With Thanksgiving coming up, it’s hard to resist all the delicious sweets and remain faithful to one’s commitment to eating healthier. As a person with a serious sweet tooth, desserts are always the downfall to my healthy eating goals. However, we don’t have to always sacrifice the enjoyment of delicious sweets for health reasons. Here are four variations of brownies, all of which do not use any oil, butter, or eggs! Try them out, adjust the amount of sugar/honey to your liking and enjoy a guilt-free dessert.


Applesauce Brownies (with a pumpkin addition)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Total Time: 35-60 minutes
Servings: 12


1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup brown sugar
A couple of squirts of honey or agave or maple syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Hershey sized bars of melted dark chocolate
A pinch of salt
½ cup of unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup of soy milk or low fat milk
If you want more chocolaty flavor, add ¼ cup of cocoa powder If you want a pumpkin addition, add 2 tablespoons of pumpkin butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil your pan so that the brownie will be able to slide off the pan (it’ll make cleaning your dishes a lot easier!)
  2. Melt the chocolate on low heat. Constantly stir it so it doesn’t burn or get stuck to the pan.

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3. Place all the dry ingredients together in the bowl of melted chocolate: flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt. Whisk it nice and well.

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4. Yum, the color is looking great! Now add the wet ingredients to make a smooth brownie mix. Add honey/agave/or maple syrup, applesauce, milk, and some pumpkin butter if you’d like.



6.  Put it in the oven for around 20-30 minutes, depending on what kind of texture you want. If you want a gooey brownie, I’d go for 20 minutes. A great way to check is to put a toothpick in the center. If there’s still bits of the brownie stuck to the toothpick, that means it is still undercooked.



7.  I add hemp seeds for additional nutrients like Thiamin, Phosphorus, and Manganese. Enjoy!


Recipe variations: Sweet potato or pumpkin brownies Do the same thing as above, except instead of applesauce, use ½ cup of pureed pumpkins OR sweet potato.

Pumpkin Brownies from cookiesandcups.com

Avocado brownies (my favorite!) This is absolutely my favorite variation of the brownie. You will achieve the soft, fudgy texture of a brownie using a ripe avocado. It sounds weird, but trust me, it’s delicious! To cover up the taste of the avocado, I would use a little bit more cocoa powder. Instead of ½ cup of applesauce, use 1 cup of mashed avocados.

Photo by Margaret Wang

Black bean or chickpea brownies I’ve heard that black beans and chickpeas are also great additions to brownies and blondies. This will be my next experiment. I haven’t tried this yet, but minimalistbaker.com details a great recipe with mouth-watering pictures for the black bean brownies.