These Quinoa Fudge Brownies are dense and full of dark chocolate goodness, perfect for Valentine’s Day. No one will guess that these are actually healthy.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I met a lovely couple who happen to be vegetarians. I was instantly intrigued and started peppering the wife with questions about what she made for her daughter and her family. She told me that one of the desserts she made for her daughter’s school that was a huge success were Quinoa Brownies made with cooked quinoa. Hmmm…that’s something I’d never done nor thought of.
I’ve made several renditions of gluten-free brownies, but making brownies using cooked quinoa got my curiosity going. One of my boys used to love to make brownies when he was younger – he’d make the recipe right off of the Baker’s unsweetened chocolate square box. It was a one-bowl recipe which was the perfect kid-chef type of recipe.
I pulled up that old recipe and decided to use it as a base recipe, making substitutions along the way. The last brownies I made were these Insanely Good Chocolate Brownies from Rebecca Katz’s The Longevity Kitchen cookbook, which were made with lots of healthy whole ingredients such as almond flour, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, olive oil, maple syrup, and maple sugar.
This time around, I used avocado and coconut oil to substitute for the butter/oil component, and applesauce to cut the amount of sugar in the recipe. In addition, I chose maple syrup and raw organic coconut sugar for the sweeteners. A touch of vanilla, cinnamon and coffee add a little something special to these brownies.
Instead of a one-bowl recipe, this is a one-blender recipe. Everything gets blended up nice and smooth, including the cooked quinoa.
I brought these to our Women’s Bible Study where we’re studying the Book of Daniel and eating “Daniel Plan” friendly foods, which are essentially foods made with whole ingredients, nothing processed. Sugar is minimized too, which although these brownies do contain maple syrup and coconut sugar, a lot less is used than in typical brownie recipes, and these sweeteners are less processed than most.
The verdict? These Quinoa Brownies are moist and tender, and very chocolatey. They’re not overly sweet and I think would please dark chocolate lovers (to my liking, although my husband would have liked them sweeter).
For more ideas, check out my Healthy Valentine’s Day Recipes post.
Today, I’m participating in Food Network’s Comfort Food Feast where Comforting Valentine Desserts are being featured. Please be sure to check out what my fellow foodie friends made:
Feed Me Phoebe: Salted Caramel Budino with Whipped Cream
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Milk Chocolate Brownies
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: A Chocolate Fondue Party
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Blood Orange Bars
Dishing with Divya: Carrot Halwa
Virtually Homemade: Raspberry Grand Marnier Mascarpone Hand Pies
Devour: 5 Bread Pudding Recipes for Valentine’s Day
Weelicious: Puff Pastry Berry Hearts
Red or Green: Hot Chocolate, New Mexican Style
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chocolate Cake Brownies (Refined Sugar-Free)
The Sensitive Epicure: Nutella Panna Cotta
Haute Apple Pie: Valentine Cake Pops
FN Dish: DIY Chocolate Desserts for Valentine’s Day
Food for 7 Stages of Life: S’mores on a Stick
Tasting With The Eyes: Puff au Chocolat avec Fraises, Basilic, Fleur de Sel
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- ¾ cup high quality cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 packet Starbucks VIA© ready brew
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup organic raw coconut sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup organic virgin coconut oil
- ½ cup mashed avocado
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Spoon batter into 8" lightly greased square pan. Smooth top. Bake for 30 minutes.