These Healthy Brownies are a delicious option when you want to share a chocolate treat with your family that’s a little lower in sugar and higher in nutrients. They happen to be vegan and are seriously fudgy too!
Making healthier treats to share with the kids only really works if the treats taste good enough for everyone to actually enjoy them—so even though these have applesauce, spinach, and chia seeds in them, they totally taste like a fudge brownie. I love that these satisfy our cravings for dessert, but also don’t have as much added sugar as a traditional brownie. The added nutrients doesn’t hurt either!
TIP: I use cocoa powder, instead of melted chocolate, for the chocolate flavor in these brownies to keep the added sugar lower.
Ingredients in Healthy Brownies
To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- baby spinach
- rolled oats
- unsweetened applesauce
- coconut milk
- pure vanilla extract
- cocoa powder
- chia seeds
- baking powder
- mini chocolate chips
TIP: The mini chocolate chips on top add a final hit of chocolate that really makes these taste extra special.
How to Make Healthy Brownies Step-by-Step
Here’s a look at the process involved in making this recipe. For the full information, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Preheat the oven and prepare the baking pan.
- Add all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips to a blender. (photo 1)
- lend very smoothly. (photo 2)
- Pour into prepared pan and top with chocolate chips. (photo 3)
- Bake! Let cool before slicing. (photo 4)
TIP: These are easiest to slice after they’ve cooled completely in the fridge.
Best Tip for Cleaning the Blender
I use a blender for this batter to make sure that the ingredients, including the spinach and oats, are blended up very well. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides halfway through blending and/or use the stick that came with your blender to help get the mixture going if needed. To clean the blender, after you pour out the batter, put in a few drops of soap, fill halfway with water, cover, and turn on to let it clean itself. This is an excellent way to get the blade clean.
TIP: You can also use a food processor as long as you grind the batter on high.
Easy Vegan Brownies
This recipe is made without eggs or dairy, so it’s suitable for kids with allergies. You can also make it gluten-free by using certified gluten-free rolled oats. I use coconut oil here since it helps ensure that the final brownies are moist and rich, and that they hold together when chilled and sliced.
Can toddlers have chocolate?
Each brownie will have about 3 mg of caffeine from the cocoa powder, depending on how large or small you cut them. For comparison, a cup of green tea has 35 mg.) Cocoa powder also has beneficial flavanols.
Tips for Making the Best Healthy Brownies
- To store, you can slice up the brownies and wrap them individually before storing them in the fridge so you can pack them in lunches. Or, place them into an airtight storage container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Let cool fully in the fridge before removing from the pan and slicing. This will ensure that the brownies hold together well.
- These can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. We prefer to eat them chilled.
- To make them slightly sweeter add 2 tablespoons sugar to the batter.
- To make these gluten-free, use gluten-free rolled oats.
- If your blender came with a stick, use It to help get the batter going.
- You can make these with a food processor, but the spinach may not grind up as finely.
- You can use regular size chocolate chips if you prefer. I like the way the mini chips are easier to distribute to add a little hint of chocolate to each bite.
Watch my video on Healthy Brownies below!
I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe, so please comment below to chime in!
These lower sugar, egg-free brownies have moisture from fruit and veggies, and just enough cocoa powder to ensure they taste great.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with foil and coat with nonstick spray.
- Add all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips to a blender. Blend very smoothly, starting on low and working up to high, to make a very smooth batter.
- Pour into prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Top with chocolate chips and lightly press into batter.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a cake tester comes out mostly cleanly. (It’s a moist batter, so it may be a little moist in the centers.)
- Let cool for about 10 minutes. Place into the fridge (on a pot holder) and allow to cool completely in the pan. Use the foil to transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Slice into squares, cleaning the knife off between slices if needed, and serve.
Let cool fully in the fridge before removing from the pan and slicing. This will ensure that the brownies hold together well.
These can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. We prefer to eat them chilled.
To make them slightly sweeter add 2 tablespoons sugar to the batter.
To make these gluten-free, use gluten-free rolled oats.
If your blender came with a stick, use It to help get the batter going.
You can make these with a food processor, but the spinach may not grind up as finely.
You can use regular size chocolate chips if you prefer. I like the way the mini chips are easier to distribute to add a little hint of chocolate to each bite.