Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vegan sugar-free sweet potato brownies

Breakfast: Fruit crepes with yogurt

Lunch: Grilled veggies sandwich with salad

Dinner: Lentil shepherd's pie followed by vegan sugar-free sweet potato brownies

Last week Louise sent me a link to Dan Lepard's sweet potato brownies. I liked the idea a lot, because I'm a massive sweet tooth and so am on a constant mission to create treats that I can eat all the time without feeling and looking like the Little Chef logo pre-slimming.

I'm also on a kick of making treats vegan where possible, so everyone can enjoy them (hi Charley!). With a little bit of trial and error, I managed to make a moist, decadent version of Dan's brownies that's not only vegan, but sugar-free too.

You'll need
(Makes 10-12)
1 cup baked sweet potato
1 cup plain flour
1 cup cashews, chopped
1 cup canola / macadamia oil
1 cup dates
2/3 cup cocoa (make sure it's vegan - no milk-based ingredients)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup water + 1 tbsp
Preheat oven to 175 degrees C
Line a square tin with foil
Mash the sweet potatoes when they've been baked
Blend the dates with 1 tbsp water to form a paste
Stir the potatoes and dates together with the vanilla extract
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda
Stir in the potato mix
Stir in the rest of the water and the oil
Fold in the chopped nuts
Spoon into the baking tin and smooth down
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is just hardening
Leave to cool totally before cutting, or the brownies will crumble

These aren't super sweet, but if you want them to be, add 2 tbsp honey or 1/2 cup sugar. I prefer them without, and the dates add some sweetness. Macadamia oil has been my oil of choice lately because it brings such a deliciousness to baking (plus it was unusually cheap in the store) but canola oil or even vegetable oil would do.

These are killer with a cup of tea or milk. Yes, I'm a little kid deep down.


  1. whaou looks great, i am keeping a veg thinking since i came back from india, no meat at all, a bit of fish... but most of vegetarian, not vegan... on my way for vegan

  2. These are delicious, I'm eating one right now! Well done on the veggie thinking, I think it's important to choose a diet that's right for you and if that means cutting out meat but eating fish, then that's what you should do! I am trying to incorporate lots more vegan food into my diet as I find it gives me a clear head and lots of energy, but I do still have milk and my tea and eggs on weekends :)

  3. I am baking these right now! I substituted half the oil with applesauce - hope they turn out! Was wondering if you had nutritional info per brownie (i.e. calories, grams of fat, fiber, etc.)? I love baking vegan for health reasons & for my egg allergic toddler, but try to make everything as low fat as possible. Will let u know how we like them!

  4. That's great Annie, let me know how they work out! I'm sure the applesauce will substitute for the oil fine. Unfortunately I don't have the nutritional info but I'm hoping that I can start doing this for my recipes soon - at the moment it would be guesswork and I'd prefer to wait til I can get it right!

    I highly recommend these Beet and Chocolate cupcakes if you're looking for 'healthy' baking, as beets are a superfood and the recipe contains no oil or butter. You can try subbing part of the sugar out for pureed dates or applesauce too, and you can scratch the buttercream if you like (although that's my favourite part!)

  5. The brownies came out great! I think that they may have risen a little bit higher than a traditional brownie and are maybe a tad more moist & I am not sure if this is due to the applesauce or not. My hubby is impressed - he hates sweets and the only way I can get him to enjoy baking is by using lots of fruits & veggies in it & our little boy is the same! I think I would put half the amount of cashews though next time as ratio seems a little high. Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. Oh awesome, I'm so glad you liked them! I am a total nut fiend and especially love them in brownies so my amounts are probably a little higher than some people's! Happy to hear that your household loved them, I'll try to post some more recipes along this line soon :)