All the Vegan Brownies

Yesterday, as I made my third batch of brownies in only a couple weeks, I realized two things. First, that there is no such thing as too many brownies. Second, that it’d be fun to do a little vegan brownie comparison! These are the three recipes that I used:

  1. Vegan Gluten Free Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies, by Minimalist Baker

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  1. Almond Butter Brownies, by Chocolate Covered Katie, with alterations by me (separate post on these brownies here)

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  1. Unbelievably Melty Gooey Brownies, by Chocolate Covered Katie

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One note about the Almond Butter Brownies: I tweaked the recipe, so all opinions expressed reflect my unique results and do not necessarily apply to the recipe as written by CCK. All the other recipes were made pretty much as written in the original recipe 😊 I’ll compare them in a few different categories: Texture, Taste, and The Healthiness Factor (oh so dramatic!).

Texture:

  1. The PB Swirl Brownies have a great texture! They are dense, chewy, and rich, with a smooth peanut butter swirl that contrasts somewhat with the brownie itself, though it all plays together very harmoniously. They grow moister and firmer as they sit in the refrigerator.
  2. The Almond Butter Brownies have a surprisingly traditional texture. They are nice and chewy, but they are a little more delicate than the PB Swirl brownies. They actually dry out in the fridge and do not become firmer as they sit.
  3. The Gooey Brownies have a very unique texture (as suggested by the title!). They are not chewy, nor are they firm… they are completely soft, like half-baked batter. They are also a bit gritty, because of the coconut flour. When they have first cooled after baking, you have to scoop out the brownies with a spoon to eat, but when they sit in the fridge overnight they do firm up to the point that you can cut them out and hold them. Even at that point, though, they are quite delicate. The texture is nice for a once-in-a-while thing, but I wouldn’t want to eat brownies like these all the time.

Taste:

  1. The PB Swirl brownies have a very rich, dark, chocolatey flavor. They do not taste like beans at all (praise the Lord!). The peanut butter swirl is super peanut-buttery and lightly sweet, and overall they are more rich/dark than sweet. Just sweet enough for a treat.
  2. The Almond Butter Brownies (again, as I made them, not as the recipe dictates… I think if you followed the recipe they’d taste quite different!) have a unique flavor, with lots of molasses and chocolate. You can also taste the mix of peanut butter and almond butter, without just one flavor overpowering the other. I love how much depth of flavor these brownies have.
  3. The Gooey Brownies are not as multi-dimensional as the others. Since I used coconut oil for the non-specified oil in the recipe, there’s a hint of coconut, but it’s mostly just chocolate. I like how these brownies taste, but they’re nothing sensational.

Healthiness:

  1. The PB Swirl brownies are actually pretty nutritious. They are also gluten free. Here’s the rundown of their ingredients: black beans, 2 flax eggs, coconut oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, maple syrup (or agave), raw sugar (I think I just used granulated), baking powder, baking soda, peanut butter, powdered sugar, chocolate chips (for dispersing throughout and sprinkling on top. I omitted them.) Honestly, you’re probably not going to get much healthier than that for a brownie. Especially given how indulgent these brownies taste, they are quite impressive health-wise!
  2. The Almond Butter brownies are fairly healthy as well, and are gluten free. They have cocoa powder, maple syrup (I used molasses), lots of nut butter, rolled oats, baking soda, and salt. I count that as a pretty healthy brownie. They are also oil-free!
  3. The Gooey Brownies are pretty darn healthy, too. And guess what? They’re gluten free as well! (I do still eat gluten though. I didn’t intentionally make only gluten free brownies for this post!) The basic recipe contains coconut flour, applesauce, water, vanilla, oil, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, coconut sugar, and a little stevia. You may also add flax meal, which I did.

I’m not going to name one recipe as the healthiest, as I’m not qualified for that. But I will say that I think they are all good choices for the health-conscious baker 😉

I think my overall favorite would have to be the almond butter brownies. I love that I can use molasses to sweeten them, and that they are composed primarily of nut butters. I think next time I make them I’ll add flax meal, too.

I hope you feel inspired to make some vegan brownies! You know, I kinda feel like a fourth batch….

CCK Almond Butter Brownies

Hey guys! I’m real excited about these brownies. Want to know why? They are:

  1. Reasonably healthy, at least by my own standards.
  2. Gluten free!
  3. Easy to make, bake, and eat.
  4. Made of basic ingredients. No maca around here, much as I want to try it!

I got the basic recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie, but made some adjustments as always. For starters, I used both peanut butter and almond butter in the recipe, simply because I never seem to have enough of one nut butter for a recipe like this. I also used molasses to sweeten instead of maple syrup, which was a perfect healthier substitution! And finally, I reduced the amount of sweetener from 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons to just 1/2 cup. They are a little crumbly though, which was probably my fault for reducing the liquid and might be remedied by some aquafaba or a small flax egg. I’ll have to try that and report back!

I would only recommend these healthy brownies to people who like nuts and molasses, because you can definitely taste both of those ingredients. But, if you do like those ingredients, and if you also like rich, chewy, fragrant, hearty desserts… you might like these brownies 😉

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