You don’t have to rely on pre-made mixes for rich, fudgy brownies. It’s time to think outside the Betty Crocker box.
But don’t just take our word for it—see (and taste!) for yourself with these 13 better-for-you brownie recipes.
A brownie made from just three everyday ingredients, zero butter or oil, and free of added sugar? It seems almost too good to be true. This is one of those better-for-you and extremely easy recipes that, with one look, will make you want to sprint immediately to your kitchen to make it.
This brownie recipe may do away with the flour, but it makes sure to keep all the other essential elements intact with healthier alternatives to boot: The emphasis on quality chocolate, potassium-packed coconut sugar to sweeten things up, and of course, that all-important brittle top.
These coconut flour-based goodies are low-carb but don’t compromise on taste. Instead, the focus is on healthy fats, from “good” cholesterol-boosting coconut oil to walnuts for added protein and a bonus crunch factor.
Pumpkin takes over for flour in these gluten-free treats. As a result, each chocolaty square is loaded with vitamin A for healthy vision and cell function. All you’ll taste is the chocolate chips and cocoa powder, though, making this recipe another way to sneak more veggies into your (or any picky eater’s) diet.
These chewy brownies are made a bit more wholesome thanks to the use of natural nut butter (sans the heart-clogging hydrogenated oils) and applesauce instead of butter. And just in case chocolate chips and cocoa in the batter isn’t enough chocolate for you, the blogger calls for extra chips on top.
A faithful substitute for excess fat in baked goods, Greek yogurt does double duty here, stepping in for both butter and eggs to keep these babies from drying out while adding a boost of lean protein. You won’t miss the pound of butter when you take one gooey bite of the end result.
There’s a devious satisfaction that comes from biting into a chocolate-packed, chocolate chip-topped brownie, knowing that two cups of potassium-packed zucchini were packed into the batter. The hidden healthy ingredients don’t end there either: Whole-wheat flour adds extra fiber, and applesauce stands in for butter.
Mashed sweet potatoes give your brownies a grain-free, superfood upgrade: While powering them up with cancer-fighting beta-carotenes, their natural sweetness cuts down on the need for too much sugar. Meanwhile, nut butter acts as the main fat source, lending a depth of flavor and heart-healthy benefits to each chocolaty bite.
With a mild flavor and chock-full of fiber and monounsaturated fat, avocados are the ideal alternative to butter for healthier baking. Here, they are joined by ground almonds—an equally nutritious source of fat—to create flourless brownies that are as rich as a classic recipe.
It’s not just for salads or an alternative to fried rice: Quinoa can do dessert too! The fiber- and protein-packed seed plays a central role in these sugar-dusted beauties. Kept moist with coconut oil and yogurt, this recipe defies anyone who says gluten-free treats taste like cardboard.
The tart raspberries stirred into this batter prevent it from crossing over into “cloyingly sweet” territory. A stevia-based drizzle on top makes the bars extra pretty without the sugar overload.
A silky chocolate frosting sits on top of a crunchy, cocoa-dusted base of dates and mixed nuts. These may be a bit denser than baked brownies, but rest assured, they’re bursting with good-for-you, mostly unsaturated fats. Plus, a small slice can go a long way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
While a whopping one and a half cups of dark chocolate chips go into these brownies (and that’s just the batter, the chocolate frosting is another story!), coconut sugar and Greek yogurt keep the refined sugar level down and the protein quantity up. It’s a great example of not having to give up treats in order to keep things on the healthy side. Bonus: Check out the nifty how-to video that walks you through the recipe.