Simple to make healthy brownies with intense, dark chocolate flavor.
Dark Chocolate Avocado Banana Brownies seem almost too good to be true! They’re flourless, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo friendly, and contain no refined sugar, yet they taste so decadent. And, they clock in at only 84 calories per serving! They have a tender texture that’s more cake-like than fudgy, and a deep, rich chocolate flavor that comes from cacao powder. You might be put off by the avocado in this recipe, but don’t be. The avocado replaces the fat that you normally find in brownie recipes (usually butter or oil) and you don’t taste it at all. The banana adds sweetness with a slight banana taste, but mostly what comes through in these brownies is intense chocolately goodness!
Over the years I’ve developed a few good baking recipes in which to use overripe bananas (See Healthy Banana Fudge Cakes and Banana Cashew Blender Cake) but until now I never had a similar use for my surplus of ripe avocados. Making a batch of Dark Chocolate Avocado Banana Brownies is a great way to use up all those lonely bananas and avocados so they don’t go to waste.
Chocolate has a sort of mystical power over us. Its history dates back to 2000 B.C. when ancient civilizations used it in religious ceremonies, and that spiritual connection seems to have carried forward to modern times. No other food provokes passionate feelings and cravings quite as intense as those triggered by chocolate. The good news is that we may actually benefit from giving into these cravings. Recent research suggests that dark chocolate, when consumed in moderation, may reduce cholesterol levels, prevent cognitive decline, and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. The benefits of dark chocolate come from the cacao or cocoa powder it’s made with. Cacao powder and cocoa powder can be used interchangeably. Both are made from cacao beans and are rich in powerful antioxidants but cacao powder, which is what’s called for is this recipe, is less processed so it contains higher levels of antioxidants than cocoa powder. Cacao powder is also slightly more bitter than cocoa powder so it works well in dark chocolate applications such as these Dark Chocolate Avocado Banana Brownies.
If you like a little something sweet after dinner, but not too indulgent, I urge you to give Dark Chocolate Avocado Banana Brownies a try. Instead of reaching for a few squares of dark chocolate, have one of these brownies instead. I like to store the individually cut brownies in a zip lock bag in the freezer and take them out as needed. They’re thin so they defrost quickly, but if you’re in a rush, stick them in the microwave for 15 seconds and they’ll be ready to eat, after which your chocolate craving will be fully satisfied!
- Olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray
- 1 cup (3 ounces) cacao powder (see notes)
- ½ cup (3 ounces) coconut sugar
- 1 medium avocado, 4½ ounces without the peel and pit
- 1 medium banana, 3½ ounces without peel
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8-inch x 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- Place the remaining ingredients into the work bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before cutting into squares.
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I’m linking up with Deborah at ConfessionsofaMotherRunner.com and Sarah at AWhiskandTwoWands.com for Meatless Monday. Be sure to check out the other posts from my fellow bloggers!