Whenever we think of a dessert, brownies are always on the top of the list, they are relatively simple to do, and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways: alone, with ice cream, topped with jam, or extra fruit, or all together :)!
However, when people think about a healthy diet, many exclude brownies from the equation. My question is ‘why?’. It is not what the dessert is in nature but rather what ingredients we use in it. This recipe is created only with ingredients I have in my pantry and use at home for my day-to-day healthy, fulfilling, and balanced cooking which still makes you feel amazing.
You do not need to use refined sugar in order to get a delicious brownie recipe. There are so many plant-based natural ways to bring sweetness to your baking and desserts. My go-to right now is agave syrup. Agave is low on the glycemic index (GI), thus helps blood sugar control, and contains a small amount of some important vitamins such as B2, B6, B9, and K. Nonetheless, there are also healthier alternatives so always consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions.
Another point to add is that where I can, I completely avoid adding agave, maple syrup, and the like. We like to instead sweeten with almond butter or fresh fruits.
“All you need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”– Charles M. SCHulz
Almond flour is the miracle of gluten-free flour, and it can be used in nearly anything so it has definitely been a must-have for us. Nowadays it is easily available in supermarkets (however, beware of cross-contamination if you have food sensitivities). It is made only of finely ground almonds, and in fact, it is also called ‘almond meal’. You can also easily make the flour at home by finely-griding almonds until a flour texture is reached.
Almond Chocolate-Chip Brownies
- 170 g almond flour
- 35 g cocoa powder
- 30 g psyllium husk powder
- 85 g almond butter
- 60 ml agave syrup
- 2 flax eggs (see note)
- 10 ml vanilla essence
- 5 g baking soda
- 2 g salt
- 25 g chocolate chips
- 60 ml melted coconut oil
- 75 ml almond milk
- In a large bowl mix the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt.
- In another bowl mix the psyllium husk powder with the almond milk and mix well. Let sit for 10 mins until it becomes jelly-like.
- Flax egg: to create your flax egg, add 1 tablespoon of flax meal (ground flax seeds) to 15 ml (3 tablespoons) of room temperature water in a mug. Mix with a spoon and let sit for 5-10 minutes until it gets a jelly-like texture. For this recipe you need 2 flax-eggs, so please double this amount.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Prepare a 20 by 20 cm baking tray, line it with baking paper.
- In the large bowl, add the psyllium husk jelly, coconut oil, almond milk, almond butter (I like to soften this in the microwave too), vanilla essence, agave syrup and flax egg. Mix well until smooth.
- The texture will not be liquid, remember here we are using gluten-free and egg-free ingredients so if the mixture is too liquid, the brownie will not bind. However, you can always add a bit more almond milk if you feel that more moisture is needed.
- Add the chocolate chips and mix again.
- Take the baking tray and transfer the mixture to the tray. Spread the mixture with a spoon or with your hands in order to fill up the tray well and be uniform.
- Optional: add more chocolate chips on top. Press them gently to attach better to the mixture. The ones I used are vegan and gluten-free too, so did not melt much in the oven.
- Place the tray in the oven, lower rack and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges lift off slightly. I like to take them out and check with a toothpick if the center is baked well before I take them out.
- Once ready, take out of the oven and leave out to cool down completely before cutting into squares. This will help all the ingredients to settle and bind together.
- Optional: you can serve with ice-cream or fruit, or rewarm in the microwave. If step 10 is followed, this will not crumble.
Add more almond butter, or agave if you want the brownies to be sweeter.
It is on my list to try this recipe with cherries, strawberries or raspberries. Please let me know in the comments if you tried it and any feedback.
It is important to use psyllium husk powder. This will make it possible to get the jelly-like binding texture that works like egg and gluten in this recipe. I usually grind whole psyllium husk in my food processor.
I also tried this with whole psyllium husk. While It works, the result is not as good as the result with powdered psyllium husk.
The simple desserts are the best desserts!
A basic rule of baking is that, in general, it’s almost impossible to make an inedible batch of brownies.– LINDA SUNSHINE