Healthy Brownies With Peppermint Frosting
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Healthy Brownies with Peppermint Frosting

Delicious, fudgy Healthy Brownies with Peppermint Frosting are so chock full of good-for-you ingredients, you could eat them for breakfast! No oil, gluten, refined sugar, flour—or guilt.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 260kcal

Ingredients

Brownies

  • 1 15- oz can black beans drained and well rinsed
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup chopped Medjool dates (about 4-5)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond 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 semi-sweet baking chips (vegan & refined-sugar-free. If you can't find chips, just crush a vegan dark chocolate bar.)

Peppermint Frosting

  • 3/4 cups  raw cashews  soaked in hot water 1 hour or 6-8 hours at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup  vanilla yogurt (I like cashew yogurt for this recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2-3 drops of pure peppermint extract. (Or 1/2-1 teaspoon of peppermint flavor. Do not use if oil free.)
  • 2-3 strawberries

Instructions

To make the brownies:

  • Preheat oven to 350°. 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 any liquid), beans, oats, cocoa powder, applesauce, almond butter, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder and salt. Blend well until completely mixed, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. You want a creamy mixture, with no chewy chunks of oats or beans.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips, but DO NOT BLEND. (I stir them right in the food processor, just be careful not to get brownie mix in the whole in the center!)
  • Spread the brownie mix evenly in the pan and place in the oven. Cook, 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.) If they're a bit soft after cooling, they will firm up over time or place them in the fridge.

To make the frosting:

  • Place the cashews, yogurt, maple syrup, peppermint extract (or flavor) and strawberries in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. This can take several minutes.
  • You can serve as is, but I recommend placing the frosting in fridge for about 1 hour to firm up.
  • Spread a generous layer of frosting over brownies, ideally, just before eating. Store any extra frosting or frosted brownies in the fridge. See notes.
  • Optional: If desired, top with crushed peppermint candies or candy canes JUST BEFORE EATING - SEE NOTES. (Do not use if you want to keep the recipe refined-sugar free.) 

Notes

  • I like to frost these brownies as I eat them, rather than frosting the entire batch at once. The cashew frosting is pretty moist, so the frosted brownies tend to get a bit soggy over time.
  • ALSO, PLEASE NOTE: The candy topping should be added JUST BEFORE EATING, as it will start melting into the cashew frosting after about 10-15 minutes. (The moister your frosting, the faster the candy melts!)
  • The frosting will get firmer after refrigeration. I make the frosting first, then keep it in the fridge while I'm making the brownies.
  • The frosting can be frozen and will become firmer after freezing. I like to make a double batch of frosting and store half in the freezer. 

Nutrition

Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 415mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 0.2% | Vitamin C: 2.8% | Calcium: 7.2% | Iron: 16.1%