Grain-Free Peppermint Brownies

Last night, we braved the cold (ok, Tucson cold, but still) to head up to Mt. Lemmon for our family photos. The chill was just the perfect weather to enjoy the peppermint brownies I have for you today.

Paleo peppermint brownies--dairy-free, gluten-free and no added sugar!

Perfect for a wintery dessert after being out in the cold! I think our photographer Jacquelynn got some great shots of our little family in the beautiful Arizona scenery. The best part was that she was FAST– time is of the essence when you have a little nugget who’s anxious to go see a puppy 😉

After our pics, we went over to Kyle and Meg’s for their first Friendsgiving:

Kyle and Meg

The even have their TREE UP and it looks awesome. (Tree envy. I can’t wait until Friday.)

And can we talk about how regal little Luna looks in front of it?

Luna puppy in front of Christmas tree

Livi was enthralled by the tree, and even more excited to see her little fur cousin.

Livi and Christmas tree

Kyle and Meg had all of the usual Thanksgiving fare: a glorious roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole (frozen and reheated from this weekend), and rolls. I feel like my Thanksgiving was complete and the actual holiday isn’t here yet. The fact that I get another Thanksgiving meal makes me very excited, indeed.

Everything was amazing, and the company was the best part <3

Livi and me dancing

Paleo Peppermint Brownies

I thought of bringing over some brownies, too, but by the time we were ready to leave the house, there were only six left. That happens sometimes.

Paleo peppermint brownie with a bite mark

I was determined to make a new version of a grain-free brownie after my last efforts were dubbed “healthy.” Yeah, those ones are pretty healthy, but you want a treat to taste like a TREAT.

Turns out that pureeing dates and melted chocolate is a wise choice.

pureed dates and melted chocolate

I changed up my usual almond meal brownies, and added some peppermint to the batter for a wintery twist.


When the brownies had cooled, I topped them with a cashew frosting. The frosting needs a little work… but the brownies are real nice. They don’t need frosting at all 😉 Maybe a glass of milk or warm mug of coffee. That’s it.

Paleo peppermint brownies

Hope you enjoy!


Grain-free peppermint brownies

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A brownie so decadent and moist, you’ll never believe that they’re grain free!

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25


  • 10 medjool dates
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 bar chocolate (50g), melted
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 t instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional, for extra sweetness)


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a standard muffin pan with 10 liners.
  2. 2. In a small food processor, combine the dates, melted chocolate and coconut oil. Puree until smooth. Add your eggs and puree until just combined.
  3. 3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  4. 4. Scoop the batter into the muffin pan, diving evenly among the 10 spots (a melon ball scooper works well).
  5. 5. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until set. Let cool completely before frosting.



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  1. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on November 26, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I went to my first Friendsgiving this year! It was so fun! Im like you, I’ve had two thanksgivings already this season but am still looking forward to the real thing! Haha

  2. Jackie on November 26, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Love your dress!!

  3. on November 26, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I love the idea of a Friendsgiving! I am totally going to do it next year because it is just such a cute idea! The brownie cupcakes look delicious and dates…genius! Can you taste the cashews in the frosting? I am such a cream cheese frosting kinda gal that anything else makes me a little nervous.

    • Fitnessista on November 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      i really didn’t love the frosting. next time i’ll tweak it a little 😉

  4. Karla @ Finding My Fit on November 26, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I’m definitely making these this coming Sunday. The man and I are putting up my christmas tree and finally getting in the holiday spirit…despite some family difficulties right now.

    Someday I hope to host a Friendsgiving. It’s so difficult with where I’m at in the military–all my friends I commissioned with have PCSd and left me here in the Guard. Sigh.

    • Fitnessista on November 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      let me know what you think!
      sending love to you and your family <3
      it's hard when your friends PCS... ours always tend to rotate in and out of where we're stationed until we meet again at some point. it's definitely tough :/

  5. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on November 26, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Oooh these look great! Thinking about trying these as a Thanksgiving dessert! 🙂

  6. Amy on November 26, 2013 at 10:14 am

    They look like cupcakes! Brownies are dense and fudgey. Are you sure these are brownies?

    • Fitnessista on November 26, 2013 at 11:24 am

      You can cook brownies in a muffin pan. They’re very dense and fudgy

      • Amy on November 26, 2013 at 11:49 am

        Ha! I know you can cook any batter in any type of dish. I was just commenting on the texture in the close-up pic you posted. They look very dry and cakey to be called brownies to me, but maybe it’s just not an accurate photo.

