Melt-in your mouth good yet they ain’t too sweet! This is the second batch that I have made in the past 2 weeks and they are already almost gone. Not only are these brownies da bomb (dot com), they are also jam packed with plant protein, oil-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, sweetened with dates. Phew, that was a mouth full, and I definitely need a big deep breath after that one.
There is of course a
funny story behind these brownies. Actually, scratch that, maybe not so funny.
I made these on a whim, testing out a new chocolate bar I had gotten a hold of, and the recipe I had put together was “ohhh my gooodnessss”…my exact words. So I decided I would blog them. Since I had not originally intended to blog them, I decided I would shoot photos a long while after I had made them, and I was worried they were going to go bad, so I stopped everything I was doing (studying for midterms to be exact, whoops), set up my photo station and got to work. The photos I took were meh, but they were going to do. I uploaded them, transferred them into my hard drive, and deleted them off of the disc. Well, I though I uploaded them onto my hard drive…OH NO! The photos were lost forever 🙁 I was mad/sad/frustrated with the situation, but Chris calmed me down and basically said dude, they are just brownies, you can easily make them again in like an hour, and thing about the fact that this had to have happened for a reason.
Well, I found out what the reason was. Not only was I able to improve the recipe, but the photos on this post put the others to shame. Seriously, I don’t know how I pulled these off! I even shot for the first time in a long while without Chris. Imagine me trying to balance the reflector with my knees while standing on the table and almost toppling over a few times, pushing goji out of the way with my feet, and you’ve got an accurate depiction of my afternoon. Anyways, brownies dusted with powdered sugar have always appealed to me, and I am not sure why. I never thought it added that much sweetness or flavor to them, I just think that the dreamy snow-dusted look brought me to a happy place, and up the aesthetic appeal.
I wanted to be sure I dusted these brownies, especially for the photographs for the recipe, but I wanted to avoid refined sugar. A lightbulb sparked in my mind, and brought me back to the raw cacao date night truffles I had made for our easy oil-free Valentine’s Day Menu. We had remade them during easter, and I wanted pastel coatings on them, so I rolled some in freeze dried bananas I had ground into powder. What if I used the same banana powder but used it to dust brownies instead?! YES.
I need to note that you should only dust these when you will immediately be serving. I dusted them, and it kept fading away and almost disappearing, I believe due to the moisture content of the brownies. I served these brownies with freeze-dried fruit, as opposed to fresh fruit for two reasons. 1. I needed o save a few dollas (holla) and the freeze dried fruit provided more volume for you buck and 2. since these brownies are fudge-like in consistency, I wanted to add a crunch element to them and these were the perfect way to do it!
As usual, Goji made sure she was present during the photoshoot for these babies, one of my favorite parts. She decided to sniff around a bit and see if there was anything worth her time (and as usual there wasn’t…diva). And then she lost interest and made her way to watch the birds in the window, when I snapped this photo. Puppy dog eyes on a kitty 🙂
- 1 cup gf rolled oats
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 15 ounces (1 can/carton) cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
- 10-12 Medjool dates, pitted (see notes)
- 2 ripe medium bananas
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate (I used 72%, it will be melted)
- ¼ cup + 1 tbs unsweetened nondairy milk, more if needed
- ¼ cup chocolate protein powder (optional see notes)
- 2 tbsp cacao (or cocoa) powder
- 1 tbs chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line your baking pan with parchment paper (see notes).
- Place oats, shredded coconut, and dates into a high speed blender and run until ground into a meal.
- Melt chocolate: place chocolate into a double boiler and mix continuously until smooth or microwave in intervals of 15 seconds, mixing in between, until melted. Be careful, it may easily burn!
- Add the chocolate + all of the remaining ingredients into the blender and run until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides.
- Place into the lined pan, level out the top, and bake for 25 minutes, until firm to the touch.*
- Remove and cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
- If you would like to dust with the banana powder, be sure the brownies have cooled completely, and dust with a small wire sifter.
- Serve with a tall glass of non-dairy milk, freeze dried or fresh fruit, and/or banana ice cream!
The pan I used was 9 x 13". Cook time will vary based on pan size.
If you want to exclude the protein powder, just use 2 more tbsp of cocoa or cacao powder instead 🙂
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