Moist, satisfying and finger-licking chocolatey. A brownie recipe without the sugar rush. Hello, Sweet Potato Brownies!
A brownie with no added sugar is a feat in itself. But a brownie that also features a vegetable? A superfood vegetable that’s a major source of vitamin C? Friends, I know. This is almost too good to be true. But here they are: Gooey, moist, chocolatey, decadent, superbly satisfying Sweet Potato Brownies.
Sweet Potato Brownies have been making the rounds in the healthy eating space for a while, and I have tried a few of the recipes floating around. Then I started tweaking the ingredients. I have to say, this became somewhat of an obsession. Round after round of test version Sweet Potato Brownies were consumed in this household. More oatmeal, no oatmeal, less coconut oil, more almond, another egg… Whatever we could not eat was sent home with visitors. The builders got some, the neighbours got some, and the piano teacher went home with a doggy bag at least four weeks in a row. To be fair, most of these Brownie incarnations got the thumbs-up by the kids (parents, you know what I am talking about – add chocolate and you’re onto a winner), but I always felt there was just a tiny space for improvement.
Then, one day, these babies emerged from the oven. And they were perfect. Finger-licking perfect!
Sweet Potato Brownies take their sweetness not only from the sweet potatoes, but also from dates. Now, there are a lot of sugar free advocates who demonise dried fruit such as dates because of their high fructose content. Some recommend to completely cut them out of your diet. The question needs to be asked: To date or not to date?
Let’s have a look at the facts.
Dates contain about six times more sugar and calories than most fruit. Five small apples have the same amount of sugar as circa four Medjool dates (the softest and tastiest date around). But here is the big difference: Unlike sugar, dates are also full of fibre, which slows down the sugar absorption to your liver. And this in turn lets you have a much more regulated and calmer insulin response. Dates actually have a low glycemic index (around 43-53).
The fibre has the added benefit of making you feel fuller faster; and last but not least dates are packed with nutrients and minerals, while sugar is void of any nutrition. Therefore I don’t think it is fair to put dates in the same category as sugar and honey. To me, using dates as a sugar substitute in baking is a sensible solution. They are little energy powerhouses!
- You cannot see them
- You can only taste their moistness, not their potatoey-ness
- Knowing they are making their way into little people’s bellies with a soundtrack of “AAHs” and “OOOHs” is just awesome.
- 2 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (400g)
- 200g Medjool dates (ca 14)
- 150g ground almonds (1¼ cups)
- 75ml coconut oil (or substitute with butter)
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 5 tbsp cocoa
- optional: cacao nibs to decorate
- Preheat your oven to 180C and line a small (10x7 inch) baking tin with baking paper
- Peel your sweet potatoes, cut them into pieces, toss in a little oil and roast in the oven for 20 minutes until they are very tender.
- Throw them in your food processor with the pitted dates and blend until you have a wonderfully gooey mixture.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well-combined
- Pour mixture into the tin a and bake for 25-30 minutes or until you can pierce it with a knife bringing it out almost dry.
- Let it cool a little before cutting!