Healthy Brownies | The Recipe Critic
Healthy brownies are your new guilt-free indulgence! They have way less sugar and healthy ingredients like zucchini and yogurt to make a delicious dark chocolate brownie that is moist and even better than regular brownies.
I definitely have a sweet tooth. I can’t keep my hands off any kind of treats I make, so when I do make them I look for ways to make them a little bit better for me. If you are like me, then you have to try these Skinny Muddy Buddies, these super delicious Skinny Mini Cheesecakes, and these yummy Healthy Oatmeal Cookies.
Healthy Zucchini Brownies
It’s that time of year when everyone is working on goals, and a lot of them have to do with being healthier. These healthy brownies were inspired by my goal to eat healthier. I don’t want to give up all of my sweets though, because I know if I do that I won’t stick to my diet. I can’t help it, I have a super big sweet tooth! If you have a sweet tooth too, then you are definitely going to love this healthy brownie recipe!
I love brownies, I have a couple of really yummy recipes on my blog like these easy caramel brownies and these awesome cherry cheesecake brownies. The problem is, once I make them, I can’t help but eat way too many. That’s why I love these healthy zucchini brownies so much! They have way less sugar in them and they taste just as good! They are fudgy and have lots of dark chocolate flavor, and the frosting is incredible. The best part is, they are just as easy to make!
The ingredients in these healthy brownies just might surprise you! There is no butter, which makes this recipe dairy free without giving up any of the fudginess that you love in a brownie. You could add chocolate chips on top, or in the batter before you bake it. You can find the measurements below in the recipe card.
- Shredded Zucchini: You can use a food processor with a grater attachment, or use a cheese grater. You will want to squeeze out the liquid, but not all of it.
- Egg: I just use one egg in this recipe. In the recipe box below I share a way to use flaxseeds instead of eggs in this recipe.
- Applesauce: Applesauce helps to keep things moist as well as adding sweetness without needing to add extra sugar.
- Honey: Honey is the perfect thing to use instead of sugar. It’s sweet and easier for your body to process.
- Vanilla Extract: I like to add vanilla to add extra flavor and to bring out the flavors in the other ingredients.
- Cocoa Powder: I love cocoa powder because it has some health benefits. It adds all of the chocolate flavor too, so you definitely want to add it.
- Baking Soda: This will help the brownies to rise a little bit. They don’t puff up like a cake but they would be too dense without a little baking soda.
- Salt: Salt helps to bring out all of the delicious flavors in this brownie, and to keep it from getting too sweet.
- Whole Wheat Flour: You will be amazed at how amazing these brownies taste with whole wheat flour! If you have picky eaters, you should let them try it before telling them there is whole wheat flour. I bet they won’t be able to tell the difference!
Chocolate Frosting for Healthy Brownies
- Nonfat Greek Yogurt: This makes a perfectly balanced frosting that is sweet and tangy all at the same time.
- Cocoa Powder: This is how you will make the frosting taste even more chocolatey. You’re definitely going to want to add it! It has even been shown to help reduce inflammation.
- Honey: Honey is a great way to sweeten the frosting without adding powdered sugar, and it has a great flavor.
- Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding Mix: This is really the key to the frosting. It makes it smooth and the right texture, as well as super chocolate flavored and delicious.
Healthy Brownie Recipe
This healthy brownie recipe is just as easy as regular brownies! It is just as yummy too. You are seriously going to love this chocolatey dessert! The frosting is so smooth and creamy, and the brownie base is so fudgy and chocolatey. You will be so happy with how these turn out!
- Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line an 8X8 baking dish by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray and lining with parchment paper, set aside.
- Shred Zucchini: Shred your zucchini and lightly squeeze out excess liquid, you don’t want to completely squeeze all the juice. Set aside
- Whisk Ingredients: In a large bowl add your egg, applesauce, honey, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Add in your prepared zucchini and whisk together.
- Sift Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, sift together your cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. Whisk together.
- Add Dry to Wet Ingredients: Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix to combine. Once the batter has come together, pour it into your prepared pan and bake for 24-26 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the brownies, it should come out mostly clean, it will have some brownie on it, but not a lot.
- Make Frosting: To make the chocolate frosting, add greek yogurt, cocoa powder, honey, and pudding mix to a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip all the ingredients together.
- Spread Frosting: Spread the frosting over cooled brownies and enjoy!
Tips for Making Healthy Brownies
There are a lot of different ways you can switch up these healthy brownies. These are just a few suggestions for different ingredients you can use and ways that you can change this recipe to fit your needs.
- Other Sweeteners: You can replace the honey in both the brownie and frosting with your favorite sweetener of the same consistency like agave or maple syrup.
- Egg Replacement: If you would like an egg substitute you can combine 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal and 2 ½ tablespoons of water, allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes and thicken up. This amount is a replacement for one egg.
- Make It Gluten Free: I know a lot of you are interested in making this recipe gluten-free. I haven’t tried any other flours like almond flour or coconut flour, but I know there are a lot of gluten free flour mixes that you can use that work as a flour substitute. If the package says you can use it as a 1:1 substitute for flour, then it will work perfectly in this recipe!
These healthy brownies make amazing leftovers! Because of the zucchini, they don’t dry out and stay deliciously fudgy for days. Here is how to store leftovers.
In the Refrigerator: These brownies are best stored in the fridge in an airtight container or a plastic wrap over the baking pan for up to 5-7 days, although they never last more than a couple days in my house.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line an 8X8 baking dish by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray and lining with parchment paper, set aside.
Shred your zucchini and lightly squeeze out excess liquid, you don’t want to completely squeeze all the juice. Set aside
In a large bowl add your egg, applesauce, honey, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Add in your prepared zucchini and whisk together.
In a separate bowl, sift together your cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. Whisk together.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix to combine. Once the batter has come together, pour it into your prepared pan and bake for 24-26 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the brownies, it should come out mostly clean, it will have some brownie on it, but not a lot.
To make the chocolate frosting, add greek yogurt, cocoa powder, honey, and pudding mix to a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip all the ingredients together.
Spread the frosting over cooled brownies and enjoy!
Calories144kcal (7%)Carbohydrates30g (10%)Protein6g (12%)Fat1g (2%)Saturated Fat1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat0.2gMonounsaturated Fat0.4gTrans Fat0.003gCholesterol15mg (5%)Sodium117mg (5%)Potassium229mg (7%)Fiber3g (12%)Sugar20g (22%)Vitamin A66IU (1%)Vitamin C4mg (5%)Calcium53mg (5%)Iron1mg (6%)
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.