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Cristina Ferrare’s Healthy Brownies

Cristina Ferrare's brownies from "Food for Thought," her upcoming book.

When I started to experiment with the brownie recipe, I wanted to add nuts into the batter because I love nuts in everything! I needed to find out first if the brownie would be moist, and the texture would be pleasing. These brownie delivers that and more. It has a rich chocolate taste sure to please any chocolate lover. The best part is I can enjoy a dessert that doesn’t make me feel sorry I ate it afterwards. (This recipe is in my new cookbook, “Food for Thought” out on December 4.)

Cristina Ferrare, author of “Food for Thought.”

You can serve these brownies with a scoop of frozen yogurt, or dairy-free ice cream! These brownies are extremely delicate especially when they first come out of the oven. Cool the brownies on your kitchen counter for 1 hour. Do not remove from the muffin tin of pan. Cover the brownies with aluminum foil and make sure the foil does not touch the brownies. Let them rest overnight at room temperature before serving. This recipe makes 1 dozen.


4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Coconut organic cooking spray
1 cup garbanzo fava bean flour
¼ cup potato starch
2 Tablespoons arrowroot
½ cup unsweetened organic cocoa powder
1 cup Lakanto monk fruit sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup applesauce
2-1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 shots of espresso coffee or ½ cup strong brewed coffee
1-1/4 cups organic chocolate chips
½ cup chopped walnuts
edible flowers (available online)


Pre-heat oven to 325 F.

Heat in a double boiler; chocolate, coconut oil, vanilla. Use a wooden spoon to mix until chocolate has melted. Cool for 30 minutes off heat and pour into food grade plastic needle nose bottle. Store at room temperature.

Generously spray either 9”x9” baking pan or muffin tin with organic coconut spray.

In a bowl, mix together flour, potato starch, arrowroot, cocoa powder, Monk fruit sugar, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Pour in the coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla, coffee and mix together. Add to dry ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Pour the batter into the baking pan or use a tablespoon to scoop the batter into each muffin cup (if using) ¾’s of the way up. Bake the brownies on the center rack for 10 to 14 minutes. Check brownies while baking after 10 minutes, they should to be a little under baked.

Remove the brownies from the oven and let rest in the pans for 30 minutes to cool. Cover and let stand overnight.

When you’re ready to serve, run a butter knife around the edges of the brownies to loosen them.

Place on a baking rack over the top of the muffin tray and quickly turn it over. Take the brownies and use a sharp knife to cut them in half or in quarters. I like the ones that are quartered because I can just pop a delicious mouthful!

Arrange the brownies on a plate and drizzle over chocolate sauce, garnish with an edible flower. Edible flowers are available on line! Enjoy!

Check out other incredible, brain-healthy recipes in “Food for Thought”  — out on December 4! 




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