I think these are unofficially the healthiest brownies on the internet - but you won’t say so when you taste them!
I grew up in a small town that has become the gourmet capital of South Africa. I didn’t spend much time in the local restaurants – I was too young and my mum was a great cook – but one of my lasting food memories is of the brownies that the (arguably) most famous restaurant there occasionally sold at the counter-tops. You had to know when they’d be on sale and they disappeared quickly so getting your hands on one was a real treat. They were gooey, chocolatey and oh so decadent. I imagine the ingredient list for those brownies would read: butter, chocolate, sugar, more butter – so certainly not appropriate for this blog! These brownies are the antithesis of those – they have three of your five a day in them and are dairy free and refined sugar free. They do however taste delicious!
I have tried multiple versions of these – the first batch had no maple syrup in them and Little Goat (and his dad) didn’t take to them. They just didn’t have enough of the sweetness or gooeyness to really be called brownies. I’ve made countless batches since then, experimenting with the right amount of maple syrup that makes them tasty while not adding any more than necessary and this is the final version that works!
I don’t often add sweetener (maple syrup, honey etc) to my recipes, preferring to use the sweetness in fruit and vegetables where possible, but I make exceptions for food that packs a nutritional punch - and these really do that. Each of these brownies has a toddler’s daily portion of black beans in them - that means they are getting a great source of iron and protein (which is one of the things a lot of parents struggle to get young children to eat).
It also has sweet potato and banana - this not only means you’re getting more nutrients but it also means you don’t need to add any flour - so they’re gluten free too!
This is an amazing snack for a dairy free picky eater - it is predominantly fruit and veg packed into a seriously yummy package that the whole family can enjoy.
Healthiest Dairy Free Fudge Brownies
Makes: 10 large brownies
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 70 minutes (45 minutes for sweet potato, 25 minutes for brownies)
1 sweet potato (~100-150g)
1 very ripe banana (~100-150g)
230g drained black beans (that’s one medium can)
90g maple syrup (you can substitute for honey but then they will taste of honey!)
50g coconut oil
15g cocoa powder
A good handful of chopped nuts for topping
A good handful of dairy-free chocolate chips for topping (I leave these off the slices for Little Goat to make them refined-sugar free)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
Pierce and roast the sweet potato for ~45 minutes (it should be very soft and gooey), then scoop out the flesh when cooked and cool
Put all the ingredients (except the nuts and chocolate chips for topping) in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and combined (be careful not to add eggs to hot sweet potato as you’ll make scrambled eggs)
Top with the nuts and chocolate chips (you can leave off the chocolate chips for young kids - they are recommended for older kids and adults!)
Put the mixture into a lined baking tray and bake for 25 minutes
Remove from the oven, allow to cool and slice
Roast the sweet potato the night before and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to bake this, then it is ready in no time
These keep in the fridge for a good few days