There’s something about baking in the fall that just feels right. The oven warms the kitchen, and familiar smells waft through the whole house. Childhood memories of licking batter straight from the spoon may be in the past (or not—no judgment), but there’s still room to do some experimenting in the kitchen as you hone your baking skills this season. If health is a concern, don’t fret—there are so many healthy alternatives to your favorite fall comfort foods.
If brownies are your thing, you’ll want to try all these recipes with a healthy twist—some are even vegan and gluten-free. Indulge in a warm, fudgy brownie made from healthful ingredients like agave, black beans, coconut milk, and cacao powder. These ingredient swaps will leave you with a healthier dessert that tastes just as delicious as the traditional treat. Get cooking—these low-carb brownie recipes will have you reaching for seconds.
Vegan Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
The Recipe: This peanut butter brownie recipe from Minimalist Baker is proof that you can use black beans to make gooey, chocolatey brownies. All you need is a food processor to combine all the ingredients before swirling in natural peanut butter to the brownie pan before baking.
The Healthy Twist: Not only is this dessert vegan and gluten-free, but the ingredients help it fit into a low-carb diet. The best part is that most of the carbs come from the black beans, which are packed with nutritional value.
Vegan Coconut Caramel Brownies
The Recipe: These vegan coconut caramel brownies are a caramel lover’s dream. You’ll bite into a caramel center made from natural ingredients. Laura Wright of The First Mess warns that you’ll need some self-restraint to save enough of the caramel to drizzle on your brownies after they’ve baked.
The Healthy Twist: The batter is made with healthy ingredients like ground chia seed, gluten-free and almond flour, arrowroot, and coconut milk. Swap in a low-carb sweetener instead of natural sugar for a low-carb brownie recipe to enjoy.
Raw Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies
The Recipe: Kiersten of Hello Glow calls these raw brownies “the richest, fudgiest brownies you’ve ever had.” There’s no baking necessary—just combine all ingredients in a food processor, and press the mixture into a pan lined with parchment paper or roll into small balls.
The Healthy Twist: This low-carb brownie recipe calls for only raw ingredients. The treat is full of walnuts, dates, and cacao powder. It couldn’t be simpler, and there’s not even a gram of added sugar.
Paleo Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies
The Healthy Twist: Gluten- and dairy-free, these chocolate squares are Paleo-friendly, and the ingredients make this a low-carb recipe. The pumpkin puree gives the treat a natural flavor and helps you meet your daily requirement for potassium and dietary fiber. You can also swap in unsweetened chocolate and low-carb sweetener to make this recipe even healthier.
Refined Sugar–Free Turtle Brownies
The Recipe: Another low-carb brownie recipe from Minimalist Baker that does not disappoint. A healthy take on the classic turtle brownie, this recipe calls for date caramel, pecans, chocolate chips, coconut, and black beans (which you won’t even notice).
The Healthy Twist: The real kicker here is the fact that you can enjoy these yummy brownies knowing they were made with zero artificial sweeteners. You’ll taste wholesome ingredients without the usual added sugar and butter found in traditional baked goods.
Vegan Brownies with Berries and Tahini
The Recipe: Taylor of Food Faith Fitness says these brownies are “so dense and chewy that you’d never know they’re a superfood-packed, healthy, and Paleo-friendly dessert.” Dark chocolate combines with fruity berries and nutty tahini for a deliciously healthy dessert.
The Healthy Twist: With only 13 grams of carbohydrates and 107 calories in each serving, these brownies are about as healthy as it gets. Enjoy a yummy treat made with real ingredients and healthy alternatives like coconut sugar and flour and just the right amount of berries and cocoa powder.
Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Brownies
The Recipe: These protein-packed brownies are “the perfect guilt-free dessert,” according to Amy of A Healthy Life for Me. Plus, peanut butter swirls give them a luxurious look that’s sure to impress.
The Healthy Twist: This recipe calls for a sweetener blend of raw sugar and stevia, so there’s less added sugar than what’s found in your average brownie. It also uses dark chocolate chips and protein powder instead of heavier milk chocolate.
Fudgy Avocado Brownies with Chocolate Fudge Frosting
The Recipe: Because there’s no food group that hasn’t been touched by the avocado craze, you can enjoy fudgy avocado brownies, thanks to this recipe from Half Baked Harvest. The avocado replaces butter to give the dessert that creamy, gooey texture you know and love.
The Healthy Twist: These low-carb brownies are made with avocados and natural coconut sugar with no butter or flour. Brownies can’t get much healthier than this. Even the frosting is made with real ingredients like dark chocolate and cacao powder.