Mmmmm. Dark chocolate. One of my favorite foods in the whole wide world–and the darker the better, as far as I’m concerned. I am a sucker for high-quality chocolate bars, and while I typically pair my favorite gluten-free, vegan dark chocolates with a glass of red wine, I get a hankering every once in a while for something different. Something fudgy and warm and sinfully delicious. Yup, you guessed it. Dark chocolate brownies.
A few months ago, fueled by such a craving, I hunted for a good gluten-free brownie recipe that I could convert into a healthy vegan treat. As luck would have it, I came across just such a recipe on the Gluten-Free Goddess’s page and began using it as a template. I’ve made these brownies lots of times, lots of different ways, and this one is my absolute favorite (and the unanimous winner among my friends who taste-tested). Guilt-free and packed full of nutrients, these super-moist, gooey little treats have two secret ingredients: butternut squash and banana. To make them even richer, I chop up about 1 oz of an Endangered Species 88% dark chocolate bar and mix it into the batter. (If you like your chocolate a little lighter, I recommend 72% dark.)
Dark Chocolate Butternut Brownies
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup almond flour (meal)
1/4 tsp baking soda
5 tbsp Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
2 tbsp light brown sugar (I don’t like my desserts to be very sweet; so, if you do, add more sugar. My friends like this recipe best when I use 1/4 cup or more.)
1/2 cup nondairy milk (I’ve tried this recipe with almond milk, soy milk, and rice milk.)
3/4 cup butternut squash puree (I’ve tried using both fresh butternut squash and canned butternut squash puree, and I prefer the canned stuff. It adds more moisture to the brownies, and it saves you from having to cook the squash yourself.)
1/4 cup mashed ripe banana
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 oz dark chocolate bar of your choice, chopped, or allergen-free dark chocolate chips
Lightly oil an 8″x8″ baking pan and preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, combine rice flour, almond flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a blender, combine milk, coconut oil, banana, butternut squash puree, brown sugar, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Then, add the wet ingredients to the flour and cocoa mixture. Stir until well-combined. If the batter feels a little thick (It should be smooth and glossy.), add extra milk 1 tbsp at a time. I have added up to 2 tbsp.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan, and bake in the center of a preheated oven for 30 min. Let cool for 45min.-1 hr. These brownies freeze well for up to two weeks. (Ok, they might actually last longer in the freezer, but I always eat mine within two weeks!)