5 Ultimate Healthy Brownie Recipes (see the secret ingredients)

Written by Cristina Powell

Healthy Brownie Recipes

The results of our social media survey are in, and the number one dessert everyone voted to see healthy recipes for is…drumroll please…


I couldn’t agree more! I have never met a brownie I didn’t like. However, I have met a few that didn’t get along so well with my waistline. Which is why I set out to discover 5 healthy brownie recipes that not only taste delicious, but are also figure friendly.

Of course, one reason we love brownies so much is because of the #1 flavor ingredient: chocolate! Chocolate is often the first thing people reach for when their mood takes a downward shift. Even the scent of chocolate can instantly make you feel euphoric and has been proven to give you an intense mental high and get your heart pounding—even more than kissing does. It’s no wonder the scientific name for the tree that chocolate comes from, Theobroma cacao, means “food of the gods.”

Fun fact #1: During the iconic shower scene in the 1960 horror flick Psycho, it wasn’t blood that was pouring from the shower. It was chocolate.

Now, that your mouth is watering, it’s time to reveal the 5 healthy brownie recipes.

5 Healthy Brownie Recipes

Black Bean Brownies

1. Black Bean Brownies


  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (one 15-oz can, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 Tbsps cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsps pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • *optional: more chips to add on top


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Blend all ingredients except chips in a good food processor.
  3. Stir in the chips and then pour mixture into a greased 8×8 pan.
  4. Cook for 15 – 18 minutes.

Nutrition Information
• Calories: 115
• Fat: 5.5 g
• Carbs: 15 g
• Fiber: 3 g
• Protein: 2.5 g

*This black bean brownies recipe yields 12 brownies

zucchini brownie recipe

2. Zucchini Brownies

What better way to get a full serving of veggies, with plenty of vitamins and fiber, than in a decadent chocolate treat? Enter zucchini brownies.

Fun fact #2: Bananas may be well known for being a great source of potassium; however, zucchini actually contains more potassium than bananas.


  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsps pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsps flax meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup stevia
  • *optional 1/2 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the first 6 ingredients and let sit at least 5 minutes.
  4. Stir remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients and pour into the baking dish.
  6. Bake for 19 – 20 minutes.

*You may need to flatten brownies before and after cooking with a spatula
*You may also substitute honey or agave for the maple syrup if you prefer.

Nutrition Information
• Calories: 83
• Fat: 6 g
• Carbs: 6.8 g
• Fiber: 3 g
• Protein: 1.4 g

*This zucchini brownies recipe yields 24 brownies

Chickpea Blondies

3. Chickpea Blondies

Is it true what they say about blondes having more fun? Being that I’m a brunette, I wouldn’t be able to answer that, but I can tell you this healthy brownie recipes for a blondie is sure to be the life of any party.

Fun fact # 3: During WWII, there was a shortage of coffee, so ground chickpeas were used as a coffee substitute.


  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained and rinsed)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (I made my own with one ingredient: pureed peanuts)
  • *optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Blend all ingredients (except chips) in a food processor.
  3. Mix in chips, and pour mixture into a prepared 8×8 pan.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.

*I have found that if you remove them from the oven slightly before they are “done” and allow them to continue cooking in the pan while they are cooling off, this keeps them moist and prevents them from drying out. If you allow them to cook completely, or overcook them, they become too dry for my liking.

Nutrition Information
• Calories: 95
• Fat: 2.5 g
• Carbs: 15 g
• Fiber: 3 g
• Protein: 2.5 g

*This chickpea blondies recipe yields 15 bars.

White Bean Snickerdoodle Bars

4. White Bean Snickerdoodle Bars

While there is much debate over how the Snickerdoodle got its name, one suggestion, printed in the Joy of Cooking in 1975, says Schneckennudeln, which is German for “snail noodles,” was the first creation of what we now know as a Snickerdoodle. It was described as a recipe for rolled-up cinnamon buns which were flattened into a cookie.

Regardless of how they got their name, I am convinced that had I not made these myself, I would never have known the secret ingredient was white beans.


  • 1 1/2 cups white beans (1 can, drained and rinsed)
  • 3 Tbsps peanut butter (again, I made my own with 1 ingredient: pureed peanuts)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp applesauce
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 2 1/4 tsps cinnamon
  • *optional walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Blend all ingredients in a food processor.
  3. Pour mixture into a prepared 8×8 pan.
  4. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

Nutrition Information
• Calories: 92
• Fat: 2 g
• Carbs: 17 g
• Fiber: 1.6 g
• Protein: 2.2 g

*This white bean snickerdoodle bars recipe yields 15 bars

Brownie Protein Shake

5. Brownie Batter Protein Smoothie

There is a local restaurant called Sweet & Savory that serves a homemade Tomato Basil soup that literally tastes like they pureed a piece of my grandmother’s lasagna and served it in a bowl. I don’t know how they do it, but everyone who knows me alerts me when it is on the menu as the soup of the day because I am that much of a fan of this deliciousness.

