Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it - healthy vegan peanut butter brownies? It's not though. Ever since my first attempt at making vegan rice cooker brownies when we were living in Thailand, I've been experimenting with different methods to make better, healthier, Clarabell*-friendly brownies. And guess what? I've done it - thanks to a secret ingredient.
OK, since I'm spilling the beans (almost literally!), perhaps it would be fairer to say 'surprising' ingredient, not 'secret'. Before I divulge all though, I want to tell you that as well as being vegan, my brownies...
- are gluten-free
- are low-GI
- are rich
- are really delicious
- and healthy
- and even a bit fudgy
- have loads of flavonoids, which help with satiety - so a great snack for those of us watching our weight
- have no refined sugar
- have no added fat or oil
- have no wheat flour
That's a pretty cool list, no? Guilt-free peanut butter brownies - although to be honest, one should never feel guilty about eating brownies. Am I right?
Vegan peanut butter brownies - the secret ingredient!
So what's my secret ingredient? Chickpeas. Yes, you read that correctly, chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Not only do these little powerhouses of goodness replace the need for flour but the proteins in them mean you don't need an additional binder, such as egg, butter, or oil. How cool is that?
Making my vegan peanut butter brownies is so simple too - simply whizz everything (except 2 tbsp peanut butter and the chocolate pieces) together in a food processor, dump the batter into an oven dish, swirl in the aforementioned PB and chocolate, then bake for just over half an hour. It really is that simple.
I really hope you love these brownies as much as I do. Make them for your friends, relatives, colleagues - all the people! - and see if they can tell what they're made from. I bet they won't be able to.
Vegan Peanut Butter Brownies - with a secret ingredient!
- Heat your oven to 180c.
- Line a 15cm x 15cm baking dish with baking parchment or silicone paper.
- Put everything - except 2 tbsp peanut butter and the chocolate - into a food processor, and whizz together on high speed for 3-5 minutes, scraping the sides down as necessary, until you have a very smooth batter.
- Transfer the batter into the oven dish, spreading out evenly, then swirl in the remaining peanut butter and the chocolate pieces.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes; the brownies will still be a bit gooey but that's fine, they're supposed to be like that. The top should look cracked and dry, and should feel slightly firm when lightly pressed.
- Set aside to cool for 15 minutes, and then score into 16 pieces.
- Leave to cool completely before eating - they'll firm up as they cool. If you're really impatient, you could put them in the 'fridge to cool off!
- Assuming they are around that long, these brownies will keep for a week if stored in an airtight container.
- 1 cup = US cup = 240 ml
- 1 tbsp = US/UK = 15 ml
- 1 fl oz = US = 30 ml
If you like my Vegan Peanut Butter Brownies recipe, check out these choccy yums! Oh, my!
*Clarabell is the name of one of the Brahmin cows in Fallout 4 - she happily wanders around my settlement at Abernathy Farm, and sometimes nuzzles the little grey cat who also lives there. She has even been known to have a chat with my German Shepherd companion, Poochie Rex. OK, his in-game name is Dogmeat but I I don't like it. I just don't wike it!