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Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies Recipe {The Longevity Kitchen Book Review}

by Jeanette on March 11, 2013 · 80 Comments
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Rebecca Katz's Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies © Jeanette's Healthy Living

I know the title to this post must have grabbed your attention – Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies! Rarely do I post sweet recipes, but when I find one that’s healthier than most, I have to share it with you.

Today, I have a special treat – I’m sharing this gluten-free and healthier brownie recipe with you from one of my favorite author’s newest book – Rebecca Katz’s The Longevity Kitchen, Satisfying Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods.

Katz_Longevity Kitchen
I can’t tell you how excited I was to get a review copy of this book, which not only showcases a collection of healthy recipes that boast the power of yum! but also a ton of information about natural, whole foods to keep your body humming. As some of you know, I have a special interest in Food as Medicine, so this book is right up my alley.

Katz_Rebecca 1

Rebecca Katz

I have been a huge fan of Rebecca Katz ever since I acquired her book a number of years ago, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen. My copy of this book has dog ears and stickies on more pages than you can imagine from all the recipes I’ve made for friends with cancer. Not only is Rebecca a nutritionist, but she’s a chef – an unusual combination of talents – so she is able to translate science onto the plate for all to enjoy. I have made countless pots of Rebecca Katz’s Magic Mineral Broth for friends undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment, which has literally made the difference between someone eating and not.

So, onto Rebecca’s newest project, The Longevity Kitchen. As I curled up on the couch to read this new book, I was engrossed in the first part of the book, which talks about the connection between what we eat and epigenetics (an emerging field of science that studies the factors affecting genetic expression). Did you know that you can alter your gene expression through your food choices? Everything you eat has a direct impact on your gut, liver, kidney, brain, heart, bones and muscles, and your immune, respiratory, circulatory, nervous and endocrine systems. Not surprising if you stop and think about it.

The information and recipes in The Longevity Kitchen draw upon the knowledge of numerous physicians (including Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, Jim Gordon, and Dean Ornish), nutritionists and researchers who have delved deep into the science of nutrition and longevity.

Pan of Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Rebecca does a fabulous job of helping the layman understand the interplay of food and each of these organs and systems in a fun tone, and once you understand the relationship between food and each of these, you will be chomping at the bit to not only read about the benefits of the Super Sixteen (foods that offer the highest levels of antioxidants), but you’ll want to learn about every ingredient in her Culinary Pharmacy (80+ ingredients), which describes the healing power of each of these foods.

One of the principles that makes Rebecca’s cooking style so successful is what she coins FASS (fat, acid, salt and sweet), the four tastes that work together to make food taste their best. In the section Balancing with FASS, you’ll learn about Rebecca’s pantry staples to get just the right balance of flavor in any dish and how to create your favorite global “flavorprints” using a unique set of ingredients.

The Longevity Kitchen has eleven chapters, the first three of which are dedicated to giving the reader the groundwork necessary to fully appreciate the healing, nourishing power of each of the 80+ ingredients sprinkled through the 100 recipes (most of which are gluten-free) in the next eight chapters. You’ll find recipes that are best as immune boosters, stress reducers, mind enhancers, blood sugar regulators, liver boosters, LDL cholesterol reducers, heart strengtheners and more.

Here’s a glance at the chapters:

  • Food, Nutrition, and Your Body
  • The Healing Power of Food
  • Making the Most of This Book
  • Life-Enhancing Soups and Broths (including Magic Mineral Broth 2.0, a jazzed up version of Rebecca’s Magic Mineral Broth from her first cookbook. I know I’ll be making this staple over and over again.)
  • Vital Vegetables (The Sweet-and-Sour Asian Cabbage and Kale is on my list to try next)
  • Generous Grains (The Hot-and-Sour Sesame Soba Noodles were really good)
  • Protein-Building Foods (Good Mood Sardines were my breakfast one morning)
  • Nibbles and Noshes (Rebecca recommends the Sweet Potato Bars for something delightfully different)
  • Dollops and Yum! (I can’t wait to try the Indonesian Drizzle and Pomegranate Glaze)
  • Invigorating Tonics and Elixirs (I’ll be making Hibiscus Pomegranate Cooler this summer)
  • Sweet Bites (Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies were a huge hit with kids and adults alike!)

