high-phenolic content and more nutritional value, like the one in our healthy brownie recipe below.
#2 Know Your Chocolate (Cacao vs. Cocoa):
Our healthy brownie recipe uses cocoa. When a product is made from non-roasted cacao beans it is understood as “cacao,” and it’s the closest thing to eating the fruit itself - that would be the healthiest option possible, but it’s not very realistic.
Cacao beans are too bitter to be eaten in their raw form, that’s why they’re roasted and processed. The cocoa powder used for drinks, chocolate bars, and our healthy vegan brownies, is made out of roasted cacao beans. That’s the one you’re craving!
#3 Read the Label:
Focus on the serving size, cocoa content, expiration date, and the order of the other ingredients. In our healthy brownie recipe, our cocoa source is mixed with other superfoods.
- Serving Size: Most nutritional facts labels calculate the serving size at 100 grams, see how much fat and sugar are in that amount.
Cocoa Content: to get the health benefits of cocoa, it should be 70% or higher. Order of the Ingredients: Cocoa should be the first ingredient listed on a bar. Sugar or a sugar substitute ought to be the last or close to the end of the list.
Ingredients are listed according to their proportion in the mix; the first one is the most abundant one, with the rest following accordingly. If sugar is the last ingredient listed, it’s present in the smallest amount possible.
- Expiration Date: the fresher the better, avoid consuming expired products; chocolate antioxidants are less available (if at all) in expired products - even if the taste is the same.
Avoid Dutched Chocolate! One of the ways to take the bitterness out of chocolate is to “Dutch” the source, a process that virtually eliminates the antioxidant content of cocoa. If you see a phrase like “cocoa processed with alkali” or similar, it has been Dutched. Avoid it!
#4 Be Mindful of Your Chocolate Eating Habits
A great way to monitor or curb sugar cravings is to practice conscious eating and change your chocolate eating habits. Through conscious eating, you learn to enjoy treats more, understand why you crave them, and gain more self-control.
Switching up your routine gets your body to break dependency; if you crave it at 4:00 PM have a snack like these cocoa superfood balls that stop sugar cravings right after lunch.
#5 Practice Portion Control
To enjoy chocolate on a diet, practice portion control. A cup of healthy chocolate substitute a day, or a small piece every one to two days is safe with most meal plans if you’re eating a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly. One serving of our healthy brownie recipe is enough for a day.
Why Chocolate is Good for Your Diet
Chocolate just seems to always hit the spot and there’s a reason for that! 70% or more chocolate:
- May help curb sugar and salty snack cravings, according to research from the University of Copenhagen.
- The positive effects of chocolate on the brain may include more brain oxygenation, improved memory, and more alertness.
- Might help you stay on track with your weight goals by making you feel fuller.
- Its catechin content could support fat burn, lower blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Plus more! Our healthy brownie recipe is an alternative, but cocoa drinks, dark chocolate bites, and more could do the trick.
How Chocolate Got an Unjustified Bad Rap:
Commercial chocolate is usually Dutched, extremely high on sugar content, and often also high in saturated or trans fat in the form of vegetable oil.
The high caloric content coming from nutritionally-void fat and sugar, coupled with the Dutching process that burns out the health benefits of cacao, make candy bars very unhealthy snacks. Our healthy brownie recipe is not like that!
Our Healthy Brownie Recipe is Special
So what makes our healthy brownie recipe, well “healthy”? Our cocoa source! We use Organifi, Gold, Chocolate to make these delicious bites.
Organifi Gold, Chocolate is a superfood powder mix that adds other healthy foods and spices to high-flavonoid content cocoa:
- Turmeric, an anti-inflammatory herb
- Reishi Mushroom extract, an adaptogen that may help reduce stress
- Turkey Tail Mushroom extract, another adaptogen
- Lemon balm
- Prebiotic Acacia fiber
- Ginger extract
This blend was formulated to help keep you healthy, fit and energized while also providing you with the enjoyment of the much-craved chocolate flavor!
Why it’s diet and keto-friendly:
- The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric may help your body decrease inflammation, store less fat and improve glucose metabolization.
- Only has 1 gram of sugar and 1 of fat
- The benefits of Reishi could help you manage energy better
- It’s satisfying and tasty
It’s also incredibly easy to use in all kinds of recipes, so you can add to breakfast smoothies, or replace the cocoa powder in other recipes to get the same health benefits of these healthy brownies.
Put TheseThese Healthy Brownies to The Test!
Without further ado, our weak-at-the-knees healthy brownie recipe so you can test out these potential benefits for yourself. Enjoy!
- 2 flax seed “eggs” or two eggs if you’re not vegan
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil or grass-fed butter
- 1 ¼ cup of coconut sugar
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ¾ cup of Organifi Gold, Chocolate
- Optional: ¼ cup chopped raw nuts (pecans or walnuts are favorites)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit).
- Mix together the wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla, healthy fat).
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl (coconut sugar, brown rice flour, and Gold, Chocolate).
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
- Mix until smooth.
- Pour batter into greased baking dish. Optional: sprinkle with raw nuts if desired.
- Bake at 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes, let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!
Say Yes To Chocolate Again!
Diets can be depressing when you have to say goodbye to some of your favorite things. But you don’t have to! Try out this healthy brownie recipe and welcome chocolate back into your plate.
Let us know how it goes in the comments and share this recipe with a chocolate lover who you know could use a pick-me-up. There’s no better way to share the love than with chocolate!
And remember, we're in this together.
Emilyn Gil is a 22 year old English Major at UVU. She started writing at age 6, and since then has won several awards including the Scholastic Art and Writing Gold Key and was featured in the Kolob Canyon Review in Cedar City. Aside from the written word, her other passions include performing in the occasional musical theater production, and playing piano, guitar, and ukulele. Emilyn currently resides in Orem, Utah with her husband Jorge. You can find more of her work online at emilyaddn.blogspot.com or on Instagram at @emilyncan.