Ooh I love this one! I’ve made things naturally sweetened, vegan, and all-over healthier before, but this time I’ve made it gluten free too! Yay!
You know how I love to ‘make over’ Starbucks treats:
Well, this one is my favourite one yet! On Tuesday, when discussing the things I am most excited about right now, I teased you guys with this photo of a recipe I promised to share with you on Friday:
Well, it’s Friday, and I keep my promises :).
But I also asked, on Twitter, Facebook and the blog, what you guys thought it was. I guess my photography wasn’t fooling anyone because most of you got brownies right away, and a lovely reader called Janice even successfully guessed the secret ingredient in these babies!
Did I lose you with the chickpeas?
Chickpeas don’t taste as ‘beany’ as black beans, and people make brownies with black beans all the time! I promise you won’t taste them! Just stay with me here…
Let’s round up the goodness that is these wonderful treats:
- low calorie (266 calories per brownies compared to Starbucks’ 410 calories!)
- dairy free (they do contain eggs, but if anyone wants to try them with flax/chia eggs let me know how it works!)
- lower fat (15.7g in mine compared to 24g in Starbucks)
- high protein (7g per brownie)
- high fibre (6.4g per brownie – more than double Starbucks’ 3g!)
- naturally sweetened
- gluten free
I felt bad for putting my mom through my cleanse with me – she didn’t actually do the cleanse with me of course, but I requested that there be as few treats as possible around the apartment while I was detoxing so that I wouldn’t be tempted! So when my cleanse ended I asked her what she most enjoys splurging on when she goes to Starbucks. Her answer? Their Double Chocolate Brownies.
One thing this cleanse got me really into is gluten-free baking. In general I try to avoid gluten when possible – I’m not sensitive to it but I feel as though we have way too much of it in our lives (try reading Wheat Belly, it’s a great read!).
However, I usually don’t bother about avoiding gluten when I eat out, or when I bake treats. But this time I really wanted to put this newfound gluten-free baking knowledge to the test.
Of course, after 33 days of cleansing, my tastebuds were not the most discerning. I would have enjoyed ANYthing that even looked like chocolate, even if it tasted more like mud. So I turned to some trusty taste testers for some feedback on these brownies. Everyone enjoyed them, but here are some notes if you are planning on feeding these to people who don’t have quite the same tastebuds as us ‘special diet’ lovers :).
- If the texture of these brownies is too ‘gluten free’ – the coconut flour is a bit like rice flour in that it can render the texture slightly powdery – then nix the coconut flour altogether and use almond flour for the whole amount of total flours
- If you want to make this non gluten free, please bear in mind that I have not done this myself, but give it a go by starting out with 1/2 cup wheat flour instead of replacing the whole 3/4 cups. Then if the mixture seems too wet add more. You can also reduce the applesauce to keep the balance in check.
- If you have people that like things really sweet, increase the maple syrup quantity to 3/4 cup or even 1 cup.
- To make it vegan, give it a try with flax/chia eggs instead of regular eggs. I haven’t tried this myself, but let me know if it works out!
- Feel free to throw in add-ins such as nuts or extra chocolate chips. You can also add some peppermint essence to the batter for mint brownies, or coffee granules for espresso brownies!
Now that you’re sufficiently impressed by the health benefits, let’s go on to the taste…well, obviously I can’t SHOW you the taste, but I can try my darndest to make you feel it with some photo overload!
That’s not enough, surely?
Let’s eyeball that texture, shall we?
Okay, okay, I’ll leave you alone now. Here’s the recipe…
Better-than-Starbucks’ Double Chocolate Brownies (gluten-free!)
INGREDIENTS (makes 9 large brownies):
1 cup chickpeas
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup coconut butter
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup 70% or darker chocolate chunks/chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a square brownie pan.
2. Blend chickpeas in a blender. Add eggs, maple syrup, applesauce and vanilla, blend till smooth.
3. Add coconut butter and blend till smooth.
4. Combine flours and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl.
5. Pour in liquid mixture from blender, stir until combined.
6. Fold in chocolate chunks or chips and pour batter into greased pan. It was quite thick for me so I spread it out with a spatula.
7. Bake for 40-45 minutes. I like mine extra soft in the centre so I baked just 40 minutes.
8. LET COOL. With these brownies, being gluten-free, they’ll fall apart if you don’t let them cool first. Then slice into squares and enjoy the fudgy goodness!
Nutritional information per brownie if makes 9: