I’ve always loved brownies. Even the grocery store mix kind. As a kid my mom, never the baker, would cook up a batch of brownies from a mix. Typically they would be in the oven just long enough to develop a slight char on the corners, adding a bit of crunch to exterior.

Still, I would scarf them down with a big glass of milk. Good times!

But that was long ago. Although life is not without it’s indulgences, we are always looking for ways to benefit our health and fitness.

Fortunately, being healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up something as wonderful as a good brownie, you just have to be smart about it. The right ingredients, and a dose of moderation, and you are free to enjoy the occasional guilt free indulgence.

Cookin’ Easy Paleo Brownies with Dad

My daughter really only likes to cook with me if she can do a lot of the work. I can’t really blame her, it’s no fun watching me do it. When she was younger she used to cook with me all the time. That meant putting her on a chair, so she could reach the counter. She would hang with me as I sliced onions, even if it made her cry.

But now she wants to get into things up to her elbows. In the case of something like brownies, she mostly wants to lick the bowl at the end, which she does with gusto. She jams her face in the bowl just like the cat does if you leave a glass of water unattended.

So when Saturday rolled around and she had a sleepover planned that evening with a friend who happens to be gluten free as well, I figured it was time to get into the kitchen.

When she actually asked if we could make Paleo brownies, I said sure, but she was going to do most of the work. And she did.

They came out great, her friend agreed, and we will be making these again.


1 1/4 cups raw cashews
1 egg
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1 1/4 cup raw cocoa
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips


  1. Process the cashews and 1/3 cup + 1 tspn water a food processor or Vitamix until very smooth. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides every once in a while to be sure you get all the nuts.
  2. Crack the egg into a mixing bowl, beat it with a fork, and then add the remaining ingredients. Mix with well a rubber spatula, and then mix the in cashew paste.
  3. Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper to 9 inches width and about 12 inches long. Put them in a 9×9 baking pan, crossed, with the extra length sticking out on either side. In other words, one piece of paper should be going left to right, the other up and down. Press the paper down to fold where the edges meet the bottom of the pan.
  4. Pour your brownie batter in and even out with your spatula.
  5. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes in a preheated 350° oven, until just under cooked. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out fairly clean.
  6. Once removed from oven, let the brownie sit and cool for a couple minutes. Then carefully remove from the pan using the edges of the parchment paper and put them on a wire rack, paper and all.
  7. Let them cool, then cut ’em up into squares and pass them around. The kids will love them!