Author: Laura Gummerman,Cake,Desserts,Food,Healthy,Sweet,

Healthy Chocolate Orange Brownies  Do you remember those chocolate oranges that came wrapped in foil and could only be eaten after you gave the orange a good whack on a hard surface to separate the "slices" inside? Those oranges were one of my favorite parts of Christmas growing up, and they may be why I still love the combination of chocolate and orange today. Since I've been trying to watch my refined sugar, gluten, and dairy intake over the past year, I've been trying out new recipes to find the best way to satisfy my sweet cravings. Here's a fudgy, rich brownie that has a pleasant hint of orange and no added sugar. Healthy Chocolate Orange Brownies      Chocolate Orange Brownies

1/4 cup barely ripe avocado
1 cup date syrup (I LOVE this stuff, so great!)
1/4 teaspoon stevia powder or 1/2 teaspoon stevia liquid

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup light tasting oil (like safflower, sunflower, or olive oil)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1/3 cup unsweetened plain or vanilla almond milk
2 teaspoons instant coffee
3/4 cup gluten-free flour (use a brand that is a 1:1 ratio for regular flour)
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon psyllium husks 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/3 cup unsweetened carob chips

Note: If your grocery store doesn't carry them, check your local health food store for the date syrup, stevia powder/liquid, psyllium husks, and unsweetened carob chips (or check the links if you don't have a health food store nearby). These are all items that I use a lot in healthy baking, so they are great products to have on hand.Healthy Chocolate Orange Brownies       Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil an 8" x 8" baking pan, or line pan with parchment paper.

In a food processor, add the avocado, date syrup, stevia, vanilla, oil, flax, almond milk, and instant coffee. Blend until smooth. Add in the flour, oat flour, cacao, psyllium husks, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and carob chips. Blend until all the ingredients are incorporated (the batter should be pretty thick). Healthy Chocolate Orange Brownies
Add the orange zest and orange extract, and blend to combine. The amount of orange listed will result in a light orange flavor, so you can add a bit more extract to taste at this point if you want a stronger flavor. Stir in the carob chips by hand.

Scrape the batter into the pan and spread flat with the back of a spoon (the batter will be really sticky, but do your best to spread it flat). Bake for 25-30 minutes, but check frequently after the 25 minute point. I take the brownies out when all but the bottom 1/2" of the toothpick comes out clean—this gives the brownies a fudgy consistency once they cool, but you can leave them in longer for more of a cake-like result. Allow the brownies to cool for 15 minutes (if you can!) and then dig in!Healthy Chocolate Orange Brownies    Healthy Chocolate Orange Brownies   Healthy Chocolate Orange Brownies     If the taste buds at the ABM studio are any indication, this brownie is one that will please both those who love and fear the term "healthy dessert." Hope you get a chance to make your own batch soon! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman, Photos edited using Piper from the Signature Collection


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