These vegan sweet potato brownies are soft, fudgy and with a delicious chocolate flavor. Plus with no refined sugar, and being gluten free, you have every excuse to enjoy more!
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I imagine this is true for pretty much anyone with kids, but I feel like the words "can I have a snack" are almost constant. True, sometimes they get distracted for a while, but it's still always a few times a day.
I am pretty lucky in that my two are generally pretty happy with some fruit or something else healthy, but if a treat is remotely on offer, you can be sure they'll go for it.
These tasty little bites are great for ticking the treat box while still being pretty healthy. They're gluten free, vegan, and even have veggies in them. But don't worry, they are still very much delicious, as tried, tested and approved by a number of discerning kids (and adults).
Don't get me wrong, I definitely enjoy a 'real' brownie now and then (and I recommend my mini skillet brownie if you want a small batch). But sometimes they are just too sweet or I feel we should balance out the treats.
These are a great solution: still a great flavor and texture but much better-for-you ingredients.
I previously made some relatively healthy beetroot brownie bites that are both dairy and gluten free. They are tasty, but relatively cake-like so I was keen to make a slightly fudgier brownie that was still on the healthier side.
I was fairly sure sweet potato as a base would give a fudgy brownie, which is definitely did. Dates, too, add that lovely stickiness and also a lot of the sweetness.
I added a little cinnamon which helps enhance the flavor, and if you're up for it, I recommend the optional dash of chili too (think Mexican hot chocolate).
The chia seeds help hold the texture together and give a slight crunch in there. I think you could miss them out if you prefer not to have that, but personally I feel like it makes the texture a little more interesting (and I've yet to have a complaint).
I had originally thought I would put more almond flour in there, but when I first made them I ran out so ended up with the below which has now stuck.
If you don't have rice flour, you could use another flour (such as more almond, wheat or eg spelt) - you might just want to play around on quantity since different flours absorb differently.
It was love at first bite for us, and they have been pretty well shared with friends since we first made them who also enjoy them.
A bonus of no eggs
One other great thing about these brownies is that since you aren't using eggs, you don't have to worry about cooking them through. Instead, the cooking is more about getting the texture you like.
They will almost certainly always be relatively soft and squidgy, but if you wanted them a little less fudgy you could try cooking them a little longer.
Personally I love everything about these vegan sweet potato brownies, from the flavor, texture and fact they are pretty healthy. And I have to say they are probably the most consistently enjoyed healthier treats I have tried out on people, too. In other word, make any excuse you can to gibe them a try: you'll soon love them too.
Try these other healthier treats:
- Apple oatmeal cookies
- Carrot cake energy bites (also GF/vegan)
- Chocolate zucchini muffins
- Plus get more snack recipes, sweet ad savory, in the archives.
Vegan sweet potato brownies
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- ¼ cup water 60ml
- 12 oz sweet potato 340g, giving approx 9 ½oz/270g once baked (see notes)
- 3 oz medjool dates 85g, weight without stones
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup almond flour 30g almond meal
- ½ cup rice flour 80g
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 60ml/4 tbsp (or raw cacao)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp chili powder optional, mine is relatively hot - if yours is mild you may want a little more if using
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Line a baking dish, approx 19 x 14cm (7 ½ x 5 ½ in), with parchment paper.
- Put the chia seeds in a small bowl with the water and stir. Leave them to swell up into a jelly while you get other things ready.
- Blend the cooked sweet potato and dates in a food processor or with a hand mixer in a bowl.
- Melt the coconut oil (either in small pan on stove or in a small bowl in the microwave at 20sec intervals) and add this to the sweet potato along with the maple syrup and vanilla and mix in.
- Separately, whisk together the almond flour, rice flour, salt, cinnamon, chili (if using) and baking powder. Add the soaked chia seeds and sweet potato-date mixture and mix well (you can put all in your food processor if big enough, though try not to over-mix).
- Bake for approx 25 minutes 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 more before cutting into small chunks.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
This recipe was first shared in February 2016 but has been updated, primarily with new photos and video.