I think I speak for the majority of us in saying that we all have a teeny bit of a sweet tooth (some more than others), and when trying to live a healthy, clean and unprocessed lifestyle it’s hard to get  that fix we sometimes crave. Since I love experimenting with vegan dishes and my sister Cristina is  trying to be a fully fledged vegan, I thought I’d bring back an old vegan brownie recipe I made about four years ago with my uni flatmates in London. But this time I added and swapped around and boy oh boy it turned out good (yesss I’m tooting my own horn!).

After making Jamie Oliver’s famously delicious (and unhealthy) ‘Bloomin’ Brownies’ time and time again I couldn’t believe the level of yumminess, gooey-ness and goodness that came with these vegan brownies! I think the texture is thanks to two of the ingredients: sweet potatoes and tahini paste. You’re probably thinking ‘Eeeewww veggies in a desert, are you mad?’- but I pinky promise that those two ingredients do not come up in flavour one single time, just in their super nutrition and moist texture.

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Every single ingredient in this recipe works its magic to bind together a rich, chocolatey, nutty flavour and an abundance of minerals, antioxidants, vitamins and clean wholesome goodness 🙂 I hope you enjoy them as much as my family, friends and I have X

P.S: the peanut butter topping and melted chocolate are optional

Ingredients

Approx. 12-16 square pieces

Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownie:

4 medium sweet potatoes (approx. 500g)

100g ground hazelnuts*

100g ground oats*

15 organic pitted dates (approx 100g…you can also use Medjool)

6 tablespoons raw cacao (sifted to avoid clumps)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoon melted coconut oil

6 tablespoon maple syrup

2 tablespoon tahini

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

60g pecan nuts, chopped

*Chucked this in my NutriBullet and within seconds they become a flour

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Peanut Butter Topping (optional):

4 tablespoon peanut butter

3 tablespoon almond milk

2 tablespoon coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon raw cacao

2 tablespoon coconut oil

pinch of sea salt

Chocolate Drizzle (optional):

A few squares of vegan dark chocolate, melted

Garnish (and for crunch!):

Goji berries

cocoa nibs

sesame seeds

poppy seeds

How to make the vegan brownies

1. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Place them in a steamer till they get soft…about 15-20mins.

My ‘steamer’ situation is simply a pot with a little boiling water and another pot on top that has small holes at the bottom…looks like a chunky metal sieve (if you don’t have any form of steamer you can pop the potatoes in a pot with about 100ml of water and let them semi-boil/ steam with the lid closed).

2. In the meantime get your oat and hazelnut flour sorted (you can use any other nut flour of your choice) and place everything in a large bowl along with the raw cacao and salt.

3. Using a blender (I used a simple hand blender) get the dates to a roughly mashed (sticky) consistency.

4. Once the sweet potatoes are soft and a teeny bit cooled, mash them and mix with the mashed dates, tahini, maple syrup, vanilla essence, melted coconut oil and chopped pecan nuts.

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5. Now combine the wet ingredients with the dry until its all evenly mixed (this will take a couple minutes…and quite an arm workout!)

6. In a dish with a sheet of baking paper, spread the brownie mixture evenly…it should not be thicker (higher) than about 5cm. I used a glass square dish that measures about 20cm X 20cm.

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7. Bake in a 180°C (fan) oven for about 45mins (when you pierce with a fork it should come out clean).

8. In a saucepan melt the peanut butter and add the coconut sugar (or whatever else you choose to sweeten), almond milk, sea salt and raw cacao powder. Stir well and turn off the heat. Place in a wide bowl and let it thicken and harden in the freezer (about 20mins). When it’s a thick, ‘spreadable’ consistency take it out the freezer.

9. Once the brownies have cooled completely, spread the peanut butter goodness using a rubber spatula. Drizzle with the melted chocolate and garnish with goodies like goji berries, seeds and cacao nibs.

In an airtight container they last pretty long, but who am I kidding, they were devoured within 2 days! 🙂

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