After my friend has recently found a love for healthy alternatives to our favourite foods (check out @nicely.nourished on Instagram if you want to see her ideas!), I decided to follow suit and try some healthy baking of my own. Like most, I enjoy something chocolatey as a treat, and so decided to give vegan brownies a go.
A while ago, I attempted kidney bean brownies, which, although having that chocolatey fix, had a strange grainy texture due to the kidney beans. They did taste nice, but were a bit too different for me. However, the sweet potato brownies by Deliciously Ella seemed to be a concoction of my favourite ingredients (maple syrup, medjool dates and sweet potatoes), so I decided they would be worth a go.
I fully committed to doing it by the book, and invested in some cacao from Holland and Barrett. It’s quite pricey (£8 is the cheapest I saw it for in there), but the one penny sale was on so I got a second bag for 1p, definitely worth it! It’s apparently healthier than normal cocoa as it retains its nutritional value as well as tasting just like its unhealthier counterpart, and being a lot stronger means you can use less. I’ve started to sprinkle it on my porridge in a morning as it provides a nice alternative to sugar.
The first challenge is blending the sweet potatoes with the dates in a food processor; superficially easy, but actually a bit more difficult than it seems as the dates get stuck to the blades and the cooked sweet potato is already pretty soft. The mix is extremely tasty though as Ella says on her blog, especially as a fan of sweet potato! So once the dates and sweet potato have been blended into a sweet mush, that’s pretty much all the work done, as the rest is just a mixing game with the remaining ingredients, before popping it in the oven for 20 minutes.
What I love about this recipe is how natural it is. The finished results look and feel like real brownies, but it’s even better knowing that this treat isn’t full of additives or unwanted vegetable fats. Taste-wise, they obviously aren’t a standard chocolate brownie. Their unique taste though does have a certain moreish element and provides a great alternative to the standard traybake. Congratulations to Ella and her blog as this is definitely one to try!