Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sweet Sunday - Vegan Brownies

Okay, I know what you may be thinking, that is, if I were on the outside of my own mind, reading a title for "Vegan Brownies", I'd be thinking, mm-hmm, exit this page, if its vegan it probably has all kinds of weird ingredients and won't taste good, especially if its labeled "healthy."

That is such a wrong thought, my friends.  VERY wrong.

I'm sure you know, if you've read my blog before, that I am very far from being vegan, or vegetarian, but I am very much into finding more healthful recipes that actually taste good.

And I think I hit the jackpot with these.  They even got the approval of my carnivore-or-die husband, the man who can barely eat a food that has touched a vegetable.  But these brownies were even worthy of Chris's morning and evening desserts.  That's huge, people.  HUGE.

Vegan Healthy Brownies

1 cup pitted medjool dates (I think raisins would also work, and dried cranberries could be awesome)
1 scant cup almond meal OR 1 cup almonds OR nuts of your choice
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's dark)

2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 tablespoons almond butter (or nut butter of your choice, but almond butter has a mild sweet taste)
4 tablespoons maple syrup

Combine the dates, almond meal (or nuts), and cocoa powder in a food processor or high-powered blender (a Vitamix would probably work great, but I unfortunately do not own one).  Process until you have a fine crumb.  Press the mixture into any size pan - smaller for thicker square, larger for thinner squares.  I used a jelly roll pan that is about 11 x 7.  I found that using the palm of my hand worked best for pressing the mixture evenly.  Next, add the bananas, cocoa powder, almond butter, and maple syrup to the food processor and process til smooth.  You will have a silky delicious mixture.  Pour this on top of the crust in the pan and place in the freezer.  It will need a good hour at least to set.  Just be patient!

Once completely set, slice into 16 generous squares (if you used a medium-large size pan like me), and try to not eat the whole pan!  Keep these in the freezer.  When you want to eat one, just let it set out for a couple of minutes if you want it to soften slightly.  And just one of these delicious babies will yield 131 calories, 6 grams of fat, and almost 4 grams of protein - how awesome is that for a super-chocolatey almost-brownie?!

I hope you had a great week, and that you're getting ready for another great one!  We are back to having awesome weather, so we are loving being able to get outside again!  For now, I leave you as I head out for my now-normal Starbucks Sunday study session.  Test time is quickly approaching, and I am gradually feeling more and more ready.

I'll see you later this week with a great snack, and maybe some extras this week.  We'll see.  Until then, enjoy the last of the weekend!

Recipe from Fit Sugar