Chocolatey low-sugar brownies


Chill out, everybody!

If you are looking for a low-sugar double-chocolate brownie that your children will devour, look no further. Each moist chocolatey square satisfies with two kinds of chocolate. The squares are sweetened with only 1/4 cup maple syrup and the sugar from the semisweet chocolate chips, plus one secret ingredient. No, it’s not marijuana.

Our secret ingredient is our favorite veggie, sweet potato. This potato also subs for flour in this recipe, contributing  starchy bulk and a slew of vitamins and minerals, as well as sweetness.

Nutritionists suggest we aim for 5 grams of sugar in a serving of food. Each of our brownies has only 6 grams of sugar. So we are in the ballpark with this recipe. Meanwhile, a Tim Horton’s brownie has six times this amount of sugar (37 grams) in every square.

One of our  brownies comes in at 135 calories, compared with 480 calories for the Tim Horton’s biggie.

Most people put the taste factor over the top for these goodies, so why not try them and see for yourselves. They are well worth the effort.


Twice-the-chocolate low-sugar brownies
Makes 24 squares

  • 1 medium sweet potato cooked and peeled (about 1 cup or 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup (4.5 ounces) almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) coconut oil (or unsalted butter)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (2 ounces) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (5 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (plus a small handful to scatter on top)


  1. Line a 13-inch-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches hanging over the sides for easy removal of the cooked slab of brownies.
  2. Measure out all your ingredients.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F (180C)
  4. Put the sweet potato, almond butter, coconut oil, egg, and egg yolk in a food processor. Process until all the lumps from the potato are gone, about 1 minute.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the maple syrup and vanilla. Process about 30 seconds, until you have a uniform color.
  6. Add the three dry ingredients and process another minute, until the batter is smooth. Then fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Using a spatula, pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Work quickly. Scatter the handful of chips that you had reserved evenly across the top.
  8. Change the oven setting to bake and pop the pan into the oven. Bake until the top is set and a toothpick comes out dry (27-30 minutes). Test at 27 minutes. Mine needed another 3 minutes and came out perfect.
  9. Put the pan on a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Then loosen the sides around the edge of the pan with a knife and lift the brownie slab onto a wire rack to continue cooling. Pull the sides of the paper taut while lifting, to keep the brownie from cracking down the middle.
  10. When completely cool, transfer to a wooden board and cut the slab into 24 squares.
  11. Store in an airtight container for up to three days. Ours were as moist as ever on the second day but they didn’t last long enough for a test on day 3.


This recipe is inspired by one I saw in Half the sugar all the love by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Anisha Patel. My only change is to reduce the chocolate chips by 1/4 of a cup and 2 tablespoons. In the original recipe, the sugar clocked in at 7 grams a serving and the calories were 145 per square, just a little too high for Vinny’s readers.

Next time I try this recipe, I’ll reduce the coconut oil to 1/3 of a cup, for an even lower number of calories per serving. Coconut oil has a healthier fat profile than butter and you can use less for the same effect. We’ll see.

The almond butter was wonderful. I haven’t tried these with peanut butter instead of almond butter, but if you want a more economical brownie, you can see how that goes. I suggest using peanut butter pureed at a health food store to ensurre there is no added sugar in the product.

One brownie provides 10% of your daily requirement for fiber and one-third of the daily requirement for vitamin A. There are also smaller amounts of iron, calcium and vitamin C  in each bite.

An aside: The new edibles

If ever you decide to add, well, you know, some legal pot to this recipe, please share the result with me LOL. I hear you have to be accurate with the dose and wait patiently for up to an hour to feel the effects.

Second helpings are not advised. I understand that you can get wildly psychotic and violently ill from over-doing it with edibles.

Marijuana interferes with the development of the brain in young people up to the age of 22 years old. But pot in edible products can now legally be bought in Ontario at 18 years of age. Take care.


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