I was recently asked to help spread the word that LUNA bars have officially gone gluten free! This is fantastic news for those of us trying to eliminate gluten from our diets, or really for anyone looking for delicious healthy snack options!
LUNA bars were already a nutritional powerhouse – basically like eating a multivitamin in super tasty snack form, but now they’ve upped their game by making the leap to 100% gluten free as well. High in protein and fiber, LUNA bars are also made up of primarily organic ingredients – it just gets better and better, amiright?
Now if all that sounds too good to be true already, then you really aren’t going to believe this – THEY TASTE AMAZING. Seriously, you won’t believe they are actually good for you! For my fellow parents of picky kids out there, this is especially great news!
The perfect snack for a lunch box or quick pick me up before their big (insert your kid’s favorite sport here) game, etc. And while you’re running them around to all those games, picking up the drying cleaning, dropping the cat off at the vet, or whatever else you’re busy doing – you can be noshing on one of these delicious LUNA bars too. At only 190 calories, you won’t have to feel guilty about it either.
So what about my keto Peeps? Unfortunately, while LUNA bars are low glycemic, they aren’t technically low carb, so that makes them tough to fit into a ketogenic diet plan. The good news is, LUNA asked me to come up with a low carb recipe inspired by one of their many delicious flavors – so I made you these keto friendly Caramel Nut Brownies, based on the Caramel Nut Brownie flavored Luna Bar.
I had so much fun creating this delicious brownie recipe, that if enough people comment on their favorite LUNA bar flavor, I’ll make over another recipe based on the most popular flavor you guys choose in the comments. Update: Lemon Zest was the hand’s down favorite and so I created a delicious and keto friendly lemon bar recipe which you can find here!
Now let’s talk about this delicious low carb brownie recipe!
The brownie layer is super chocolatey and just sweet enough. It’s tender, and fudgy, and…perfect. The texture is much firmer when refrigerated, but I prefer them at room temp or even slightly warm because the chocolate bits are soft and melty on the inside, and the caramel will be softer too. The whole thing just melts in your mouth, but you also have the pleasant texture of the walnuts on top to keep it interesting. You’ll see…
The brownie layer is made primarily with almond flour – to get the right texture you’ll need a super fine blend – a really course almond “meal” won’t work nearly as well. There is a small amount of coconut flour in these as well – you can replace it with more almond flour if you have a coconut allergy, but it may affect the texture a bit.
I used chopped walnuts on top of these, but you could use almost any nut in place of them. Pecans, almonds, or even pistachios would work great.
Now how about that caramel? YUM. I used half and half in it instead of heavy cream, because the small amount of milk sugar gives it a more authentic flavor and color. It also helps the caramel stay soft when it cools, making it more pleasant to eat. The bourbon adds a nice flavor to this caramel, but it also helps it to keep from solidifying as it cools. If you opt to leave the bourbon out, replace it with an extra 2 Tbsp of half and half to compensate.
I’ll be experimenting more with this low carb caramel recipe, because it makes a fantastic frosting when whipped after it’s cooled, AND with a few little tweaks you have keto friendly fudge! So many delicious applications for this low carb caramel recipe – but on these brownies?
Caramel Nut Brownies – Low Carb and Gluten Free
A delicious low carb chocolate brownie recipe drizzled with caramel and chopped nuts. Gluten free, keto, lchf, and Atkins diet friendly!
- Yield: 16 brownies
For the brownies:
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1 Tbsp coconut flour
- 1/3 cup granulated erythritol sweetener (Swerve or other)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder (for baking)
- 1/4 cup 90% cocoa (or more) dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 Tbsp sugar free chocolate flavored syrup (torani or davinci style)
For the caramel:
- 3 Tbsp salted butter
- 1/3 cup erythritol granulated sweetener (Swerve or other)
- 1/3 cup half and half
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 Tbsp bourbon
- 1/2 tsp caramel flavoring (aka “extract”)
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (or any nut)
To make the brownies:
- Combine the melted butter, almond flour, coconut flour, sweetener, vanilla extract, eggs (and yolk), cocoa powder, chopped chocolate, and sugar free chocolate flavored syrup in a medium bowl. Stir lazily by hand until fully combined – don’t beat or whip or you’ll end up with a much cakey-er texture. Pour into a parchment or foil lined 8×8 square pan. Bake in a preheated 375 degree (F) oven for about 12-13 minutes, or until the center no longer jiggles when you gently shake the pan. Remove and cool before slicing.
To make the caramel:
- Melt the butter and sweetener together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes or until bubbling. Add the half and half, xanthan bourbon, and caramel flavoring. Whisking continually, cook for 3-5 minutes over medium heat. It will get darker in color the longer you cook it. Remove from heat when your desired color is reached. Let it cool slightly to thicken.
To serve the brownies:
- Remove the brownies from the pan and peel off the parchment or foil. Add the cooled caramel to a small plastic ziplog baggie, then cut about 1/8 inch off of one of the bottom corners of the bag. Gently squeeze the caramel over your brownies – you may have some leftover. Sprinkle your chopped nuts evenly over the top of the brownies. Then cut into 16 brownies (2×2 squares.) Best served at room temperature, but if you are keeping them more than 24 hours, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Approximate nutrition information:
1 “naked” brownie: 117 calories, 5g fat, 2g net carbs, 3g protein
1 Tbsp caramel: 33 calories, 3g fat, .5g net carbs, 0g protein
1/4 Tbsp walnuts: 16 calories, 2g fat, 0g net carbs, 0g protein
1 “dressed” brownie: 166 calories, 10g fat, 2.5g net carbs, 3g protein
- Serving Size: 2 x 2 brownie
New to the low carb lifestyle and need some help? Try my free 3 day kickstart plan to get into ketosis fast! Then follow it up with any of my 12 free weekly menu plans – complete with shopping and prep lists!
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Finally, I’ve got lots of great low carb and gluten free e-cookbooks out, and I’m currently running a special where you can get all five of them (over 150 recipes) for just $19.99! Get more information over on the Cookbooks page!