top of page
  • Writer's pictureKelly

Moist Date-Sweetened Superfood Brownies (Vegan, GF, Date-Sweetened, Caffeine-Free Option, Nut-Free & Coconut-Free Option)

So... I FINALLY got around to getting my first brownie recipe on The Dimpled Date, and let me tell you: it delivers. Not only that, it's EXTRA healthy, loaded with superfoods, legumes, and clean ingredients. These brownies are über fudgy, super moist, chocolatey, sweet, soft, and chewy, with a slightly crinkly top. ANNNND they are 100% vegan, gluten-free, and date-sweetened. These brownies are the dream, and for those of you who have kids or don't do caffeine (which is present in cocoa/cacao powder), you're in luck! Because I have low-caffeine and caffeine-free options for you in this recipe. If you're a fan of thick, chewy yet moist + soft, sweet, rich, chocolatey brownies, this recipe is for you. Just in time for Valentine's Day/Galentine's Day/February. The Dimpled Date presents: brownies. Enjoy! <3




Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Brownies are here! And WOW are they good! Looking for a healthy brownie that satisfies all your sweet and chocolate cravings in a thick, moist, chewy, soft brownie? Then look no further!


As per usual, these brownies are: vegan, gluten-free, and date-sweetened. I also have low-caffeine and caffeine-free options for kids and those of you who don't consume caffeine. And there's a nut-free AND coconut-free option if you make these brownies with avocado oil or olive oil, seed butter, and nut-free plant milk. These brownies also have hidden legumes in the form of black beans (which you won't taste or feel at all, but technically they're optional). Plus they are packed with superfoods, everything from maqui berry to açaí to maca to cacao to carob, you name it!




These brownies are great for Valentine's Day or Galentine's Day or really just any day. They are sure to make your tastebuds happy. And they're easy to make.


Have a classic recipe you wanna see on The Dimpled Date? Leave your suggestion in the comments, and you might just see it here soon! I've done everything from chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies to chocolate cupcakes to peppermint bark to cakesicles to "Pop-Tarts" (in 5 different flavors, mind you) to chocolate lava cakes to peanut butter cups to "Nutella". All vegan, gluten-free, and date-sweetened, btw. But if I'm missing a classic dessert that you think should be on here, let me know because I know I'm still missing a lot.


I already previewed Valentine's recipes of past, present, and future in my recent "Autumn Harvest" Raw Chessboard Cake recipe, here, but I have more new recipes to preview for this Valentine's 2024...



SO, I nearly perfected my recipe for Candida-Friendly Sourdough Bread, and can't wait to share it on here with all of you! It is soooo good. I even found a way to substitute some of the sourdough starter in the recipe with cultured coconut milk yogurt and kombucha. Yeah, so great things are happening in the kitchen.


Also, something else exciting: I'm taking an advanced baked cakes and cake decorating course soon, so I can learn how to make and decorate show-stopping wedding cakes that are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar free, soy-free, and natural. The specialty decoration in the course will be velour, or velvet coating, which is a texturized decoration on the outside of the cake sprayed onto it for an elegant effect (don't worry, it has nothing to do w/ real velvet, it's 100% vegan). Velour decorating is popular in Europe. I'll also perfect my piping skills and learn how to make isomalt vases and edible marmalade details in the course and am SUPER excited for it!! Especially since my baked cake game is weak rn... (but my raw cake game is STRONG). My plan is to post a recipe for a baked cake on The Dimpled Date prior to the course to show the "Before" of my baked cakes before the course, which I can later compare to the "After" (kind of like I did w/ my raw cakes here on The Dimpled Date, before I took the raw healthy pastry course that I became a Certified Raw Vegan Pastry Chef through). Stay tuned!


Two other new Valentine's 2024 recipes are headed to The Dimpled Date as well, keep posted for those..