        • Krystina on November 26, 2013 at 12:18 pm

          I agree that they do look cakey (they don’t look like the inside of a brownie at all, imo) but that’s to be expected with recipes that aren’t made traditionally (i.e. with flour and butter and other deliciousness). They’re cute, though!

        • Kasey Shuler @ Well of Health on December 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm

          I just baked them as brownies in a pan, and they definitely tasted like brownies!

  7. Lucie on November 26, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Î’m so jealous of all the Thanksgiving celebrations going on this week!
    I can not wait for christmas to be here so I can feast as well. Lol

  8. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on November 26, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I love your outfit! And Olivia’s dress is adorable!

    • Fitnessista on November 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      thank you, lovely!

  9. Michele on November 26, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Think these will work with flax eggs?

    • Fitnessista on November 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      i’m not sure. the eggs provide a lot of liquid, so i’m not sure the flax + water/milk combo would be enough. maybe 3 T liquid to 1 T flax for each egg? let me know if you try it!

  10. Jessica Rose on November 26, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Going to try the recipes…doesn’t look too difficult and the results look rather yummy! Jess. x

  11. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on November 26, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I went to my first Friendsgiving this year! I’d like to make it a tradition. These treats look great. I tried your Black Forest Brownies recently and they were awesome!

  12. KB @THEKBREPORT on November 26, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Friendsgivings are the best! I especially like the fact that you can bring so many people together, with different Thanksgiving experiences and recipes, and you get to try so many great/new dishes! I’m attempting Bacon Walnut Glazed Brussel Sprouts this Turkey Day 🙂

  13. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on November 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    You look beautiful – love your outfit and hair! And little Livi is just adorable in her dress too! Glad you had a nice Friendsgiving!

    • Fitnessista on November 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      thank you, ashley! hope you have a great week <3

  14. Honestly Fitness on November 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Yum, these brownies look incredible! I also wanted to ask (and sorry if it has been asked loads before) but what made you want to start blogging? I’m always interested to see the motivations behind people’s blogs

  15. Ashley on November 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Yummmm maybe Ill make those for Thursday.

    • Fitnessista on November 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      let me know if you do!

  16. Cassie Vaughn on November 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    I love your dress!

    • Fitnessista on November 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      thank you!!

  17. mary @ minutes per mile on November 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    dates + dark chocolate = win. can’t wait to try these!

  18. dani on November 26, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Is there something you could sub out for the almond meal by chance?

  19. Julie on November 26, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I can’t wait till our Friendsgiving. We’re having it after Thanksgiving though but my family doesn’t do a real Thanksgiving meal so it’s perfect!

  20. Taylor @ Singletrackedmind on November 26, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Peppermint anything is a win in my book!

  21. Shaina on November 26, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I LOVE HER DRESS!! (and yours too) I need to have a little girl asap.

  22. Rhiannon on November 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    You girls look beautiful!! I’m sure your pictures will be amazing. Happy Thanksgiving!

  23. Randi on November 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I love the dress! You look fantastic. I wish I could lose the 20 pounds I gained when I had my daughter. I am now 2 years postpartum and cant seem to shed the excess weight. I run several times a week and even did a half marathon but the weight stays on. Anyways, thanks for letting me vent:)

  24. Crystal on November 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    These might have to happen at my house Thursday; my SIL has celiac so she would be happy to see a GF dessert 🙂

  25. Caitlin on November 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    those brownies – yum! i’m not into peppermint though but i’m sure they’d be great without! i adore your dress with those tights and ankle boots.

  26. Bri on November 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Your outfit is super cute! Can’t wait to see the Christmas pics.!

  27. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy on November 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Yum! Love the dresses! This morning I finally tried out my Soli Beat dvd! Did the warm up, and a few of the songs. It was definitely a fun way to get a little movement going in the am, even if the manfriend was laughing at me. I may not be quite as coordinated as you and Sasha. 😉

  28. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on November 26, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Sounds like quite a feast was had!

    Also, you all look so nice in your Friendsgiving finest 🙂

  29. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More on November 26, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    YUM! Those look delicious!!

  30. Livi on November 26, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Friendsgiving is my favorite!!

  31. Kasey Shuler @ Well of Health on December 10, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Just made the brownies; SO GOOD! I baked them in a 9×9 pan and just used half of the pan on 350 for 15 minutes. They spread a little when baked, but when I tested it I couldn’t stop at one bite! You are right, these really don’t need any frosting. Delicious as they are! But if you wanted to add a little something extra, you could press a whole peppermint in each cupcake before baking to add a sweet and pretty topping!

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