I would highly recommend The Longevity Kitchen to anyone who is interested in living a healthy long life while enjoying foods that are full of the “yum” factor. Each and every recipe in this book is full of nutrient dense ingredients, and once you learn how to build your culinary pharmacy and what each of these ingredients does to help prevent chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation, arthritis), you’ll feel empowered to take charge of your health.

I already have stickies all over my copy of this book ;).

Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies © Jeanette's Healthy Living

And now for the giveaway!  Rebecca Katz has generously offered to give two (2) autographed copies of this book away. So, there will be two winners!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 from 1 reviews
Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cacao content is the amount of pure cacao products (chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder) used in the chocolate; the higher the percentage, the more antioxidants the chocolate contains, and the lower the sugar content.
Serves: 16
  • ⅔ cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate 
(68 to 72% cacao content), chopped
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 organic eggs
  • ⅓ cup Grade B maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup maple sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional), toasted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan (see note) with two pieces of foil long enough to overlap on all four sides. Lightly oil the foil.
  2. Put the almond flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.
  3. Put half of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat, stirring often, just until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the olive oil.
  4. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk until frothy. Slowly add the maple syrup and maple sugar, whisking all the while, and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla extract, then gradually add the chocolate, whisking vigorously all the while, and continue whisking until smooth and glossy.
  5. Add the flour mixture and beat for about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining chocolate and the walnuts. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature in the pan, then cover and refrigerate for at least 
1 hour before cutting into 16 brownies.
You can also use a 
9 by 6-inch baking pan. If you do, the baking time will be only about 25 minutes.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 
5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 130 Fat: 9 grams (2.5 grams saturated fat)

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  1. Ashley E says:

    I just made brownies from scratch this weekend, but this recipe looks MUCH better

  2. Christopher Sorel says:

    quality ingredients make for tasty treats but they do not last as long. You eat less and enjoy it more though

  3. I was so excited to realize at the bottom of this post that you were giving away two books. Woo Hoo
    I absolutely believe that food can be a medicine or a poison and it definitely has something to do with longevity.
    Thanks for this giveaway.

  4. Just eating well for a week is enough to show you the benefits of healthy eating. Your energy level is higher, you feel better about your self, and you actually look better.

  5. Honestly I don’t know how much I buy it (the longevity/food relationship). But the recipe looks fantastic anyway so I would definitely love a p[eek at the book!

  6. Honestly I don’t know how much I buy it (the longevity/food relationship). But the recipe looks fantastic anyway so I would definitely love to add the book to my collection!

  7. Christine Mayfield says:

    I think research shows the better food we eat the longer we will live, Lord willing. I think that the food doesn’t have to be organic (which can be ridiculously expensive) just whole and natural. Not only could we live longer by eating better food but I think happier lives too.

  8. I think food is a crucial part to living longer. My grandmother lived to be 97 and I am a firm believer a large component of that was her healthy eating. I often tell people I try to adapt my diet to match the way she ate.

  9. Melonie Bendza says:

    Anyone have any healthy ideas for substitutions for the almond flour for a family with nut allergies?

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      You could use a gluten-free mix as a substitute. To keep this on the healthier side, try to use one that has some whole grains in it.

  10. I absolutely believe the foods we choose directly relates to how we feel, and for how long! I would love to have her Cancer Fighting Kitchen (should have had it all year for my Dad, actually…), and I would love this book as well!

  11. There is absolutely a connection between longevity and food.

  12. These brownies look wonderful!

  13. The brownies and cookbook both sound amazing!

  14. Food & longevity…makes sense to me!

  15. Nothing NOT to love about these brownies and looks like a fabulous book!

  16. I can’t wait to try these! My daughter will be thrilled to have brownies again as well. Now I’m very curious about the book!

  17. Wonderful! I’m a strong believer in good food = a long and happy life

  18. Maribel Reyes says:

    I strongly believe it is related, what we eat impacts our health and well being. My family has a history of Diabetes and heart disease so last year I changed my lifestyle to change my life for the better, I’ve felt better than ever eating healthier I have also accomplished a better blood pressure, better than before my 30s!

