Pumpkin & Chocolate Dream Brownies
If you’re sick of seeing pumpkin flavored everything already, then please bear with me – it will only last for a few more weeks before all things turn pepperminty and Christmasy. Over here, I’m not complaining.
In fact, I’m celebrating – with more pumpkin and a bit of chocolate before my favorite autumnal baking season is caput.
Pumpkin has long been associated with pies, soups, and lattes, but never has really found its place intermingled with chocolate. In fact, combining a vegetable with chocolate seems slightly bizarre. Of course, not here at Vegukate, where vegetables find their way into many a dish, some of which also include chocolate. For example zucchini & sweet potatoes are clearly a match made in chocolate heaven.
Anyways, Who would have thought that combining pumpkin with rich, dark chocolate would create such a dreamy combination? I had my doubts, but after joining the two that I can see their potential for power/world domination. Not only do pumpkin and chocolate provide a wallop of flavor together, they have the most delightful and creamy texture that will make any sworn-pumpkin-pie-only purist scratch their head and reconsider things.
Let’s talk pumpkin. I’ve outlined their benefits before here, but as a reminder, pumpkins are a total super veg. They’re packed with blood-sugar stabilizing complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene, Vitamins A & C, potassium, and magnesium. Due to their vast array of carotenoid and antioxidants, pumpkins are thought to have anticarciongenic properties, as well as being beneficial for eyesight and total body anti-inflammatory support. With all that goodness, how could you not be dumping pumpkin puree in everything this time of year?!
Now about that puree. The canned variety found on your supermarket shelves actually comes from yellow-skinned winter squash, and not a pumpkin at all. This is why the canned variety is never quite as sweet and flavorful as the real deal pumpkin that your grandmother used to cook up. I know the canned variety is tempting and oh-so easy, but roasting your own cutie pie little pumpkins is way more soul-soothing, economical, and tastier too. So grab a few sugar pumpkins and get roasting, it’s truly the best way to enjoy pumpkin. Angela’s method here is the one I typically follow, and it’s quite foolproof for any kitchen cook.
Along with sweet homemade pumpkin puree, this recipe is filled with a bunch of other nourishing goodies as well. Coconut oil boasts healthy medium-chain fatty acids, while coconut flour is filled with beneficial and belly-filling fiber. Coconut sugar and maple syrup provide a naturally sweet alternative to nutrient-less white sugar, and spicy nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract provide an essential flavor to our sweet brownies.
Creamy dreamy pumpkin + rich cacao + heart healthy coconut oil + fiber filled coconut flour + sweet maple syrup + warming spices = a healthy, gluten-free pumpkin and chocolate dream.
Pumpkin & Chocolate Dream Brownies
Makes 1 large tray of brownies
½ cup rolled oats, ground into a flour (or use oat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons cacao powder
¾ cup coconut flour
½ cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 cups pumpkin puree
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350° F and line a baking dish with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients: oat flour, baking soda, sea salt, pumpkin pie spice, cacao powder, coconut flour, and coconut sugar. Stir well to combine. Add in all wet ingredients: coconut oil, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Stir well to incorporate all ingredients together. Brownie batter will be thick, cakey, and a bit spongy – this is good!
Evenly spread brownie batter into lined baking tray. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean. Remove brownies from oven and let sit for 45-60 minutes to cool completely before cutting. Or dig in after 30 minutes and enjoy warm, gooey brownies.
Store cut brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. These brownies are absolutely dreamy with coconut cream, cashew cream, coconut ice cream, or even pumpkin ice cream. Yum!
-If you are gluten sensitive, be sure to purchase certified gluten free oats or oat flour. Oats themselves are naturally gluten free, but are often processed in a plant that contains gluten – risking contamination.
-No cacao powder? Sub 6 tablespoons of cocoa powder instead.
-Feeling nutty? I suspect the addition of ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans would be an excellent addition.