I originally made these date, pecan and butter bean vegan chocolate fudge brownies for a charity bake sale. They went down well and I was asked for the recipe so here it is!!
The recipe was an experiment and I was so pleased that it turned out waaaay better than I had expected.
MAKING A HEALTHIER BROWNIE RECIPE
As you know from the title, the recipe is sweetened with dates. Dates give the brownies a nice chewy fudge texture. They’re also a good choice because, as Jenna Hope, a registered nutritionist, told us in this post back in February “Dates and dried fruit are a better alternative to syrupy sugars as they contain fibre which slows the blood sugar spike and so they may be a better option but should not be consumed in excess”.
Jenna went on to say that “When consuming dried fruits or foods higher in natural sugars I recommend eating them with nuts, nut butter or another source of protein/ fats as these also help slow down the release of sugars into the bloodstream.” These brownies adhere to those guidelines because they also contain nut butter. I used smooth pecan and cashew butter (recipe here), which is one of the most delicious things EVER. But you can use all cashew butter or sub in almond butter if you wanted to.
YOU USED WHAT IN THE BROWNIES?!
This recipe was the first time that I have tried to make brownies using aquafaba (believe it or not that is a real word, I didn’t just put some random letters together). Aquafaba is the liquid from cooked beans. According to Plantbased Pixie, 3tbsp of aquafaba can be used in place of 1 egg in cooking. I have previously avoided using aquafaba because I thought that you could only use the water of chickpeas and I can’t digest them very well and I didn’t want to have any unpleasant consequences after eating what was intended to be delicious vegan chocolate fudge brownies. However, Pixie said that the water from cooking any kind of beans would work.
I used the water from a packet of butter beans because they’re my favourite and I think the most agreeable bean – they have a nice mild taste, good texture and always digest well for me. I also added the beans into the recipe in place of flour to make the brownies gluten-free. I need to eat a gluten-free diet, but I wanted to cater for everyone at the bake sale.
One last thing before I give you the chocolate fudge brownie recipe!
I have used tapioca flour as a thickener and to help the brownies stick together. You can buy it quite cheaply from a wholefood store or via Amazon. I purchased a bag about a year ago and have used it literally once! Before I bought it I saw a string of recipes that used it and convinced myself that I needed to buy it, but then once I did I never found any recipes to make!
Here’s a list of some interesting recipes you can use it in (if you don’t use it all up making endless batches of chocolate brownies!):
Irish soda bread – Strength & Sunshine
Baked Mac and Cheese – A Virtual Vegan
Gluten-Free Pizza – Karl Cooks
Vegan Mozzarella Cheese – Vegan Huggs
Smokey Vegan Chili Almond Cheese – Green Evi
Pumpkin Molassas Cupcakes– Veggies Don’t Bite
Oatmeal Raisin Pecan Cookies – Veggies Don’t Bite
Gluten-Free Thin Mint Cookies – Where You Get Your Protein
Gluten-Free Pie Raspberry Apple Crumble Pie -Trinitys Kitchen
Hazelnut Loaf with Caramel Frosting – The Hungry Herbivores
Date, Pecan and Butter Bean Vegan Chocolate Fudge Brownie Recipe
<1 of your 5-a-day (but dates and beans count)
- 1 box (400g) of butter beans or
220g beans and 10 tbsp. aquafaba (liquid from cooking the beans)
- 10 large medjool dates
- 1 heaped tbsp. chia seeds
- 3 tbsp. tapioca flour (also called starch)
- 1/3 cup cacao powder
- 1/2 cup smooth nut butter – I used pecan and cashew
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or essence
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- Pinch ground pink Himalayan salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
- Separate the butter beans and their liquid – DON’T THROW IT AWAY you will need it!
- Remove the stones from the dates and place them in a bowl. Add the chia seeds and then pour over the boiling water and the aquafaba (liquid from the beans). Leave it to stand for at least 10 minutes until the dates and chia seeds have absorbed the liquid. When you are happy with it then transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and mix until it starts to become smooth.
- Add the rest of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until you have a smooth batter.
- Pour the mixture into a lined cake tin. The top of the brownie will set how it looks when it goes into the oven – so spend a minute to smooth the top and make it look nice. You can grind extra salt on the top if you want to.
- Cook for 15-17 minutes.
- Once cooked leave the brownie out of the oven to cool.
- Now comes the hard part! Place the brownie in the fridge for 24 hours to give it a nice fudgy texture and to help it set!
How do you feel about putting beans and aquafaba (a.k.a. bean juice) into a chocolate fudge brownie??
I asked my followers on instagram to guess the ingredients for this recipe and a surprising number guessed that some variety of beans were used!!
Shout out to these lovelies for playing along @smoothies_and_sunshine, @fruitsandroutes, @positivelyjessicaward, @sheepycutus, @dontfrigwithmyfood, @tinesjourneytohealth, @earthandspoon, @fit.dom, @elizabethonstage, @food.fun.cook, @alicjaoco and @eleanormay_c.
Let’s give round of applause to @CEREALANDPEANUTBUTTER and @SWEETNUTRITION_BYALE for guessing the most ingredients correct! Both of these ladies have amazing instagram accounts and have been so supportive of Healthy & Psyched, so I’d really recommend that you check them out.
PIN IT – CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIE RECIPE – VEGAN + GLUTEN FREE
Update: Eli made these chocolate fudge brownies and said they tasted nice, plus her house mates had no idea they had beans in! But, she didn’t use the tapioca flour and so they didn’t hold together as well as mine and she had to put them in the fridge to firm up more.