  19. Looks delicious!

  20. Looks good!

  21. crysanna says:

    I love any excuse to eat brownies !!!!

  22. Wow these look wonderful. Love that they are gluten free.

  23. I think food and longevity are directly related to each other and to your health.

  24. These brownies sound Fabulous I can’t wait to try the recipe! I think good clean healthy food can help you to live a longer life. Only putting in the good stuff can keep away the bad.

  25. I would love a copy of the cookbook!!

  26. I think one can only live a long life if they develop a healthy relationship with food.

  27. Ng Qi Yan says:

    we are what we eat! Healthy food increases the chance for us to have a healthy body! =)

  28. I do believe that the food we eat has a lot to do with our health. I also think that genetics plays a role in how long we live.

  29. I believe the saying you are what you eat. It makes so much sense if you put a ton of chemicals and junk in your body then you are going to feel like junk.

  30. The food we eat has everything to do with our health. We make a choice at every meal. This book looks very interesting. I would love to have it and I’m going to try the brownies.

  31. i think it’s totally true that everything we intake affects our body somehow.

  32. Don’t enter me in the giveaway but you know I believe in food as medicine. YUM!

  33. I would love to have these brownies right now for breakfast! Gosh, these are amazing. Can’t believe they’re healthy! I hope I win the giveaway — would love to get my hands on this amazing cookbook! Thanks for sharing, Jeanette!

  34. I honestly think that food is relative to quality of living. Longevity, I feel is whatever the maker makes of it. With that being said, GO QUALITY!!!

  35. Oh and any recipe with the words “insane” and “chocolate” in it, is going in my notebook, baby!!

  36. I can’t wait to try these! I am an avid baker, and just started gluten free. My sister is a vegan. So these recipes will be perfect!

  37. Sugar robs our body of nutrients. It is so important to curb the craving for it. Otherwise I wonder how much my body retains from the veggies I force myself to eat. Are all of those age fighting anti-oxidants working 100%?

  38. Good food along with the right attitude and genes and the super foods will probably help in adding longevity to your life.

  39. I think the relation between food and longevity is very complicated, since health depends on a lot of other factors too (my great-grandpa ate sausages and fried dough every day, in addition to smoking and drinking, and lived until he was 96!). That said, I definitely think there is a positive correlation between healthy eating and living a long time!

  40. I think there is a role of good nutrition in health, but there are also lots of other factors!

  41. Food is certainly one of the best keys to health and longevity, what we put in our bodies is one of the most important things we do in terms of wellness.

  42. rachel rausch johnson says:

    I almost didn’t pin this, but the title was a clue. I LOVE brownies and am gluten and processed sugar free. This looks fantastic and I’m very interested in the book. My mother and sister had/have cancer (My mom lost to it). Too many of my friends have been diagnosed. I suggest any thing I can use to help them deal with the side effects joyfully!

  43. I think most people underestimate the connection between the food you eat and length [and healthfulness!] of your life. After a few medical scares in my family recently, we’ve been focusing a lot more on eating the right foods. It’s been a fantastic challenge to make delicious dishes using simple and natural ingredients!

  44. Always happy to try a new GF brownie recipe!! Looks like a good one – thanks.

    And I agree — food is very important to longevity. If we are not feeding our body what it needs, how can we expect it to thrive?

  45. I’ve never seen a gluten free brownie look SO fluffy and delicious! I MUST try these!

  46. It is so difficult to find good gluten free recipes. Thanks for sharing this!!!

  47. Gina Chun says:


  48. i love sweet treats, and my husband is trying to go GF, so these are perfect. thank you!!

  49. There is a tremendous relationship between food and longevity. Just being diagnosed with diverticulitis, and not being able to eat has been devastating not to mention hearing that I need to change my diet, omitting wheat, grains, and gluten. However, I understand the correlation between the “bad” foods that are causing inflammation in my body and the diverticulitis, which makes me realize that in order to live a long,healthy life, I must eat healthy and clean.

  50. Been watching a lot of people close to me battle cancer. So good to start seeing all these resources arise to help future generations fight chronic disease. I’m afraid to make the brownies…. I’d eat them all myself!

