*Double Chocolate Tahini Brownies* Hands. Down. Best. I've. Ever. Had. (Paleo & Grain-free)
MMMmmm, brownies! But wait, gluten-free brownies? Hold up... grain-free, butter-free, dairy-free, flour-free, refined sugar-free BROWNIES? Can those words even be used in the same sentence as the word brownie!? Shenanigans! My thoughts exactly...
TAHINI. Lots of people have no idea what this goodness even is but for me it holds a very special place in my heart. My Mom's biological Father passed away at a very young age and my Memaw got remarried to the man I came to know as my Papa. He adopted my mother and her four sisters and raised them as his own. My Papa was full-blooded Lebanese, so growing up I came to know and love Middle Eastern cuisine. Picture copius amounts of garlic and olive oil, often seasoned by lemon juice, fresh mint and parsley. Oh, and we can't forget the chickpeas... lots and lots of chickpeas. Tahini is a traditional Middle Eastern sauce made of toasted ground hulled sesame seeds, typically used as a condiment, as well as a staple for dishes like hummus and baba ghanouj. While you were sitting down with your family for Thanksgiving & Christmas diving into oven roasted turkey and grandma's stuffing, my family was diving into a feast of lamb, fatayar, damascus, dolmas, tabbouleh, my moms famous hummus and all the baklava our hearts could desire. Yeah, be jealous.
Nutritionally, tahini is pretty much a goldmine. A 2-tablespoon serving contains 178 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein and ZERO sugar. Don't be alarmed by the amount of fat in tahini! Only 2 out of the 16 grams are saturated, the rest are mono- and poly-unsaturated fats which are known to be beneficial to your heart and overall health. These fats can actually lower harmful cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack and stroke. Also, that same 2-tablespoon serving provides 30% of your RDV of thiamin, 24% of magnesium, 22% of phosphorus, 14% of iron, and 12% of calcium! A 1 oz serving of sesame seeds contains 3x more iron than 1 oz of beef liver, which is known to be one of the highest-iron foods. Sesame seeds also contain more phytosterols than all other nuts and seeds, which are important for their cholesterol-lowering and anticancerous effects. Sesame seeds have also been proven to decrease pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and decrease the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Compared to peanut butter, tahini has higher levels of fiber and calcium and lower levels of sugar and saturated fats.
When I came across this recipe for 'Grain-free Tahini Brownies' on Ambitious Kitchen's blog, I was a bit skeptical because in my opinion, when tasted alone, tahini has a slightly bitter taste. But these brownies are anything but bitter. They are all things fudgy & chewy with just the right amount of sweet. AND THE CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE- it tastes like freakin' Magic Shell! *Excuse me while I revert completely back into my childhood*. Quite honestly, and I don't use this word lightly, they might just be my favorite brownies. Ever.
I’m serious. They are BEYOND good. My husband and I had to drag each other out of the kitchen to make ourselves STOP eating them. Yes, we've got another winner in the husband department for me making a "healthier version" of a 'classic favorite' dessert.
I REALLY hope you guys will give this recipe a go because I truly don't see how there is any way someone would not like these! Fingers crossed you LOVE these brownies as much as we do! I cannot wait to play around with this recipe and see what I can add to make these even more delicious. Things I am currently considering including: sea-salt sprinkled on top? Caramel drizzle? Walnuts mixed into the batter? Toasted sesame seeds? As I like to say with all of my recipes- get creative, the possibilities are endless!
Double Chocolate Grain-Free Tahini Brownies:
- 1 cup Tahini (I found mine at Publix with Middle Eastern Cuisine; Trader Joe's has it for only $5!)
- 1/2 cup raw coconut sugar (I used big tree)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (I used a Organic Madhava Agave Maple Syrup)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs (I used Vital Farms Pasture Raised)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Navitas organic raw cacao powder)
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life GF, Dairy & Nut Free)
- For the chocolate drizzle: 2 tablespoons chocolate chips & 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease a 9x9 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray; I prefer coconut oil when baking
- In a large bowl, combine the tahini, coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract and eggs until smooth and well combined. Gently fold in cocoa powder, coconut flour, salt and baking soda until batter is smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup chocolate chips into the batter. This batter should be pretty thick.
- Spread batter evenly in prepared baking pan
- Bake for 22-28 minutes or until knife inserted into the middle comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Don't overbake! Mine were PERFECT after 24 minutes.
- After brownies have cooled a few minutes, prepared the chocolate drizzle: I did this is in a small glass bowl in the microwave, at 15 second intervals at a time until melted OR you can place a small saucepan over low heat, add chocolate chips and coconut oil and stir frequently until melted. Generously drizzle over the brownies.
ADDENDUM: I just had to make another batch of these for a dinner party and decided to toast some sesame seeds to sprinkle over the top with a bit of sea salt and OH MY GOODNESS is all I can say. As if these things could get any tastier!!! And they are sooo pretty!