If there’s one food that’s unanimously loved by everyone, it’s brownies. Nothing flies off the plate faster than a freshly baked batch of brownies. But despite all our love for them, we can’t really fool ourselves into thinking they’re good for our health. Brownies are loaded with sugar, calories and unhealthy fat, making them far from a diet food. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case. There are several sneaky ways to add healthy ingredients into your brownie mix that won’t compromise on taste. These seven tips will help you make brownies that you can eat guilt-free.
1. Substitute Half The Butter With Greek Yogurt
Green yogurt is thick, creamy and low in calories. To make brownies that are just as delicious but low in fat, use only half the amount of butter specified in the recipe. For the remaining quantity of butter, use full-fat Greek yogurt instead. Far from being fatty, full-fat Greek yogurt is actually full of healthy fats that are beneficial for your health. It’s also naturally creamy, which makes for rich, gooey brownies.
2. Use Beans Instead Of Flour
It might sound strange to add beans to your brownie batter, but this is actually one of the best ways to make brownies healthier. Black beans, red beans and cannellini beans are packed with fiber, protein and antioxidants. When they’re blended into a puree and added to your brownie batter, they impart a deep, rich flavor. Use pureed beans instead of flour for delicious, gluten-free brownies. You might actually prefer these to regular brownies because beans help bring out the flavor of chocolate.
3. Use A Variety Of Berries
Berries are one of the best sources of vitamin C and antioxidants. Because they’re naturally sweet, they go perfectly with brownies. Instead of chocolate chips, add a handful of cranberries, goji berries or even blueberries. These tiny superfoods will make your brownies delicious and even healthier. You can also add in other superfoods like chia seeds or flax seeds along with the berries.
4. Use Healthy Oils
Butter is high in saturated fats that aren’t very good for us. Instead of butter, try using healthy oils to make moist brownies that won’t clog your arteries. Coconut oil is a crowd favorite because of its nutty taste and because it contains monounsaturated fats which are much healthier. If you don’t like the strong taste of coconut oil, use avocado oil instead. Like coconut oil, it’s high in monounsaturated fats, but it has a much more neutral taste.
5. Use Whole Grain Flour
Not everybody likes the dense richness of flourless brownies. Even if you do want to use flour, there’s a way to make your brownies healthy. Instead of refined white flour, use whole grain or multigrain flour. Whole wheat flour has a lot more nutrients in it and a much higher fiber content. High fiber brownies also mean you’ll be tempted to eat a lot less because one piece will keep you full enough.
6. Use Canned Pumpkin Instead Of Butter
Canned pumpkin puree won’t just make your brownies healthier, but also more tasty. Instead of butter, use the same quantity of pumpkin puree in your batter. Pumpkins are full of antioxidants and beta-carotene, making them a much better alternative to butter. They’re also naturally sweet, which means you’ll have to use a lot less sugar. Instead of pumpkin, you can also boil and puree sweet potatoes to make delicious, nutritious brownies.
7. Use Raw Cacao Powder
Of all the ingredients in a traditional brownie, chocolate is the least unhealthy (and our favorite). Chocolate by itself is rich in antioxidants and nutrients. However, it’s often mixed with a lot of sugar to make it sweeter, which also completely negates its health benefits. To make rich, chocolatey brownies, use raw cacao powder or 100% cocoa powder instead of chocolate bars and chips.