Substitutions


The black beans are perfectly optional but can be substituted with kidney beans, white beans, or chickpeas. Any kind of dates will work, such as Medjool or Deglet Noor. I don't recommend using a different sweetener, as dates form the base of these brownies. The cacao powder can be substituted with cocoa powder, or alternatively, you can replace some or all of it with carob powder for a low-caffeine/caffeine-free alternative. Likewise, you can replace the carob powder with cacao powder/cocoa powder. The superfoods are perfectly optional, but are recommended for the nutritional boost. Nonetheless, you can use any superfood powders that taste good and won't affect the flavor of the brownies negatively. I like to use maca powder and açaí or maqui berry powder, but alternatively you can try beet powder, matcha powder, lucuma powder, mesquite powder (this will impart a slightly smoky flavor), a tiny bit of turmeric or ginger, cinnamon, spinach powder, spirulina powder (green or blue), really whatever your heart desires. The espresso powder can be omitted.


The oat flour can't really be substituted, as gluten-free flours can be tricky to substitute. I could suggest using white rice flour OR brown rice flour OR cassava flour instead, but PLEASE NOTE: I have not tried this recipe with any of these flours and therefore CANNOT guarantee good results. If you try these brownies with any of these flours, lmk how it turned out in the comments! The arrowroot flour can be replaced with tapioca flour OR potato starch (NOT potato flour) OR cornstarch. The melted 100% dark chocolate can be replaced with your melted vegan dark chocolate of choice (refined sugar free as needed) OR potentially melted cacao butter. Please note: I CAN'T guarantee cacao butter will work. The baking soda is essential, as it is the leavener/leavening agent in these brownies, and therefore it can't be substituted. The sea salt can be replaced with a pinch of table salt or can be omitted.


The vanilla extract can be replaced with an equivalent amount of scraped vanilla bean, pure ground vanilla beans (the black/brown powder), sugar-free vanilla paste, sugar-free vanilla syrup, OR sugar-free vanilla powder (the white powder). I don't recommend omitting it, as it balances the chocolate flavor of the brownies. If you must, replace it with 1 tsp natural coconut extract OR 1 tsp almond extract OR 1/2 tsp orange extract per single batch, noting that these extracts will add these flavors. The coconut oil can be substituted with avocado oil OR olive oil OR your neutral healthy vegetable oil of choice. Alternatively, you might be able to use unsweetened applesauce OR mashed ripe banana instead of the oil. For the nut/seed butter, you may use any variety of nut/seed butter, so long as it's unsweetened. Some ideas: almond butter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter (for a "Nutella" effect), peanut butter (choco + PB, anyone?), macadamia nut butter, walnut butter, pecan butter, tahini, sunflower seed butter (AKA sunflower butter), pumpkin seed AKA pepita butter, hempseed butter, etc. Any of these would work, and the nut/seed butter can be raw or roasted, salted or unsalted, creamy or crunchy, baker's choice (just make sure it's unsweetened). I'm not 100% sure but I think even softened coconut butter (AKA "coconut manna") might work.


You may use any kind of unsweetened plant milk, such as almond milk, cashew milk, thin (cartoned) coconut milk, rice milk, oat milk, soy milk, etc. (use nut-free and soy-free as needed). Instead, try filtered water OR unsweetened coconut water. The flax eggs can be replaced with 2 chia eggs per single batch OR 6 Tbsp aquafaba (chickpea brine). The chocolate chunks folded into the batter are technically optional (but aren't), and I recommend using my vegan Date-Sweetened Dark Chocolate, but you can use any kind of dairy-free dark chocolate chips/chunks/chopped bar, homemade or store-bought, such as Enjoy Life!'s chocolate chunks. Be sure to use a refined sugar free vegan dark chocolate as needed. And I recommend using dark, bittersweet, semisweet, or dairy-free "milk" chocolate. But if you don't want too much chocolate, try vegan white chips or chopped vegan white chocolate, sugar-free as needed, such as my vegan Date-Sweetened White Chocolate, chopped (also: my date-sweetened white choco has a bonus recipe for PB white chocolate... just saying this would go great with PB in the brownies and the PB white choco chunks :P). I don't recommend using 100% dark chocolate as the fold in, but you can use it (knowing that this will bring down the sweetness of the brownies a lil). Alternatively, if you're making carob brownies, try carob chips (sugar-free as needed) instead of chocolate chips. Add any other desired add-ins, such as unsweetened dried fruit, nuts, etc. Btw the finished brownies would go great with a scoop of frozen banana-based nice cream or my Healthy Butterbeer Ice Cream (which is to DIE for even on its own, but please note that my Butterbeer Ice Cream is maple-sweetened). Or a drizzle of my date-sweetened coconut caramel sauce version of my Paleo Sea Salt Caramel Sauce would go great on top of these brownies. Really, the possibilities are endless!




