VALENTINE’S DAY guilt-free chocolate brownies

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Collective Bias sugar-free brownies

I’ve never been big on Valentine’s Day. To me, romance is being thoughtful and considerate every day – in fact, the big gestures make me cringe (when OH proposed a few years ago my immediate response was: ‘What are you doing? Get up!’)

But I must admit I’ve softened to the concept in recent years.

The lowdown is this: we’re not actually married *shock, horror* so we don’t have a wedding anniversary to celebrate, and neither of us can remember when, exactly, we got together (I want to say July..? Maybe August..?). After 15 years and two children together, I think it’s nice – important even – to mark the fact we’ve made it this far.

We’ve created our own Valentine’s Day tradition by making it a family day; we’ll go for a walk at one of the gorgeous National Trust properties nearby, then stop off for a pub lunch. Once the girls are in bed OH and I will cook up a nice bit of rib-eye steak, and watch a movie. Perfect! 

I’m never going to be a soft music and heart-shaped balloons kinda girl, but do like to show I’ve put some thought into it, so this year the girls and I decided to make Daddy some guilt-free Valentine’s Day brownies.

We’re making a concerted effort to cut down on sugar, so I found this brownie recipe online, which substitutes nasty refined sugar for apple sauce and maple syrup. Instead of butter or fat it uses avocado to give soft creaminess.

The girls and I headed to the local Co-operative supermarket to pick up cocoa powder.

chocolate brownies - Co-op aislechocolate brownies - Co-op close up

The girls love helping out in the kitchen, so couldn’t wait to get home and put on their aprons. While I weighed out all the ingredients Big Sis took charge of blending the avocado and Lil Sis went wild with the whisk.

chocolate brownies - big sischocolate brownies lil sis

Once all the ingredients were mixed together, I popped the brownie tray in the oven for 25 minutes. The most delicious chocolate-y smell began to fill the house. ‘Muu-umm,’ the girls asked every five minutes, ‘when will they be ready..?’

I pulled them out and let them cool down, before cutting a bit off for the all-important taste test.

chocolate brownies traybake

‘What do you think?’ I asked the girls. They chewed silently for a second, then both gave me the thumbs up. ‘Delicious!’ they declared.

We gave them a dusting of icing sugar, and cut them into small squares.

chocolate brownies - petals

Next, we wrapped them in cellophane, and tied them with heart ribbon. Finally, I got Big Sis to write a little message onto a blank gift tag, and attached it to the brownie bundle with a twist of florist wire.

What do you think of Daddy’s guilt-free Valentine’s Day treats? 

Collective Bias chocolate brownies


  1. oh now I love the thought of guilt free
    Emma White recently posted…What Goals In Life Are You Reaching?My Profile

  2. These are such a great idea; I love that they’re guilt free! xxx
    WhatLauraLoves recently posted…How To Prolong A Holiday Tan | Lancaster Tan MaximizerMy Profile

  3. It looks like you had a great time baking together!!

  4. Oh i’d be super interested to see the recipe of how you made these, guilt free and brownie are two phrases/ words I never thought would go together x

  5. We are big in to Velentine’s day in our house. We have been together for 15 years, but any excuse to show each other how much you love each other should be taken I think.
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  6. I’m not married but we do our anniversary based on the first time we had sex – sexiversary!
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  7. Looks like you had a lovely time baking together.
    And Guilt-Free, surely that means you can eat even more?!

  8. That is such a lovely thoughtful guft. The fact that it’s guilt free is a bon7s. I just love the home made gift idea.
    Tori Gabriel recently posted…To Mummy, About My Birthday….My Profile

  9. I love that your brownies are gluten free! You just gave me a wonderful Valentines gift idea for my daughter’s class 😀
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  10. These look very moorish, and a lovely idea for Valentines. It’s always nicer to receive home-made gifts, as it shows the love and hard work put into them. Tx
    Tanya Brannan recently posted…Don’t dream it, BE it!My Profile

  11. These look so yummy and knowing they are not packed with sugar makes me want them even more! Also wow to 15 years of marriage xx
    Miss Kitty Kaos recently posted…Up-cycling Old Furniture For Modern LifeMy Profile

  12. What a lovely thoughtful gift. I love that they are gluten free and perfect for Valentine day!
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  13. Home made gifts are a great idea. Love them.
    Fashion and Style Police recently posted…February Fashion Wishlist 2016My Profile

  14. Oh wow these sound amazing and I am definitely all for trying some yum. x
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  15. Oh my goodness, these look absolutely delicious. I hope you had fun making them

  16. guilt free brownies… what could be better?! They look delicous

  17. Mmm these look delicious! Me and the fiance will probably have a date night if we can afford it. If not then we will go for a nice walk x

  18. These look super yummy, what a fabulous gift x
    Rebecca Smith recently posted…All For You Cover RevealMy Profile

  19. Baking will always be perfect for a bonding. I wish I could taste your brownies. Looks special! 🙂
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  20. I’m intrigued by the use of avacodo as a butter substitute. I’ll be checking out this recipe and having a go.

  21. Aw that tag is s oadorable. how fab having guilt free brownies!
    Life as Mum recently posted…BusyB Pregnancy Journal ReviewMy Profile

  22. These look yummy. We don’t really celebrate Valentines Day has my husband has to always work that day, has he works in a restaurant

  23. Mmmm these sound yummy. Do you get a taste of apple in there from the applesauce?

  24. I love that they helped out. That makes the treats all the more special. They look so deliciously cocoa-ish too!

  25. This sounds nice, love the touch of avocado!

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