Before I get incredibly enthusiastic about these brownies, I just wanted to say I hope you enjoyed all of the recipes last week for Fresh Tasty Valentine’s and hopefully you managed to visit some of the others taking part as well – there were some great recipe ideas (I did a roundup of some favorites) using all of the great ingredients and gadgets our various sponsors kindly gave us, and Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla did such a great job in organizing everything (big thanks!). Unfortunately the giveaway is now closed, but I certainly hope to take part in another such event in the future to give you a chance next time! For now, though, I have one last recipe before Valentine’s day since all this working on recipes for the event has kind of sparked a slight affection for the day. Not too much, of course, I’m still never going to be a major fan, but enough that I thought it might be nice to try to make a new delicious brownie recipe for you that you might want to share with your Valentine. Or not, of course, because these vegan sweet potato brownies are so delicious you may not want to share. Or you may just have to make a batch each.
You may remember I previously made some relatively healthy dairy free and gluten free beetroot brownie bites, well I decided to try something else along similar lines. I was keen to make slightly fudgier brownies and these sweet potato brownies definitely fit that space. They’re still pretty healthy, and also happen to be gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and vegan but they are so tasty, it was love at first bite for me, my son and even my husband who isn’t much of a sweet tooth. I still love the beetroot ones, as does my son and one of his best friends – in fact we probably have them about as often at his friend’s house as at our own. It’s so nice when you get to see people using and loving your recipes. One challenge of blogging is you don’t always know if people bother to even make your recipes or like them, so having friends who have made things is great.
Anyway, back to these vegan sweet potato brownies. I was fairly sure sweet potato as a base would give a fudgy brownie, which is definitely did. Then I started thinking that it would be fun to make a slight twist by combining a fudgy brownie with the deliciousness of Mexican hot chocolate, with it’s characteristic slight cinnamon-chili flavoring. And what a great decision it was, too! They’re not overly spicy – my toddler who struggled with some of the guacamole in Santa Fe because of the chili in there happily ate 2 of these (and it would have been more if I didn’t limit him) but it’s enough to give a slight edge that’s oh so good.
I had been thinking about making these brownies all week last week as I was gradually being inspired by some of the recipes I was seeing, but it was our snow day on Monday when I finally got round to it. Of course cooking something new with a toddler who’s trapped indoors off school and when the store doesn’t have almond flour (which you were planning to put in them) to replace your depleted stocks thanks to pancakes and other things, not to mention the poor light from it snowing all day, isn’t necessarily a good plan but we managed and these were delicious. I had originally thought I would put more almond flour in there, and I may try it that way another time just for comparison’s sake but these were delicious as they are. The whole cooking with a toddler means I don’t totally remember what order I added things but I think the result proves it doesn’t matter – as long as you blend the sweet potato and dates then add the coconut oil at the start and add the baking powder towards the end, the rest probably isn’t important.
One other great thing about these vegan sweet potato brownies is having no eggs in them you don’t have to worry about having them cooked enough, the cooking is more about getting a texture you like. They will almost certainly always be soft and squidgy, but if you wanted them a little less fudgy you could try cooking them a little longer. But these aren’t ever going to be cakey brownies as the beetroot ones are. This is actually the first time I’ve used chia seeds as an egg-replacer and I liked it – they don’t give a taste at all but there’s a very slight crunch now and then that fits in perfectly with everything else.
Personally I love everything about these brownies, from the flavor, texture and fact they are pretty healthy being made up primarily of sweet potato and dates. As I say they were an instant hit with my discerning toddler and husband, both of whom don’t love all of my baking (my son hasn’t learned pretending might get him brownie points…sorry bad joke…and I guess my husband reckons he’s past that). These, however, were enjoyed by everyone and I hope you will enjoy them too. Especially knowing they’re fairly good for you too. We’ll see if Angie and co (Steffi @ Ginger & Bread and Andrea @ Cooking With a Wallflower are co-hosting this week) at Fiesta Friday agree. Also sharing with Foodie FriDIY, Throwback Thursday and Full Plate Thursday.
- 2tbsp chia seeds
- 4tbsp water
- 10½oz/300g cooked sweet potato (I usually bake it when oven on day or two before)
- 3oz/85g medjool dates, weight without stones
- 2tbsp coconut oil
- 4tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder/raw cacao
- 2tbsp maple syrup
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- ¼cup/30g almond flour/almond meal
- ½cup/75g white rice flour
- pinch of salt
- 1tsp cinnamon
- ⅛tsp chili powder (mine is relatively hot - if yours is mild you may want a little more)
- 1tsp baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
- Put the chia seeds in a small bowl with the water, stir and leave them to swell up into a jelly.
- Place the cooked sweet potato and dates in a bowl and blend them together (you could also put in a food processor).
- Melt the coconut oil (either in small pan on stove or in a small bowl in the microwave at 20sec intervals) and mix in well.
- Add the cocoa powder, maple syrup, chia seed paste and vanilla extract and mix in. Add the almond flour, rice flour, salt, cinnamon, chili and baking powder and mix until well combined.
- Bake for approx 25min until a skewer comes out clean. They will still be soft (don't overcook so it loses this) but there will be a firmer top etc.
- Allow to cool 5min or so before cutting into small chunks.