Healthy Brownies?

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Agave brownies posing next to the birthday card my mom made for Gilligan’s 4th birthday!

Baked goods don’t have to be naughty. In fact, with a few small tweaks you can health-ify (it’s a word) most yummy things. Brownies, quick breads, and bar cookies are the most adaptable as they are the most forgiving. Cookies and cakes need more adjustments.

My favorite way to increase nutrition is to use whole wheat flour. This is a one to one substitute in most recipes.

Another easy substitution is applesauce for butter. A little richness is sacrificed, but overall it’s hardly noticeable.

And the latest craze in my kitchen is agave nectar. It’s like honey, but better for you. It’s really low on the glycemic index, which means it doesn’t cause your blood sugar to spike thus making you crave junk all day. Agave nectar is actually sweeter than sugar so you can use less and still achieve the same sweetness.

Agave Brownies
from Elle’s New England Kitchen

1/2 cup applesauce
2/3 cup agave nectar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s Special Dark)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (I usually omit this)
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped, toasted nuts

Preheat oven to 325. Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish. In a small mixing bowl, add all ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour into the baking dish and bake 25-30 minutes.


These are dusted with powdered sugar- LIGHTLY- only because the box was still on the counter. Don’t judge me.

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