As a dietitian, I love sneaking in hidden veggies and nutrients into my recipes including these Healthy Flourless Pumpkin Brownies which are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and have the perfect fudgy texture.
Why You Should Make this Healthy Flourless Pumpkin Brownies Recipe
Ingredients for Pumpkin Brownies
Almond flour forms the base of these brownies and is a gluten-free alternative to traditional all-purpose flour. It also adds additional fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
Oat flour is another gluten-free alternative to wheat flour and adds a delicate and crumbly consistency to the brownies.
This recipe uses dutch cacao powder which is a smoother, milder, and less acidic cocoa powder, but you can substitute with any cacao powder that you have.
Baking powder acts as the leavening agent in this recipe so that the brownies rise and are less dense.
For natural sweetness, coconut sugar is a healthier alternative to refined sugar and adds a subtle coconut flavor to the brownies.
Pumpkin puree adds essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and potassium as well as moisture content so the brownies remain tender and moist.
Flax seeds play a crucial role in making these brownies egg-free and suitable for a vegan diet.
When combined with water, they create a flax egg, effectively binding the ingredients together.
A subtle touch of balsamic vinegar adds a hint of acidity to the brownies, balancing the overall sweetness and intensifying the depth of flavor.
Substitutions for Ingredients
To cater to various dietary preferences and needs, here are some substitutions you can consider:
- Almond Flour: If you don't have almond flour on hand, other nut flours like cashew or hazelnut flour can be used as a substitute.
- Oat Flour: To make these brownies grain-free, you can replace oat flour with additional almond flour, keeping the brownies entirely gluten-free.
- Coconut Sugar: If you don't have coconut sugar, you can use brown sugar or another granulated sugar of choice.
- Cacao Powder: For an extra dose of chocolatey goodness, you can sprinkle dark chocolate chips on top of the brownie batter.
- Balsamic Vinegar: You can substitute balsamic vinegar with red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Brownies
- High in Fiber: With 3 grams of fiber per serving, these brownies help promote fullness and aid digestion.
- Rich in Antioxidants: Cacao powder is a superfood packed with antioxidants that help combat free radicals in the body.
- Good Source of Vitamins and Minerals: Pumpkin puree brings a dose of vitamins A and C, as well as essential minerals like potassium.
Variations of Flourless Brownies
- Gluten-Free Flourless Pumpkin Brownies. For those with gluten sensitivities, our base recipe is already gluten-free. However, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats if you want to eliminate any cross-contamination.
- Dairy-Free Flourless Pumpkin Brownies. This recipe is naturally dairy free and make sure to use dairy-free chocolate chips or cocoa powder.
- Keto Flourless Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies. If you're following a keto diet, adjust the sweetener to a keto-friendly alternative like stevia, monk fruit, or allulose.
- Vegan Flourless Pumpkin Brownies with Chocolate Swirls. To make these brownies entirely plant-based, ensure you're using dairy-free chocolate for the chocolate swirls.
Add-Ins for Flourless Pumpkin Brownies
For extra flavor and texture, consider incorporating these add-ins:
- Almond Butter: A dollop of almond butter provides a creamy, nutty addition.
- Cocoa Powder: If you're a chocolate enthusiast, add extra cocoa powder for a richer taste.
- Chocolate Chips: Sprinkle some chocolate chips on top of the brownie batter for melty, chocolatey goodness or into batter to melt during the baking process.
- Pumpkin Spice: Add additional pumpkin flavor with a dash of pumpkin spice.
Tips for making the perfect brownies
- Let the Brownies Cool in the Pan: After baking, resist the temptation to cut into the brownies immediately. Allow them to cool in the pan for some time. This step helps the brownies maintain their shape and prevents them from falling apart.
- Check Leavening Agents: Verify the expiration date of leavening agents like baking powder. Expired leavening agents may not provide the rise and fluffiness your brownies need.
- Monitor Baking Time: Keep a close eye on the baking time. Overbaking can result in dry and crumbly brownies. Follow the recommended baking time and perform the toothpick test mentioned earlier to determine doneness.