  51. Food is powerful! We are given many opportunities in the day to make “good” (whatever that is for your lifestyle) choices :) Thanks… These brownies look divine!

  52. Healthy food leads to healthier lives.

  53. It makes sense that if you eat foods that nourish the cells of the body, you will live longer. Food needs to taste good, too.

  54. Holly Alexander says:

    We need food to survive….for 14 years I had been sick, and did not realize that it was food that was doing it! It was a hard blow at first to find out I had Celiac, but not wanting to feel bad any longer I dove straight in to a gluten free lifestyle. It has been a bumpy road trying find out the do’s and the dont’s, but books and recipes like this are heaven for a girl trying to survive in a gfree world! Not to mention springing this on my husband and 2 teenagers, but they can see the difference food makes you body react, their just slow to try the healthier food….that’s why this book would be great!!
    Thanks for sharing this book and yummy recipe!

  55. Healthy eating is so important for a healthy body .

  56. I think that food plays a vital role in not only longevity but also in quality of life.

  57. Thank you for introducing me to this book! Excited to start reading it.

  58. Eating healthy definitely contributes to a healthier body. The most junk you put in your body, the more your chances of getting certain diseases down the line.

  59. I know nothing about the link between genetics and food, but eating healthy always makes me feel better. And the recipe…wow! That brownie recipe looks so delicious.

  60. I will give these brownies a try. They look and sound very healthy. The cookbook would be a lovely addition to my other cookbooks as I love to cook and bake. It’s so rewarding.

  61. Natalie S says:

    There is definitely a strong positive correlation between longevity and the type of food one eats.

  62. Definitely a relationship, look at all the preservatives, dyes, and genetically modified stuff out there. Makes me think about our expanding waistlines, increased numbers of ADHD kids out there, kids with adult diseases

  63. My goshes, these look great! The book looks so healthy and the amount of food that I can make simply and eat guilt free is astounding. Definitely must get the book.

  64. I think that food and longevity are very important…I am believing more and more that you are what you eat.

  65. I am believing more and more that you are what you eat. I do think that food plays an important part in your health and longevity.

  66. Stephanie says:

    These look great! Yum!

  67. Should the recipe read to gradually add half of the melted chocolate then the flour then the remaining chocolate? Hope my question is not redundant. I only quickly scanned the comments and did not see anyone else mention this. Recipe looks delicious!!!!

  68. I love finding healthier alternatives to the foods we love!

  69. An absolutely fabulous recipe!! I’m not familiar with either book, but I’m thinking that both the cancer book and this one belong on my shelf!! Thank you for the review and introduction.

  70. Looks like a great recipe & am really interested in checking out the book too. After 3yrs with my nutritionist I KNOW there is a connection between food & longevity.

  71. I have been looking for a brownie recipe for ages. I have wasted tons of ingredients trying to make a paleo brownie. These are really good brownies but next time I would reduce the olive oil and bake for a little less time for a more fudgey texture.

  72. What a great review. I’m looking for books like this to take with me to the fire tower. I can’t wait to buy it. Thank you for introducing me to it. PS the brownies look fudgy and amazing. I was pleased to see how simple the ingredients were.

  73. These brownies truly live up to their name….I just took a bite…they are truly insanely good! The only changes I made were that I used almond meal instead of flour because it is what I had, and crushed macadamian nuts for the walnuts….these brownies are fabulous!…….says she who is licking the plate as she types!

    • PS: my son, who won’t eat anything GF, loved them!

    • Lisa – so glad you tried these and liked them! Almond meal is similar to almond flour – I think the only difference might be that almond meal has some of the skins in it which work just as well – I’ve used that before too. Love your idea of crushed macadamia nuts!

  74. Just made these. I skipped cinnamon, because hubby gets a heartburn from it. But, I’ll sprinkle some over my serving. Also, I didn’t notice the recipe calls for 8oz of chocolate, so ended up buying only 4oz. Finally, I used canola oil and organic coconut sugar, as that was what I had in the pantry. Oh, and I didn’t use walnuts since optional – but, I imagine that would take these brownies to the next level. Very easy gluten-free recipe. The brownies are cooling on my kitchen counter as I type this…can’t wait to try them! Tx!

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