Flourless Vegan Pumpkin Brownies (gluten free, vegan)

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This recipe probably looks pretty familiar to some of you. If it does, don’t worry – you haven’t gone mad.

I have decided to revamp and reshoot some of my old recipes (in between posting new content) in order to give them the love and attention they truly deserve. After making these many times over the last year I’ve come up with a few little tweaks which I think make them even better, which, to me, is a natural part of the cooking process. It would be unfair not to share those improvements with you. More importantly, my photography skills have improved significantly since I began this blog just over a year ago. A quick peek at some of my earlier recipes will make that abundantly, cringe-worthily clear. It requires a real effort in mindfulness for me not to agonize over some of those earlier photos! At the same time, it is also really rewarding to see how far I’ve come.

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But now, on to the food. These brownies were amazing to begin with, but I think I’ve managed to make them even better. And dare I say healthier? I dare!

Pumpkin Brownies-8First I swapped the honey for maple syrup. Not an earth shattering change, I know, but it accomplishes several things. Obviously, the switch makes these friendly to strict vegans, which I strive for as much as possible. Maple syrup also has 15x more calcium than honey and less overall sugar and calories – about 100 less calories and 50g less sugar in the total recipe. It’s not much, but every little bit counts when it comes to desserts. Better still, maple syrup has been shown to actually improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin (which regulates blood sugar), thanks to its particular combination of antioxidants and plant hormones, so it not only contains less sugar, it helps the body to digest that sugar more slowly.

Most importantly, maple syrup is high in various minerals, particularly manganese, zinc, and magnesium. Research has shown that a chocolate craving can actually signify a magnesium deficiency, so the combination of raw cacao and maple syrup here (both excellent sources) will satisfy both your sweet tooth and your body’s desire for depleted minerals.

Finally, I adjusted the baking time and temperature to ensure that the time between mixing the batter and stuffing your face with chocolatey goodness was as short as humanly possible. You’re only mortal, after all, and it is unfortunately 100% necessary to let these cool before eating. The batter is fair game though – I think I ate a brownie’s worth before even getting this into the oven.

These brownies are going to rock your choco-lovin’ world.

The outer crust has the perfect amount of chew, and it cracked just perfectly.

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And the inside? All rich, fudgey goodness. It’s what chocolate dreams are made of.

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Flourless Vegan Pumpkin Brownies (makes 12 brownies)

~ gluten free, vegan, grain-free, soy free, dairy free ~

Ingredients

Dry

  • 1 cup raw cacao
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 heaping tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips

Wet

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup natural almond butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 7 x 11 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients except for the chocolate chips together in a large bowl.
  3. Mix all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and gently stir until just combined.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes. It will still feel quite soft, but the top should have a nice, cracked crust. If you give the pan a little shake it should not jiggle.
  7. Let cool at least 20 minutes before serving – it will firm up as it cools – and use a hot, wet knife when slicing.

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