Refined Sugar Free
I’ve had a sweet tooth my entire life. My palate has certainly advanced past some of the overly sweet things I used to love as a kid, and now I prefer things with rich dark chocolate and a small amount of sugar. I’ve always been a fan of sweet over savory. If I could get adequate nutrition for dessert I’m not sure I’d have it for every meal, but I’d certainly have it a lot. Unfortunately the world doesn’t work that way, and sweets should be an occasional treat and not a meal replacement. I’ve been trying to lose some weight recently, and reach a healthier BMI. This has involved limiting my dessert intake to once or twice a week, and trying to make smarter choices about what sweets I do consume.
While I’ve been trying to be healthier I do still consume refined sugar, and I forget that for some people that’s a big no-no. Disclaimer: I’m not trying to say that these are healthy. They’re just a bit healthier than eating a lot of refined cane sugar, because the coconut brown sugar is lower on the glycemic index. A lot of the dessert recipes I post on the blog can be made without refined sugar, and with coconut brown sugar or other natural sweeteners. If you want to use a liquid sweetener like maple syrup, or agave you may need to experiment a little bit and adjust the amount of moisture you add with other ingredients as well as cook time. I have no beef with bleached white sugar as long as it’s vegan, but I realize why some people do and wanted to provide a decadent sweet option for those who are more health conscious. This brownie recipe is decadent, deliciously sweet, fudgy, and by default refined sugar free. You really won’t miss the bleached white sugar, I promise.
Caramel Sauce Ingredients
- 1/2 cup Wholesome coconut brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup Wholesome coconut brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 16 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large mixing bowl combine all dry brownie ingredients. Sift each ingredient as you add it to the bowl to prevent clumping.
- In a food processor combine drained and rinsed black beans with coconut milk and vanilla extract, and puree until smooth. You may still see some flecks of skin. This is fine. You won’t notice it in the consistency of the brownies.
- Grease an 8″x8″, or similar volume baking dish. You can line it with parchment if you wish. I usually don’t, because I make my brownies in a glass Pyrex dish, and they come out very easily as long as the pan is greased.
- If you want to add an add in like chocolate chips, lightly coat them in flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom, and gently fold them into your batter. This step is optional, and the brownies are very rich and flavorful with or without.
- If you’d like to make caramel sauce to marble into your brownies like we did do so at this time. Melt vegan butter down in a small sauce pan on low heat, and then stir in the coconut brown sugar.
- Once coconut brown sugar has melted combine the full fat coconut milk. Simmer until mixture starts to bubble all the way throughout, and turn a slightly darker color. If you dip a spoon in the mixture it should still be fairly runny, but will ultimately coat the spoon. Remove from heat immediately after it reaches this consistency.
- Allow your caramel to set for a few minutes.
- Spoon some of the caramel sauce on top of the brownies in ribbons. Using a toothpick make whatever design you like. Save some of the caramel to pretty them up more after baking.
- Preheat your oven to 350 and cook brownies for 25-35 minutes. Check with a tooth pick to see if they’re done.
- Allow brownies to cool before cutting and serving. If you’d like to you can add some more caramel to the top. The caramel may bake down a bit and leave some gaps in the top of your brownies, so it’s a good idea to conserve some caramel to touch these up.
- Top with sea salt, sprinkles, nuts, and more if you’d like. Enjoy.