Vegan chickpea brownies (gluten-free, naturally sweetened)

So it’s kind of obvious I’ve been on a dangerously delicious kick with “healthy considering it’s [X]” but not exactly light experiments. If only you knew just how many of those experiments have only been posted thus far in my mind, the little wisps of anxiety behind the “dangerous” part would totally make sense. Once again I have a stack of kitchen fun worth sharing, but my time available for writing has been largely deadline-oriented (in a really good way, just not for posting). But this recipe…these vegan, gluten free, lower sugar brownies naturally sweetened with maple syrup and coconut sugar: they’ve been begging to be shared for literally week…and they are soooo good! Tonight, in a quiet frenzy of power cleaning the bathroom after Little Chef went to sleep, it occurred to me that too many days had already flown by since promising to post the recipe “soon”. I thought, even if I ended up simply slapping up the blogger’s equivalent of a post-it note and ingredients list, it would be a worthy task, tonight, and so here you go…
 
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I’ve experimented with quiet a few variations on brownies over the years since we’ve cut out dairy, and while many have been amazingly good, nothing has come so close as these to that Dunkin Hines-from-the-box brownie that, let’s face it, is pretty enticing if only in a throwback sort of way. These, though. They are just so yummy, batter and baked, and the texture is very convincing, too, despite the absence of refined sugar and use of natural sweeteners. 
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It hadn’t really crossed my mind to make brownies, for months upon months, when my friend and former teaching teammate (from…a decade ago, already?!) Tracy texted asking about vegan brownie options for her beautiful inside-and-out,  and recently turned vegan, daughter Tori’s birthday. I met Tori when she was turning 8 years old. Now she’s newly 18, and so lovely, compassionate, and wise. She is the kind of person I wish I had had the maturity, strength and confidence to be at her age.  Of course, I had to launch into a fury of enthusiasm for exploring vegan browniedom. For Tori. (I don’t think Tracy regretted consulting with me, but on the same token I’m pretty sure she hadn’t anticipated quite what she was in for.) In other words, I made and ate and gave away scrumptious brownies for a greater cause than the fact that I have recently remembered that I do in fact like brownies, very much. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy these too. 🙂
Chickpea flour brownies (gluten-free, vegan, naturally sweetened)
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  2. 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (dark is best)
  3. 1/4 cup natural, unsalted almond butter
  4. 2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  5. 3/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  8. 1/2 cup chickpea/garbanzo flour
  9. 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flax meal in 5 tablespoons water)
  10. 1/3 cup vegan chocolate or dark chocolate chips
  11. 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk the coconut oil, maple syrup, almond butter, and applesauce together until smooth and caramel-like.
  2. Whisk in cocoa powder and flour 1/4 cup at a time. Add baking soda.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  4. Pour into an 8 inch square pan lined with parchment paper and bake at 325 F for 20-25 minutes.
Happy Apple Natural Kitchen http://happyapplekitchen.com/
 
  1. Susan
    November 28, 2016

    The batter was really thick. Is it supposed to be?

    • Wendy McMillan
      November 28, 2016

      It is a thick batter–but you can totally thin out a little with non-dairy milk or even water to help with spreading!

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