It’s good to be back!
Hey guys! It’s been a while since my last post, and I have missed writing. But I am back and ready to share another recipe with you! Now, chances are you are super interested in what is so “healthy” in “healthy vegan brownies” is, or else you would not have clicked on the link 😉
The secret is an ingredient that might make you scratch your head (I did!), and I’ll break the suspense soon, but first I want to share a little background for these brownies. As a vegetarian, I have never considered myself “restricted” in what I can and cannot eat. However, as a lover of all things baked, I guess I never really gave it much thought that 99% of baked goods have some form of milk products or dairy in them. This started to bother me because I I realized that vegans suddenly can’t eat cupcakes, brownies, pastries, you fill in the blanks. So I decided to make a recipe for brownies that vegans and non vegans alike will be able to enjoy.
Funny story: my oven broke while these were baking. Well, not literally, but the knobs that control temperature and settings broke and refused to turn. So when I thought I was setting it to 325 degrees, I heard the broiling sound at 525 degrees and freaked out. And then when the brownies were done, it took about a half hour to force the system off. Luckily, these ingredients held up ridiculously well against burning and temperature fluctuations. But unfortunately, due to this mishap, I was not able to get an exact time that they were in the oven. So until I make these again with a fully functioning oven, I am going to put a rough time estimate on the instructions list for you to trial and error yourselves through.
OK. Don’t freak out. AVOCADO. That’s my secret ingredient. It sounds crazy and it sounded crazy when I first considered it. I remember telling one of my friends about this recipe and she tuned out the second I said “avocado.” But let me assure you, even if you don’t like avocados, consider this, remember that you don’t taste it at all in the end result!We are using avocado purely for its texture here. A ripe avocado has a thick and creamy texture that can take the place of eggs and butter. When I made these brownies, I actually had avocados that were about to go bad, so they were really ripe. And that was perfect for this recipe, because the riper the better for the blending process.
If you are worried about the avocado flavor overpowering the actual brownie, I found a trick that can cancel out any potential taste once and for all. I added dark chocolate cocoa powder to the mix and it totally masked any avocado taste.
I do have to warn you though- the brownies, at least the way I made them, turned out near black in color. I am not sure if it was because I am obsessed with dark chocolate and put dark cocoa powder in the mix, but the color significantly darkened in the oven. So if that happens don’t be alarmed- it happened to me too.
There are a lot of benefits to this recipe over traditional recipes for baking. Most obviously, this recipe is more inclusive to people with dietary preferences, like vegans. Secondly, I love the health benefits that accompany this simple ingredients substitution. Baking without butter is a mission of mine and I have tried a lot of recipes trying to find a great substitute for it. It physically pains me to drop 2 sticks of butter into the mix when I bake traditionally. So this a much healthier alternative. Now, for the actual avocado, you probably already know of the umpteen benefits avocados have for your health.
But just as a refresher, avocado is
- Loaded with heart healthy fatty acids
- High in fiber
- Linked to weight loss
I won’t go on, but you get my point. Eating just one or two small pieces of this brownie fills you up really quickly. The sweet from the sugar and chocolate chips satisfies your sweet tooth, while the avocado fills you up.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 cup avocado oil (it has a high smokepoint so it is great for cooking!)
- 1/2 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar (helps the mix become even lighter and fluffier!)
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate baking chips + more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a hand blender (or food processor) blend together the avocado and avocado oil.
- Gently whisk in the cocoa powder, confectioners sugar, baking soda, lemon juice and salt.
- Add the flour, little by little, mixing as you go.
- Fold in chocolate baking chips.
- Transfer to a baking pan and garnish with more chocolate chips.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Use a fork to test if the brownies are done.
- Let cool for 10 minutes.
I enjoyed these brownies with my family during spring break this year, when I actually had time to cook and take a moment for myself. I ate them with ice cream, but they are just as delicious with a glass of milk (dairy or non dairy).
Well, there you have it! Healthy vegan brownies with avocado. A totally nonconventional approach to a universal crowd pleaser dessert! It was like I was hitting two birds with one stone: making use of avocados that would have gone bad in a couple of days, as well as discovering a delicious new, healthier recipe that vegans can enjoy. I love these so much that I don’t know if I want to go back to the conventional way of baking brownies. And if you’re still weirded out by this “secret ingredient,” just remember: don’t knock it until you have tried it!
Totally intrigued? Tried something like this before? Excited to try this now? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Until next time,
Janani <3 <3