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Gluten Free and Vegan Chickpea Brownies

 

Yields:  about 9 -12 brownies           Prep Time:  15 minutes       Total Time:  1 hour

 

Full of vegetarian protein, iron and healthy fats, these chocolate brownies taste decadent, yet are simply made and have extra nutritional benefits!

 

Ingredients

1 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

3/4 cup cane sugar

3/4 cup high quality cocoa powder

3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup avocado oil (plus a little for greasing pan)

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan and gluten free if desired)

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

2. Place all ingredients (except chocolate chips) into a food processor.  Process until combined (about 1 minute).  You may need to open and scrape the sides and restart to ensure even blending.

 

 

 

3. Add in chocolate chips and pulse for 10 to 30 seconds.

 

4. Lightly grease an 8 x 8 glass baking dish.  Pour batter into dish.  Spread batter evenly in dish. (It is a dense batter, so sometimes putting a bit of oil on the spatula helps to spread the batter evenly in the pan without it sticking.)

 

 

5. Bake at 350 for about 40 to 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

 

 

So, beans in brownies are nothing new.  Yet, I still get incredibly excited when experimenting with different ingredients and after multiple tries, things come out beautifully! 

 

These brownies are gluten free, using chickpeas as the main base.  A bit of almond flour is used to help bind everything together and add a chewy texture.  Using a drier (less fat) flour, would soak up more of the moisture, whereas almonds have healthy fat and actually do a perfect job of helping to bind without taking out moisture.  Otherwise, you get a dry brownie.  These are more chewy in nature.

 

 

Chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans) have many health benefits such as being a good source of protein, fiber, iron and manganese.  They also have a somewhat buttery texture, making them a great substitution in baked goods.  I have noticed some brands have a bitter taste. 

 

Some people I know take them dry, soak and cook them, and then use them in whatever recipe calls for chickpeas.  Ideally, I would like to try this someday, as it seems it may be the different between a mediocre hummus and a really good one.  However, in baked goods, it all gets whipped together and baked, and the taste of the chickpeas is not what I’m looking to highlight. 

 

 

There is sugar, which helps make these little guys delicious and irresistible.  Although, as I’ve mentioned many times before, if I’m going to eat a brownie (or 2, or 3), if I can get in extra fiber, protein and healthy fats over simply empty calories, while not compromising taste too much, I’m in!

 

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