Brownies. How good are brownies. Sometimes, a sweet soul warming chocolate heavy brownie (with all the sugar and butter goodness) is exactly what we need (and yes, the food loving dietitian in me is saying this with honesty and a big smile. I have on several accounts brought in homemade chocolate rich brownies for my clients to try). I’ll admit that there’s usually some sort of fun addition like zucchini or beetroot, but all the lovely butter, flour and sugar is in there too, it’s just good stuff).
So, why sweet potato and pumpkin now..?
Well firstly, these two vegetables are in season so are wonderfully fresh. Plus, since baking more and creating recipes for clients are that interested in enjoying more vegetables, I’ve discovered that you can make brownies with so many different vegetables and fruits, and they do taste pretty amazing. When made with naturally sweet vegetables and fruits (and the addition of nuts, spices, cacao or cocoa, sugar or other sweeteners and perhaps chocolate too), they can be just as satisfying. If you’re feeling a little apprehensive reading this (like my partner Andrew has been when taste testing experimental brownie batches), just hang in there.. brownies like these do taste different than the standard style brownie but they are delicious!
Sweet potato and pumpkin provide beautiful natural sweetness, fibre, minerals and vitamins. Cinnamon and nutmeg add a lovely warmth and walnuts add crunch and break up the soft smooth fudge-y texture. This recipe is gluten free, however ingredients are flexible so I’ve included several options to help make it suitable and enticing for many. I hope you like them.
This amount of brownie mix is enough to fill a loaf tin or square cake/slice tin.
Prep time: approx. 20mins
Cooking time: 25-30mins
375g sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
125g pumpkin, peeled and chopped into cubes (Jap pumpkin is a nice one to use)
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup buckwheat flour (or plain flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (or sugar)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
A nice pinch of nutmeg
2 handfuls of walnuts (~1/2 a cup), roughly chopped
Optional: 50g dark chocolate, chopped up roughly (70 or 80% cocoa is really nice), you don’t have to add chocolate but I recommend it, just because you get lovely bursts of sweet dark chocolate.
1. Preheat your to 180 degrees, and grease and line a loaf tin or square slice/cake tin with baking paper.
2. Steam your sweet potato and pumpkin, until every piece is soft enough to mash easily with a fork.
3. Place steamed sweet potato and pumpkin in a large mixing bowl, and using a fork mash and mix together until you have a smooth paste.
4. Then add spices, cacao (or cocoa) powder and maple syrup, and stir to combine. Then add almond meal, flour and baking powder, and stir until all just combined.
5. Add walnuts and chocolate bits and stir through.
6. Spoon mixture into your prepared tin, and spread evenly using a knife or spatula.
7. Bake for 25-30mins, until the top is darker and a little crunchy looking, and the brownie is cooked yet still moist when tested with a knife or skewer.
8. Allow to cool a little before removing from tin.
9. A slice of this is reaaaallly nice served warm with a dollop of natural yoghurt and a drizzle of maple syrup over the yoghurt.
10. To keep these brownies fresh, once cooled place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge. They keep well for up to 3 days. They also freeze really well. When making a batch I often wrap individual slices in cling wrap and freeze for future snacking.
- Instead of chocolate, for extra sweetness try adding chopped dates, sultanas or raisins
- You could also just use 500g of sweet potato (if you don’t have pumpkin or just prefer sweet potato)
- If you don’t have cacao, cocoa is just as good and will give the brownies a slightly softer chocolatey flavour. Cacao being the unrefined version of cocoa is a little stronger in flavour so creates a deeper dark chocolate style brownie. Both are great!
Happy veggie brownie snacking.