Heavenly Guilt-Free Fudgy Date Brownies (Gluten-Free)

Photo: Alinakho

Confession: I have a sweet tooth. I've tried different things to tame it, but the more I've come to know my body and my cravings, the more I've realized that it's just the way I'm programmed.

Over the past few years, however, my idea of sweets has changed dramatically. Long gone are the days that I would reach for a 100-calorie cookie or cake pack.

Since studying to become a Certified Health Coach, I've learned about what real, healthy eating is. I've also learned that I can have the occasional bite of something sweet — but it's typically something sweet that I've made for myself. I no longer reach for foods that are filled with artificial sweeteners and flavors and void of nutrition. Instead, I search for delicious, natural sweets (dates are now what I consider nature's candy).

Unsweetened, dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and falls under both the "superfoods" and "good mood foods" categories for me because it has been known to increase serotonin levels in the brain (serotonin is one of our "feel-good" hormones).

So, indulge your sweet tooth with one of these guilt-free brownies! They are far healthier for you than any low-calorie snack pack will ever be.

Fudgy Date Brownies Recipe (Gluten-Free)

Photo: Alinakho

Prep time: 15 minutes. Bake time: 20 minutes. Total time: 35 minutes. Makes 16 brownies.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour the hot water over the dates in a bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Drain the water from the dates and place the dates in the bowl of a food processor or in a blender. Process the dates until they are smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the almond flour, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla and sea salt to the food processor or blender. Process again until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Spread the mixture into an 8x8-inch pan, greased with coconut oil. Bake for 20 minutes, and allow to cool before cutting.

Cut brownies into 16 square pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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