If you’ve ever dreamed of a mouthwatering chocolate fudge peanut butter swirl brownie that is moist, chewy and healthy too–while also being gluten-free and dairy-free to boot, you’ll love these. As registered dietitian nutritionists and personal trainers, one of the top requests we get is for allergy-free dessert recipes that are waistline-friendly, gluten-free and dairy-free. As you may know, after never, ever thinking we’d ever be gluten-free girls, we’ve had to go gluten-free. (You can read about why we went gluten -free in Is a Gluten-Free Diet Right for You?) And while we really love yogurt, kefir and other dairy foods, we’ve even had to cut back on them which admittedly, is not easy for us! (We do still eat organic dairy and love it–we just eat it less frequently.) With all of the requests we get for healthy desserts and given our own changes in our diet, we’ve been up for the healthy recipe challenge more than ever—and we’re so excited about this creation that was inspired from some of our childhood memories. These good-for-you brownies are the ultimate comfort food made healthy.
The inspiration for this recipe came from rainy days…
When we were kids and couldn’t play outside because of the rain, our best friend, Mary would come over to play after school and we’d always end up making food concoctions by mixing the ingredients in our mom’s cupboard and fridge. Our mom was always whipping things up from scratch and was known by our friends for her granola (we frequently describe our parents as hippies, minus the drugs). She kept a kitchen filled with healthy ingredients that were just waiting for us to dive in. (Using these healthy foods and imagining that we were magicians, seeing what delicious creations we could come up with sparked our interest in nutrition and is partially responsible for us ultimately becoming registered dietitians!) We’ve certainly come a long way since those early day concoctions! Although, not sure that’s much to brag about ;), however landing a spot on the Food Network’s Chopped was quite an honor for us and we always wish the ingredients in this recipe had been in our mystery ingredient basket!
These delish and healthy, guilt-free brownies are inspired by our rainy play dates and use all the ingredients that our Mom would have had in our house growing up!
If you have a pantry with staple ingredients, these are for you…
If you always have a number of ingredients hanging out in your pantry that you wish you knew how to make use of when you want to make a healthy dessert, you’re not alone. This tasty and healthy recipe will help to make your life easier because you can open up your pantry and make these gluten-free, flour-free and dairy-free brownies. We’re talking about items like honey, peanut butter, cocoa powder, baking soda—and the mystery ingredient that no one would ever guess is a can of black beans, so from a health perspective it hits the jackpot!
The secret ingredient in these brownies… black beans!
Are black beans helpful in weight loss?
Black beans are rich in fiber and protein and rank among the top of the list when it comes to antioxidants, so black beans are superstars when it comes to mopping up free radicals and protecting cells against disease. And the cool thing about black beans is that they are pulses (dry peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas), which means that they seem to aid in weight loss, even when calories aren’t restricted! When calories are restricted, a pulse-based diet can result in 2.5 more pounds lost over 8 weeks than avoiding pulses, according to a European Journal of Nutrition study. This may be thanks to all of the protein and fiber in the black beans (and other pulses) that are so important when it comes to keeping you feeling satisfied without sugar highs and lows—and also for keeping your energy on average keel.
Can fudgy peanut butter brownies really be good for your heart?
While most brownies are calorie bombs that cause you to pack on the pounds, which puts more of a strain on your heart, each of these brownies is only 140 calories of nutrient-packed goodness. Plus, you’re getting pulses (from the black beans) which means you can get closer to meeting the recommended 1-1/2 cups per week of pulses for heart health benefits, including lower blood pressure and lower blood cholesterol. And what’s more, pulses can lower your risk of diabetes as they help to reduce glucose and insulin levels. Plus, peanut butter in this delicious number contains heart healthy fats. Our hearts ❤️ these brownies and these brownies ❤️our hearts back!
The protein and the fiber in the pulses help to keep you satiated. Regardless, it’s hard not to eat the whole batch…they’re that good!
Have a peanut allergy? No worries!
Just nix the peanut butter and use the same recipe! Did we mention how delish these little guys taste? These brownies can be served warm straight out of the oven—and they’re equally delicious when chilled!
Looking for additional healthy or lightened up dessert recipes? Please feel free to search this site. And here are a few to try…
1/4 cup of oil, like coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon pure stevia (or increase honey to ½ cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup, sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup peanut butter, melted (melt in microwave for 30 seconds)
2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy-free, if you’re on a dairy-free diet)
Line a 9” pan with parchment paper. Place all the ingredients (except peanut butter) in a blender or food processor and blend until there are no lumps. Pour into pan. Drizzle melted peanut butter over top of batter and swirl into mixture for a marbled effect. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of batter. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Cut in to 14 servings.
Nutrition Facts per Serving, using stevia:
Calories 140, Total Fat 8g, Cholesterol: 40 mg, Sodium 66 mg, Carbohydrates 15 g, Fiber 3 g, Sugar 8 g, Protein 5 g Saturated fat 4 g
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