- Let Flax Egg Thicken: When using a flax egg as an egg substitute, ensure that it thickens adequately. A well-prepared flax egg helps bind the ingredients together and contributes to the desired brownie texture.
How to Store Brownies
Once your brownies are baked and cooled, store them in an airtight container or wrap them in plastic wrap. This helps preserve their freshness and prevents them from drying out.
How Long Do They Last?
Flourless pumpkin brownies can last up to five days at room temperature or longer if refrigerated. For extended storage, freeze them for up to three months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are These Brownies Healthy?
Yes, these brownies offer a healthier option compared to traditional brownies.
They are rich in fiber and provide essential vitamins and minerals from pumpkin. Plus, they are adaptable to various dietary preferences, including vegan, dairy-free, oil-free, and refined sugar-free.
What Are Some Healthy Toppings for Flourless Pumpkin Brownies?
I love adding almond butter, yogurt, or some nuts and seeds on top of my brownies as nutritious toppings.
What Are Some Common Substitutions for Flour in Flourless Brownies?
Substitutions for flour in pumpkin brownies include using almond flour, coconut flour, or other nut flours for a gluten-free alternative.
How Do You Make Flourless Pumpkin Brownies with a Chocolate Swirl?
To make Flourless Pumpkin Brownies with a chocolate swirl, melt dairy-free chocolate chips and drizzle them over the brownie batter.
Then, use a toothpick or a knife to create a marbled pattern for a stunning visual effect and added chocolatey goodness.
Flourless Pumpkin Brownies (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
For the Dry Ingredients (sifted):
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup oat flour
- ⅓ cup Dutch cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons Dutch cacao powder for intense chocolate flavor
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
For the Flax Egg:
- 2 tablespoon flax seeds
- ½ cup water
For the Wet Ingredients:
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Create the flax egg by mixing 2 tablespoons of flax seeds with ½ cup of water. Set it aside for about 5-10 minutes until it thickens.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease an 8x8-inch square pan.
- Sift the dry ingredients: In a bowl, sift together the almond flour, oat flour, ⅓ cup of Dutch cacao powder, the additional 2 tablespoons of Dutch cacao powder, baking powder, coconut sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.
- In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, the prepared flax egg, balsamic vinegar, and vanilla extract until you have a smooth batter.
- Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth.
- Pour the brownie batter into the greased baking dish, spreading it evenly.
- Bake the brownies in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Once baked, remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool in the pan.
- After cooling, slice the brownies into squares or your desired serving size.
- Flax Egg Substitute: The flax egg, made by combining flax seeds with water, serves as an egg substitute in this recipe. It provides binding and moisture, making the brownies wonderfully fudgy. If you prefer, you can use a traditional egg as an alternative.
- Sifting Dry Ingredients: Sifting the dry ingredients is an essential step in achieving a smooth and well-blended batter. It helps to evenly distribute the almond flour, oat flour, cacao powder, baking powder, coconut sugar, and pumpkin pie spice for the perfect texture.
- Choice of Dutch Cacao Powder: Dutch cacao powder is used for its deep, rich chocolate flavor. However, if you don't have Dutch cacao powder, regular cocoa powder can be used as a substitute.
- Sweetness Level: The use of coconut sugar provides a mild and natural sweetness. If you prefer a sweeter taste, you can adjust the amount of coconut sugar to your liking. Maple syrup or honey can also be used as alternatives.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: The addition of pumpkin pie spice infuses the brownies with warm, autumnal flavors. If you don't have this spice blend, you can make your own by combining cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
- Variation Options: Feel free to get creative with your brownies. You can add in extras like chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or dried fruits for added texture and flavor.
- Cooling Time: Allowing the brownies to cool in the pan after baking is crucial for setting their texture. They will become firmer as they cool, making them easier to slice.
- Storage: Store your flourless pumpkin brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. If you want to extend their freshness, refrigeration is also an option.
If you love healthy desserts like this recipe for healthy flourless pumpkin brownies, you'll love some of my other dessert recipes.
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