Best Ever Salted-Caramel Brownies

(gluten-free, grain-free, with a low-carb/sugar-free and Keto version)

Once in a while a very special recipe comes along that ticks all the boxes: 

  • Most delicious —————- you’ve ever tasted!
  • Requires very few ingredients
  • Simple and quick to make
  • Really healthy

This recipe is it, and I’m so excited to share it with you! 

Recently I’ve been seeing this grain-free, paleo, vegan brownie recipe circulating around social media, everyone’s raving about it. Well I took inspiration from this recipe and made it even healthier AND tastier with @LIVA date sugar and my son OLIVER’s salted caramel sauce! ( he and his dad made salted caramel sauce for ice cream a few days ago, I used the leftovers in this recipe, see the recipe at the bottom of this post) 

Instead of coconut sugar called for in the original recipe, I used @livafoods date sugar. Date sugar has many health benefits over coconut sugar. Firstly it is made by grinding the whole fruit so it is not technically added sugar. Coconut sugar is made from the sap of the coconut palm tree, it is more refined. Since date sugar is literally ground-up dates, it contains all the nutrients found in dates: fibre, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese and iron. 

Another surprising ingredient  in these brownies- tahini! Not just for hummus, tahini can be used in baking to replace the oil or fat ingredient.  Tahini is made from ground up sesame seeds, its a whole food containing anti-inflammatory mono-unsaturated fats and bone building minerals calcium, phosphorus and manganese. 

I recommend you a high quality raw cacao powder such as @giddyyoyo Wild Ecuadorian Heirloom Cacao powder, not only does it tastes better, it is  rich in polyphenols, which have significant health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved cholesterol levels.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup date sugar @livafoods (or coconut sugar if you can’t find date sugar)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder @giddyyo
  • 1 tablespoon almond flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (dairy free if desired) + a bit more for sprinkling on top 
  • Salted caramel sauce (scroll down for recipe)
  • Skor bits, for sprinkling on top  (optional but tasty addition)
  • a sprinkling of course sea salt, e.g. Maldon Sea Salt Flakes

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan with melted coconut oil.
  • In a large bowl, combine the tahini, date sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract and eggs until smooth and well combined. Gently fold in cocoa powder, coconut /almond flour, salt and baking soda until batter is smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup chocolate chips into the batter. 
  • Carefully pour the batter in the square-baking pan and spread evenly with a spatula.  
  • Drizzle with salted caramel sauce, and sprinkle with more chocolate chips and Skor bits (optional)
  • Bake for 25 minutes, insert a knife in the middle and if it comes out clean then it’s done. Do not over-bake.
  • Let cool completely before cutting into squares.  
  • The brownies have a cakey texture fresh out of the oven, after it is refrigerated it becomes denser and fudgier, the way I like my brownies!

LOW-CARB/KETO INGREDIENT SWAPS

-replace sugar, date or coconut sugar with Swerve Sweetener Sugar Replacement (made low-carb, low-calorie with monkfruit extract and erythritol)

-replace maple syrup with Lakanto Maple Flavoured Sugar-free Syrup (made low-carb, low-calorie monkfruit extract and erythritol)

-replace chocolate chips with Lily’s Chocolate Chips (made with stevia)

OLIVER’S SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar or Swerve Sweetener Sugar Replacement
  • 3 Tablespoons  salted butter, room temperature cut up into 6 pieces
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream (35% M.F.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat granulated sugar or Swerve Sweetener Sugar Replacement in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN, or your caramel sauce will have a burnt taste!
  2. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
  3. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2 minutes. If you notice the butter separating, remove from heat and vigorously whisk to combine it again. Keep whisking until it comes back together, even if it takes 3-4 minutes. It will eventually– just keep whisking. Return to heat when it’s combined again.)
  4. Very slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup of whipping cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble when added. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Allow to slightly cool down before using. Caramel thickens as it cools.
  6. Cover tightly and store for up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Caramel solidifies in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove to desired consistency.

Author: vickinutritionist

As a graduate with honours from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Toronto, Vicki is a Registered Nutrition Consultant Practitioner, also holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Toronto. Before founding Health by Nutrition™, Vicki worked as manager and principal nutritionist at Canada's largest weight management and nutrition centre. During her tenure, she helped hundreds of clients lose weight and reach their health goals. Her experience and extensive training in weight management and holistic nutrition makes her an exceptional coach to become your partner in success. Vicki is a professional member in good standing with the Canadian Association of Natural Nutrition Practitioners.

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