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Healthy Snack of the Week: Baking Brownies for Halloween and Beyond

Halloween Brownies

Brownies are a quintessential snack time treat.

They’re easy to make, easy to transport, and easy freeze for future use.

Come holiday time—like Halloween—they’re also easy to decorate in spooktacular fashion.

decorated brownies

But, you ask, how do we make a more healthy brownie that retains all that chocolate, gooey goodness of a decadent dessert?

Cynthia Myers, on, offers five tips for healthier brownie ingredients:

  • Substitute white whole wheat flour for half of the flour in a recipe. Your brownies will taste lighter and contain more fiber.
  • Replace up to half the butter or oil (and half the fat) in a recipe with applesauce, prune puree or mashed white beans. Note that this will reduce cooking time by 25 percent.
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in a typical recipe by one-third. No one will know the difference.
  • To reduce fat, replace every ounce of melted baking chocolate in a recipe with three tablespoons of cocoa.
  • Using two egg whites in place of each egg in a recipe will reduce cholesterol and fat.

ghost brownies

At her website Chocolate Covered Katie—The Healthy Dessert Blog, Katie Higgins offers several spins on traditional brownies, incorporating unsweetened applesauce and zucchini among other ingredients. Her brownie bars with applesauce check in at 138 calories, including mini chocolate chips.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Brownie

The recipe is adapted from a blonde zucchini bar recipe with chocolate chips (111 calories each).


And check out this flourless recipe for brownies made with black beans.

black-bean-brownie-recipe offers numerous recipes for healthier brownies, including one for “slimmed-down brownies”  (125 calories), featuring non-fat Greek yogurt, and another for vegan brownies made with spinach. suggests a 147-calorie recipe for chewy brownies. Made with low-fat milk, fewer eggs, and less sugar and butter than traditional brownies, the result is a lower-fat delight.

Using reduced-fat cream cheese enables this recipe for cheesecake brownies to come in at 200 calories each.

cheesecake brownie

For more Halloween-themed creative recipes beyond brownies, be sure to check out

Brownie cookie graveyard

Be sure to look for more Snack of the Week suggestions and information on healthy eating on Learning Liftoff’s food pages. If you have a favorite healthy brownie recipe, please don’t hesitate to share!

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Seth Livingstone

Seth Livingstone is a veteran writer and editor who has spent much of his career in sports journalism covering multiple Olympic Games, Super Bowls, World Series, and Daytona 500s. He covered the Boston Red Sox throughout the 1980s and 1990s before joining USA Today and Baseball Weekly in 1999. He maintains his membership in the Baseball Writers Association of America and is a Hall of Fame voter. Seth holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and has also worked as a substitute teacher (all grades and subjects). He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and has two grown children.

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