Hungry Haley

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Best Vegan Brownies (Paleo)

Dessert, Grain-Free, GF, Vegan, Whole-Wheat, ChocolateHaley HansenComment

"Want to go to the beach for a little while today before you go babysit?" - Grace, my best friend (also my roommate/confidant/sunset-picnic-partner/& new sous chef). 

"Ugh, yes, buuut I can't. I need to work on some recipes..." - me.

"... wait, want to help me? I'm thinkin' about brownies!" - I asked, with an alluring smirk to convince her to help me.

And before we knew it, we were in the kitchen, stirring together coconut flour + cacao powder and chocolate nut butter + sugar. Oh, it deserves to be mentioned that I totally winged it with this recipe. I adapted this one, from Ambitious Kitchen, but you'd barely even know. Come to think of it, have I ever followed a recipe exactly as written? Hmm... probably about as many times as I've eaten steak in the last four years. Answer: not once.

Best Vegan Brownies (Paleo, GF, Vegan)

"Okay, can you pour the nut butter in that big bowl, and be sure to scrape the sides of the measuring cup with that spatula to not waste any," I ask (some might say "boss") Grace, and she happily cleans out the measuring cup, except with her finger instead of the spatula. What can I say? She's learned from the best, clearly. 

"Uhhh... you only need one tablespoon of coconut flour for this whole recipe?" Grace skepticizes, and with good reason. Coconut flour absorbs an abnormal amount of moisture - way more than other flours - so not much is needed, especially for brownies that don't call for any other liquid. In fact, Grace had to donate some of her almond milk (thanks again, girlfriend) to add some moisture back in. She was glad to contribute. :)

Best Vegan Brownies (Paleo, GF, Vegan)

Before transferring the batter into the oven, I assessed its current situation - checked the texture/consistency, color, aroma, and of course, taste. Grace volunteered to help with that, too. I let the spoonful of batter rest on my tongue for a second or two before I felt confident enough in my thought: these could be epic. Absolutely e p i c. Grace verbalized those thoughts. We're pretty sure we have telepathy. 

Into the oven the baking pans went! And into the air went the scent of warm, thick, homemade brownies - not the type flooding Pinterest feeds today (i.e. the vegan ones, the black bean ones, the sugar-free ones). No no no. These brownies are certainly homemade, and even though they are vegan, gluten- and grain-free, and paleo, they still smell and taste and feeeeeeeel like childhood brownies, whether that be from an old local bakery or Grandma's kitchen. 

These things are LEGIT. 

We waited patiently as ever for them to cool, I took tons and tons and tons of photographs as I audibly proclaimed my surprise + excitement, and Grace laughed as she shared it all on her Snapchat. Worthy. 

Then came the moment of truth. I'd already sliced into one of the pans, so texture was not an issue. Taste was what we were going for... 

... And taste we FOUND. Above and beyond our expectations. And I'm 95% sure they'l be above and beyond yours, as well. Test me. Go ahead. I ain't scared. 

Makes about 10-12 brownies

3/4 cup of NuttZo Chocolate Power Fuel
1/2 cup of sugar (I used organic cane sugar from Trader Joe's)
2 flax eggs
2 tbsp of unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tbsp coconut flour
3 tbsp of cacao powder
1 tsp of sea salt
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/3 cup of chocolate chips
1/3 cup of chopped walnuts
Oil, for greasing

350F for 20-22 mins

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and coat a 9x9 baking pan or two smaller ones with oil. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients - the coconut flour, cacao powder, sea salt, and baking soda. Set aside. 
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the nut butter, sugar, flax eggs, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Carefully stir the wet into the dry and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnut pieces. 
  4. Transfer the batter to the baking pan and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out relatively clean (relatively because you might poke a chocolate chip, not undercooked batter). 
  5. Let cool slightly before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. 
  6. Enjoy!
Best Vegan Brownies (Paleo, GF, Vegan)