A small batch of vegan, gluten-free, no sugar added banana brownies!
4 dates (to mash up as sweetener)
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup plant-based milk
1/2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
6 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup brewed coffee
1 tbsp vanilla
2 very ripe bananas (set 1/2 banana aside for topping)
1 cup oats (to make oat flour)
4 tbsp cup cocoa
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 large vegan dark chocolate bar, broken up/1/2 cup chocolate of choice
Boil the 1/2 cup water, this will be used to soften the dates.
Remove the date pits and chop the dates up as finely as possible, pour the water over them and set them aside for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Make buttermilk by adding the lemon juice or vinegar to the milk, let sit for 5 minutes.
Combine in the coconut oil, coffee*, and vanilla.
Mash up* 1 ½ of the bananas, add to the mix. Slice the leftover banana ½ to put on top of the loaf later.
Drain water from dates. Add the dates to a blender/food processor and blitz into a paste*. Add date paste to batter.
Make oat flour* by grinding 1 cup of old fashioned oats in a blender/food processor until flour consistency.
Combine in the oat flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
Fold in most of your chocolate, save some for topping.
Pour the batter into a greased/lined baking dish, I used a 9.5 by 5.5 loaf tin.
Arrange the banana slices and leftover chocolate on top.
Bake for 50 minutes. Use a toothpick to make sure the brownies are fully baked. When the brownie bake has cooled a little, cut it into squares. I cut 8.
You should be able to buy dates at most stores. I get mind at Trader Joe's. We're using dates in this recipe to replace sugar.
If you don't have a blender/food processor, let the dates soak in boiling water and then mash them up with a potato masher, forks, or (my favorite) you hands. I tried this. It was fun to squish the dates up in my fingers. The date paste replaces sugar, so add 1/4 cup sugar if you absolutely cannot make the date paste.
Weird tip, but here's how I mash my bananas.
Use really ripe bananas, you know, the brown ones.
Leave the skins on and gently apply pressure as you roll the bananas in your hands to start squishing the insides.
Cut the bananas in half and squeeze the inside out into the batter.
The bananas should be pretty mashed now, but use a fork to incorporate them fully into the batter.
I know it sounds strange, but coffee is just used to enhance the chocolate flavor. Coffee acts with the cocoa powder and chocolate chips/chunks to make a very delicious chocolate loaf. Don't worry, your loaf won't taste like coffee. And if you don't want to complicate the recipe by making coffee, just sub it with water.
I recently used oat flour in my carrot cake recipe, and I loved it. Oat flour is easy to make, gluten free, high in protein, and whole grain. As I said in the instructions, all you need to do is blitz 1 cup oats in a blender/food processor until it reaches a flour consistency. Boom. Oat flour! If you hate this extra step, use the same amount of a different flour of you choice.
Keep your brownies in the fridge after baking them, they'll spoil if you don't.
Baked goods are often high in sugar, fat, and carbs. As someone who bakes often, I have to watch how much I eat. I love to eat. I do. I also love to have a healthy body. That being said, I appreciate when a recipe states a calorie count. So I've decided to provide that for you.
Total calories: 2,140
Divide that by how many portions you cut the brownie bake into. That number will be your calories per brownie. If you used different ingredients, your calories will be different.
Our dry ingredients, wet ingredients, date paste, and 1/2 banana for topping.
Our brownie batter combined with chocolate chunks and 1/2 banana set aside for topping.
Our brownie hot out of the oven with toppings.
Chocolatey and healthy!
I'll be honest, this recipe started out as banana bread and then turned into brownies. The recipe evolved as I started putting the ingredients together. I decided on oat flour instead of AP flour and dates instead of sugar. Then I added chocolate, cocoa powder, and coffee. Vegan banana bread became healthy chocolate brownies. This recipe is customizable and you can be confident about every ingredient that goes into it. Dates, bananas, coconut oil, oats, etc. I promise to make a terribly delicious and unhealthy brownie batch soon.