I’m a sucker for a healthy dessert, or at least a healthier one. I know, I know–some people don’t like ‘weird’ ingredients like sweet potatoes or black beans in their brownies. So, I guess these Flourless Sweet Potato Brownies with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chunks are for the rest of us.?
It’s not difficult to make vegan desserts taste almost exactly like their egg- and milk-laden counterparts. However, most of them are loaded with saturated fat, usually from coconut oil. So we’re really just trading one high-saturated-fat ingredient for another. Granted, plant-based fat is better for you that animal-based fat, but c’mon, we can do better than that, can’t we?
What Makes These Flourless Sweet Potato Brownies Healthier?
Before you write to me and tell me that coconut oil is good for you, check out some studies on NutritionFacts.org. Saturated fat from plants may be ‘better’ than saturated fat from animal sources, but it can still raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol. Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fat. When I first learned this, I ran into my pantry and threw out a large, new and quite expensive jar of the stuff.
But the great news is, you don’t need it! You can make yummy vegan, whole-food plant-based desserts–like these flourless sweet potato brownies with peanut butter and chocolate chunks–with no oil whatsoever. And they taste great. (Really! I promise!)
And if you’re wondering, what’s wrong with flour, even whole grain flour is going to be more processed that the oats we use in this recipe. In a whole food plant-based diet, less processed is better, so why use flour if we don’t need it?
Not only are these vegan flourless sweet potato brownies yummy, they’re incredibly simple to make. You basically just cook up a sweet potato, blend up your ingredients in a food processor and bake. Even a basic baker like me can handle this recipe. (That’s right, I said it. When it comes to baking, I’m pathetically basic.)
But even if you’re not a basic baker like me, I think you’re still going to enjoy these healthier vegan sweet potato brownies.
If you like these flourless sweet potato brownies with peanut butter and chocolate chunks, you might also like:
- Healthy Brownies with Peppermint Frosting
- No-Bake Carrot Cake Bites
- Baked Tortilla Vegan Cannolis
- Skinny Chocolate Mint Chia Powder Pudding
- Skinny Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding
- Skinny Matcha Pudding
Flourless Sweet Potato Brownies with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chunks
- 2 cups sweet potato peeled and 1-inch diced (about 1 medium sweet potato)
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/3 cup Medjool dates diced (about 5 large dates)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened peanut butter
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or other unrefined sweetener, OR add 1-2 extra dates
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup vegan dark chocolate chunks plus more for the top if desired. Look for refined-sugar-free. See notes.
- Optional: Top with 2 tablespoons of chocolate chunks and 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts before baking.
- In a medium sauce pan over high heat, boil the sweet potato pieces for 8-10 minutes or until very tender, drain and rinse with cold water.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350° Fahrenheit. Use a non-stick 8" x 8" baking pan or line with parchment paper.
- To soften the dates, place them in a small dish with 1 tablespoon of water in the microwave and heat on high for 30 seconds.
- To a large food processor, add the dates (and liquid), cooled sweet potato pieces, oats, cocoa powder, applesauce, peanut butter, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder and salt. Blend well until completely mixed, for about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. You want a creamy mixture, with no chewy chunks of oats.
- Stir in the chocolate chips, but DO NOT BLEND. (I remove the blade and stir them in right in the food processor.)
- Spread the brownie mixture evenly in the pan with a rubber scraper or the back of a large spoon. Optional: Top with the extra chocolate chunks and crushed peanuts if using.
- Bake uncovered, 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean. (If the toothpick hits a chocolate chip, it will come out coated with melted chocolate! Check a different spot.)
- Allow the brownies to cool before cutting. If they're still a bit soft after cooling, you can place them in the fridge to firm up. I recommend storing them at room temperature.