Baking with Almond Flour | Brownie Bonanza
Baking Brownies with Almond Flour
Baking brownies with almond flour allows us to work with several healthy brownies recipes. In the process of discovering the best recipes for brownies when baking with almond flour, I quickly found that just like with all other almond flour baking we must find ways to create binding and achieve the rise of the flour.
Depending on what items you are baking with almond flour determines what type of texture and results you will be seeking. If you are a brownie lover like myself and a healthy food nut, you might be on the search for healthy brownie recipes. Sometimes with healthy brownie recipes, we lose the sweetness and the moistness that make brownies so unique. I have learned that when baking with almond flour, it is imperative to ensure the recipes have the right ingredient combinations to help keep the moistness that a good brownie should have.
The good news is there are many different ways that you can bake brownies with almond flour and retain the proper moistness to keep them chewy and gooey.
Interestingly enough, when baking brownies with almond flour the adjustments or conversion ratio to flour was not that far off from a traditional brownie recipe. The compensating factors were more about keeping the brownie from getting dry. When you are using eggs as a way to help bind your baked product together they are a great tool, however, they also can give your baked goods more of a cake-like texture. While a cake-like texture is okay, we still want that soft, moist gooeyness in the middle that a brownie should have. In the journey of experimenting with different healthy brownies recipes, I found that some of the healthier ones were the best ones.
The Paleo Brownie Bites are sugar-free brownies, using stevia to add in the sweetness. They turned out to be the driest although you could add in some Homemade Almond Butter, to add some moisture to them while still keeping it paleo diet-friendly. The only nut butter in a paleo diet that is not approved is peanut butter. Although I could use a variety of different nut butters when baking, it seems like the almond butter is the best choice for health and result reasons. Two other options that would make the Paleo Brownie Bites a bit moister would be apple sauce or ripe bananas. However, by using these ingredients they would not be paleo-friendly brownies anymore, so I worked with ingredients to keep them paleo diet friendly.
One of the things I noticed when experimenting with baking with almond flour and making Easy Vegan Brownies is that the flax eggs help give the gooey brownie texture and moisture. I also included vegan chocolate chips in this recipe and goji berries. The goji berries mostly impacted the flavor and nutritional value versus the texture. However, I learned that by adding chocolate chips to your brownies you could immediately increase the gooey factor and the chocolate flavoring. Although I am not a vegan, these Vegan Brownies are one of my all-time favorites.
The recipe for the Almond Flour Brownies are a good basic recipe, and you can enhance them in a variety of ways. I highly recommend adding in your nuts of choice. Personally, I like a good walnut in my brownies, but you can also add in almonds, cashews, or pistachios. You can also add frosting to the top or even sneak in some raspberries or blueberries in the middle. Out of all the almond flour brownie recipes I worked with, this recipe is the closest to a traditional brownie recipe that I found. Rather than substituting the butter or sugar with other ingredients, we used them, but they also can be replaced with healthier items if desired.
Our Gluten Free Brownie, which is also another alternative for the Almond Flour Brownie, incorporates some of the more healthy baking ingredient options. It is not only gluten-free but also vegan and dairy-free. In this mix of ingredients, we have included almond butter, flax eggs, coconut milk, and coconut oil. We also have used a combination of stevia and dates as the sweetener rather than sugar. The results are so good and also good for you.
Of course, when we modify any recipe with a healthier rendition there will be slight fluctuations in flavoring and texture. What I have found to be very exciting is that you can make these modifications and still enjoy a dessert that maybe you would just not even consider eating due to the calorie count or other health issues. I have found that when someone is just beginning to follow a healthier eating plan, the differences in flavors on the palette are much more noticeable than after a 21-day adjustment.
The addictions to things like butter, flour, and refined sugars will suddenly subside, and you will find enjoyment in the same treats baked with healthier options like gluten-free flour, bananas, maple syrup, dates, honey, and other alternative sugar sweeteners. Also, when baking with almond flour, you are never making a sacrifice because almond flour in itself has a very yummy flavor. The biggest adjustment when baking with almond flour is slight alterations in texture, and there are usually conversion ratios and combinations of ingredients because almond flour tends to be heavier and doesn’t contain gluten which is what helps things bind and rise when baking.
What I have found in working with this Baking with Almond Flour series of blogs, is that there are so many different ways you can do it and still make your baked goods marvelous. We are going back to our roots. More and more people are starting to value the simple basic foods that our grandparents and their grandparents ate. We are coming back to wholesome foods rather than chemically based foods that are filled with additives and preservatives. This shift in foods we eat is inviting an awaking of creativity across the culinary board as more and more people are finding ways to still enjoy their favorite treats, baked goods, and dishes, but in a much healthier way.
These healthier options, like using nuts to replace dairy, flour, and relying on alternative sweeteners to sugar are going to help us on a larger scale to improve the overall health and well-being of our nation. It’s no longer about being sugar-free or low-fat as we have learned that some fats are not only good, they are essential for our health. We are also learning that there are alternative ways to sweeten things up rather than relying on refined, processed sugars. The more educated we become, the more popular these new choices become. After all, we all want to look and feel good. If we can still enjoy foods that taste good and remind us of some of our favorite foods, like brownies, chocolate, bread, muffins, cookies, and more but leave us lighter and feeling better overall, we may all start to make more healthful choices.
The old myth that healthy has to taste bad, or that we’re missing out on something better is being exposed. It doesn’t mean that we can never enjoy a favorite dessert, snack or treat using some of the less healthful ingredients, however, we can enjoy treats more often and make them with more healthy options instead. I know as a new aunt, I want to share with my niece, not only healthier options to snack on, but also for her parents and my parents as they are aging. It is equally important, if not more important that we are all being more mindful of our lifestyle and food options. Ultimately these innovative ways of baking and cooking are going to help us all improve our longevity and quality of life by making choices that will benefit our bodies to thrive and not just survive.
I encourage you to try some of these recipes out in your kitchen. Leave your excuses to the side. These recipes are easy, and we know you will be so thrilled in the end when you see how you can make your own healthy brownies at home in less than an hour. More importantly, you will be taking the best care of your body by making healthier choices when it comes to indulging in a sweet tooth. Pick your favorite brownie recipe today and just give it a try. I promise you will not regret it.
Written by Lisa Saremi