More Valentine's Recipes on the Way!


Check in again soon for more Valentine's recipes, heading your way. And let us know how you liked these brownies in the comments and how you served yours (à la mode, skillet version, boozy, etc.)!


Happy Galentine's/Valentine's Day <3


Enjoy!

-K.



Moist Date-Sweetened Superfood Brownies (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Date-Sweetened, Caffeine-Free Option, Nut-Free & Coconut-Free Option)


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Servings: 16 brownies (one 8" x 8" dish's worth)


Ingredients*:


-2 cups dates (I used Medjool), soaked in hot water for 5 to 15 minutes


-(optional): 1/2 cup canned or cooked black beans, drained and rinsed (can sub chickpeas, kidney beans, white beans, OR beans of choice)


-1/4 cup 100% dark chocolate, melted (can sub melted dairy-free dark chocolate of choice, refined sugar free as needed)


-1 Tbsp vanilla extract


-1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (can sub avocado oil OR olive oil)


-1/4 cup nut/seed butter of choice


-2/3 cup unsweetened plant milk of choice (use nut-free as needed)


-2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flax meal + 5 Tbsp filtered water, stir, let rest 5 min)


-1 cup gluten-free oat flour


-1/4 cup arrowroot flour (can sub tapioca starch)


-1 tsp baking soda


-pinch sea salt


-1/4 cup cacao powder (can sub additional carob powder for caffeine-free)


-1/4 cup carob powder OR an additional 1/4 cup cacao powder (if you prefer chocolate brownies)


-(optional): 1 tsp maca powder (NOT matcha)


-(optional): 1 tsp açaí powder OR maqui berry powder


-(optional): 1/2 tsp espresso powder


Fold-ins:


-(optional): 1 cup my Date-Sweetened Dark Chocolate (contains: coconut) OR vegan dark chocolate of choice, chips or chopped bar (refined sugar free and nut-/coconut-free as needed)


Directions:


1. If using my Date-Sweetened Dark Chocolate as the fold in, make that ahead of time as per the directions in that recipe. Line an 8" x 8" square baking dish with parchment paper or grease it lightly with avocado oil spray, vegan butter, or coconut oil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Soak the dates, make the flax eggs, melt the 100% chocolate, melt the coconut oil (if using), and drain and rinse the beans (if using).


2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (oat flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda, sea salt, cacao powder, carob powder, maca powder, açaí/maqui berry powder, and espresso powder). Set aside.


3. Blend the soaked & drained dates into a paste in a food processor, scraping down the sides and re-blending as necessary. Add the beans (if using) and blend until thoroughly incorporated and smooth.


4. Add all wet ingredients (melted chocolate, vanilla, nut/seed butter, flax eggs) EXCEPT the plant milk and oil to the food processor and blend until uniform.


5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the food processor and blend well (over-blending a little bit is actually good to get a crinkle on top of the brownies!).


6. Drizzle the oil and plant milk through the feeder tube hole (the hole in the lid) of the food processor and down into the other ingredients while it's turned on and running and let blend just until incorporated.


7. Remove the blade from the food processor and fold in the chocolate chips/chunks and/or other fold-ins, if using.


8. Spread the batter out evenly into the 8" square dish, smoothing the top.


9. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the brownies comes out with moist crumbs (NOT gooey wet batter). Be mindful that if you used chocolate chips, this may look like gooey wet batter.


10. Cool in the pan for at least 15 to 20 minutes.


11. Serve with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of my coconut caramel sauce, fresh fruit, crushed nuts, or your toppings of choice. Enjoy! Happy Valentine's Day! <3


NOTES:


-see the "Substitutions" section of this post for additional serving suggestions


26 views0 comments

Comments


Anchor 1
JUMP TO RECIPE Keto Granola
bottom of page