When I saw this recipe for brownies with only 37 calories on Pinterest, I was immediately skeptical, but curious. Isn’t “low-calorie brownie” an oxymoron? How could something as inherently unhealthy as a brownie be made with so few calories? With these questions running through my mind, I knew I had to try the recipe for myself.
I usually don’t try to make healthier substitutions or save calories on desserts. Dessert is dessert. It should be decadent and indulgent, two things that don’t go hand-in-hand with diets. Had my whole dessert-eating life been a lie? I had three major concerns with this recipe: the accuracy of the calorie count, the use of a sugar substitute and the taste and texture of the final product.
First, I started by recalculating the calorie count in the recipe to see if it really did total to just 37 calories per brownie. Using the My Fitness Pal calorie counter, I found that one batch of 9 brownies had 423 calories, which comes out to 47 calories per brownie. Scrolling through the comments of the blog, however, I realized that the baker subtracted about 90 calories to account for losing some of the batter in the transfer from the blender to the pan. Short of breaking out the calorimeter to test this, I’m happy to accept that these brownies are around 37 calories.
Having never been a fan of fake sugar like Splenda, I was hesitant to use Truvia. My fears were confirmed. Truvia doesn’t have the same taste as sugar and leaves behind a strange aftertaste. If you wanted to go for real sugar in place of the Truvia, the brownies would come out to only about 90 calories each, which still isn’t bad.
Most important to me were the taste and texture of the brownies. When I pulled them out of the oven, I was hopeful—they certainly looked and smelled like brownies. Cutting into them, I got even more excited. They looked chewy and fudgy, just how I like my brownies.
So…can 37(ish) calorie brownies taste good? The answer: sort of. After taking them up to the common room for a taste test, reviews were mixed. Personally, I prefer real brownies, or at least brownies made with real sugar. This didn’t quite satisfy my craving for chocolate, and I was not a fan of the weird aftertaste. One friend spit the brownie out immediately, while another reached for a second. Yet another proclaimed that these didn’t deserve the label “brownie,” while somebody else asked me to make them again.
Whether these brownies are “good” or not depends on what you are looking for. If you want something chocolatey that won’t ruin your waistline, these are a sure bet. If you’re looking for easy, but rich and fudgy brownies, it might be better to go with a box of Betty Crocker. But hey, that’s just my opinion. Try them and see for yourself with the recipe below.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
¾ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
¼ cup skim milk
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup rolled old-fashioned oats
½ cup natural/stevia-based sweetener that pours like sugar (like Truvia)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Put all of the ingredients in a blender.
3. Blend on high for one minute, or until ingredients are smoothly mixed together.
4. Pour mixture into a greased 8×8 pan, and bake for 15 minutes.
5. Remove from oven, cut and enjoy.
Looking for more desserts that won’t devastate your calorie count? Look no further: