My original thought for making a vegetable-added brownie was to make a beet brownie. I eventually will, but I had a sweet potato to use.
Sweet potatoes in particular add sweetness to the brownies such that less sugar is necessary. I also had to make pumpkin muffins because I had yet to make them this fall, though they are one of the things I most look forward to making in the fall and winter. The pumpkin muffins are inspired by the Yammy Muffins recipe from the Sustainable Food Center’s The Happy Kitchen cookbook, which I’m currently doing some recipe testing for. I changed up that recipe quite a bit, reducing the amount of sugar, increasing the pumpkin, eliminating the oil, and using pumpkin in place of sweet potato. Overall, using vegetables in baking adds moisture so that less oil and eggs are necessary, and in the case of beets and sweet potatoes, adds sweetness so that you don’t need to add so much sugar. Of course, there’s also the added nutrition factor.
1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinammon
1/2 cup barley malt syrup
1/2 cup almond milk (or any milk will do)
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
2 T ground flax mixed with 6 T water, or 2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 400. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with papers, or dab some vegetable oil or butter in the cups to keep the muffins from sticking.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In another smaller bowl combine the pumpkin, flax mixture or eggs, vanilla, barley malt, and almond milk. Then, mix the dry and wet ingredients together, until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Evenly distribute muffin batter in the muffin pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
Sweet Potato Brownies
4 T (1/2 stick) butter or non-hydrogenated margarine (I think coconut oil would be good here too, though I haven’t tried it yet.)
1 4-ounce bar of 100% cacao chocolate (I used Ghiradelli brand)
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
About 1 cup mashed sweet potato (about 1 large sweet potato)
1 T ground flax mixed with 3 T water, or 1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Peel the sweet potato, cut into chunks, and boil until tender. (Another alternative is to cut a few slits in the potato and microwave until it’s cooked, usually about 10 minutes.) Mash in a medium bowl.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter with the chocolate bar in a medium saucepan or skillet over medium low heat until completely melted. Stir during the process to facilitate the combining of the butter and chocolate.
Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt) together in a small bowl. Mix the flax mixture or egg with the sweet potato, vanilla, and sugar. Add the chocolate mixture, then add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Place in a square 8×8 pan, or a loaf pan for thicker brownies (that’s what I did). Bake for about 25 minutes. The brownies will be very fudgy, not cakey.