Thursday, January 12, 2012

Brownies for Dinner

This has been a crazy busy week.  I went from vacation-mode (totally relaxed, having tons of time to work on things at home, like my blog and new Etsy site) to jumping into the deep-end of life once again. 

I'd wanted to write several new blog posts by now and put up a new recipe but it hasn't happened and isn't looking like it will until about this time next week.  So.... I've been asked a few times to share this brownie recipe again and think it will be the perfect filler-post until I can get back to writing.

Speaking of my new Etsy site, here's the link in case anyone's interested:

And my new Facebook Fan Page, which is  ironically also called "Naturally Sweet Surprises".  (Neither of these links are food-based sites.)

I called this post "Brownies for Dinner" because these clean-eating brownies are packed full of protein.  They are also sugar-free and gluten-free.  And there were no beans involved in the baking of these brownies!  They are my kids' favorite dessert for our new lifestyle.

Speaking of is my daughter's birthday and I bought the tiniest cake I could find.  It was called a "baby cake" and was made for 2 to share.  I cut it into 6 pieces and none of us could finish our slice!  Two of the kids asked to wrap theirs up to finish tomorrow.  This is just cake from a grocery nearby!  In my past life I would have polished off 1/2 the cake in one sitting, no problem.  Tonight my tongue and stomach were telling me things my eyes weren't quite agreeing with...too sweet, too fake tasting.  My eyes kept saying, "What's wrong with you?  It looks amazing!"  I was nearly sick from the cake and my eyes are going to have to catch up with the rest of me pretty quick here.

On to the recipe.  It's originally from The Gracious Pantry.  (Click to see original recipe.)  I posted this back in November as a "Recipe of the Week".  Enjoy!

Clean-Eating Brownies

Brownie Ingredients

1 (16 oz.) container almond butter
4 egg whites
1 cup honey (raw if at all possible)
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup cacao powder (if not available, Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder is next best)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup organic dark chocolate chips (42% cacao or higher)
Brownie Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Step 1 – Add each ingredient, in the order listed, to a large mixing bowl, one at a time. Whisk in each ingredient completely before adding the next.

Step 2 – Pour into an oiled 9x13 baking pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.

This recipe yields 20 brownies.  Each brownie has 217 calories and 5-8 grams of protein, depending on what type of calculator you use (and what type of nut butter).

So simple, right!  Some tips I have from my experience baking them...
·         I used crunchy almond butter because that's what I had.  Still tastes great and the kids haven't complained about the nut pieces in them but next time I'll do it with creamy.
·         You can use peanut butter or cashew butter instead of will alter the taste.  I'd recommend trying with almond first so you know the base taste and then alter.
·         The cheapest way to make these would be to buy almonds in bulk and blend your own almond butter.  I'll be trying it that way one of these days!  (I have now tried it and no longer think this would be easy or cheap.  But it is possible.)
·         Honey - the healthiest version of this will be with raw honey.  Try to avoid store-bought processed honey if at all possible.  Most of that comes from China and is filled with toxins you do not want to consume!
·         The mixture is too stiff to whisk by hand so use a hand mixer to make it easier.


  1. Can't wait to try these! Yum!

    1. Finally got around to trying these...hands down the best grain-free brownies we've tried yet! They really have a texture of a flour based brownie. Because I am watching my sugar intake I used 1/2 cup Just Like Brown Sugar, 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce and because I'm out of honey, 1/4 cup agave. Next time will try 1/2 honey and 1/2 JLBS because I think they could have been a little sweeter.
      Thanks for the fabulous recipe!