That is how you will feel about this smoothie recipe that tastes just like you blended your grandmother’s famous brownies and served it with a straw.


  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 scoops Milk Chocolate BioTrust® Low Carb
  • 5 pitted medjool dates
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp nut butter of choice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 – 4 ice cubes


  1. Throw everything into your blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information
• Calories: 600
• Fat: 26 g
• Carbs: 105 g
• Protein: 39 g

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If you don’t have any dates on hand, you may substitute 3 packets of Stevia.

Another note is that I have also made this recipe omitting the nut butter and vanilla, and to be perfectly honest, I didn’t even miss it. If you wanted to save a few calories, this would be where I would do it. 😉

Nutrition Information (with the Stevia swap)
• Calories: 400
• Fat: 26 g
• Carbs: 33 g
• Protein: 37 g

Keep in mind, you can allow for healthy cheats in your nutrition plan. And each meal that is included cannot be viewed as independent of your nutrition plan as a whole. What I mean by this is that what you consume at one meal will directly impact what you eat at your next meal. This is an example of your metabolism in action, and you can use it to your advantage when you are creating your healthy meal plan.

You see, by fueling your body with the right types of foods (like healthy brownie recipes or smoothies), this allows you to sustain your energy for longer durations and will keep you feeling fuller, longer. This will ward off hunger and cravings, so you will end up consuming less in the long run. This will impact what you select as your next meal, and it will continue this way, allowing you to make smart choices.

A recipe such as the brownie batter protein smoothie, which may appear to be higher in calories and carbohydrates, may not seem healthy, but it is. It is important to remember, the concept of the smoothie is to provide great versatility in your efforts to eat healthy. It’s also to provide a meal with great nutrient density.

Simply put, nutrient density refers to the amount of nutrition (i.e., protein, antioxidants, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc.) that a food provides relative to its calories. And this smoothie packs a solid punch, and it also helps curb those sweet cravings. Bonus.

I hope you enjoy these healthy brownie recipes as much as I did.

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More From Cristina Powell

  • Coach Stefanie

    Hey Coach Cristina! I saw these recipes and had to make sure I had all the ingredients on hand. I’m ready to try making both the Black Bean Brownies and the Chickpea Blondies. I’ve made faux chocolate chip cookie dough in the past with chick peas and it’s come out really well. It must be the color and texture that gives it that authentic cookie dough vibe. Good stuff – thanks so much for sharing these recipes!

  • Bernadine Suarez

    For recipe #2, did you REALLY MEAN 3/4 cup of stevia??? Or was that a straightaway substitution for another sweetener? I can’t imagine that can be edible in its present state.

    • Cristina

      Welcome, Bernadine. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out these healthy brownie recipes.

      In the recipe you referenced, the ingredients call for 3/4 cup of Stevia, and this would be the substitution for sugar (or other sweetener). You are more than welcome to replace this with a sweetener of your choice, but be mindful of the nutrition information if/when making this switch.

      I am so glad you took the time to ask your questions instead of simply passing the recipe by, as it is really one of my favorite recipes and I hope you will share your feedback if you decide to make it!

  • Thomas Ursini

    Hi Cristina, these recipes look amazing. I especially can’t wait to try the black bean brownies. I’ve always been a chocolate lover, and to find out that there are forms of it that are very healthy is actually a blessing. Also, I was wondering if you could please help me with something. I got an email offering a report by Joel Marion on the health effects of chocolate, and I requested it more than once, but each time it never came. Can you please provide me with the pdf? I think it’s called “What Chocolate Does to your Body.” This would be very helpful to me.

    • Cristina

      Hi Thomas. First and foremost, thank you so much for taking the time to check out these recipes and for sharing your thoughtful feedback. I would love for you to let me know if you decide to make the black bean brownies and how you like them. I recently invested in an Instant Pot and made my first batch of black bean brownies in there and they were a hit! I will be posting a new recipe here shortly with that, so be sure to check that out.

      With regards to the article you are referring to, I am not sure I have that on hand, but I will find it and see that you get it. I do know that we have one titled What Peanut Butter Does To Your Body, but I don’t know that we have one with the similar title on chocolate. But rest assured if we do, I will find it and you will get it.

      If there is anything else I can do for you, please just let me know.

      We know that you have options and I am very honored that you selected us and I am proud to have served you.

      • Thomas Ursini

        Thank you, Cristina. I really appreciate all your help. I know I have options, but I also know I can count on you folks to go above and beyond. This is part of why I wholeheartedly believe in this company.