Delicious and healthy pumpkin chocolate brownies made with black beans. This is the perfect sweet treat for you to enjoy this autumn and is a lovely hidden vegetable recipe to try out on picky eaters.
These pumpkin chocolate brownies have been a long time coming. Sometimes when I write a new recipe it just works straight away. Other times it needs a little more work and this was one of these occasions.
The first batch my husband and I thought were inedible but all three kids loved. Several iterations later, and a few tests just to be sure, I hit on a version that all five of us loved. Don’t get me wrong – these don’t taste exactly the same as a traditional chocolate brownie. But we think they’re pretty great nonetheless!
Do you need to buy tinned pumpkin purée to make these brownies?
I used tinned pumpkin purée for some of the test versions but I found that I got better results with homemade puréed butternut squash. It’s healthier too and if you end up with any leftover purée you can use it to make my butternut squash cheese straws or perhaps these three ingredient cheesy oat cakes.
I usually steam my pumpkin to make purée but if you’d like to find out how to make homemade pumpkin (or butternut) purée from roasted squash take a look at this post by Jo’s Kitchen Larder.
Despite all the tests the kids haven’t got bored of them yet. I’ve been putting them in R’s lunchbox on occasion too, which he is delighted about.
What’s in the pumpkin chocolate brownies?
They’re made with black beans, which supplies an added protein hit, spelt flour, raw cacao and sweetened with honey or maple syrup. As such they’re pretty healthy as chocolate brownies go, despite the chocolate chips, and so totally acceptable as a lunchbox filler.
They’re also vegan (get vegan chocolate chips and use maple syrup instead of honey) and nut free so a great option for kids with allergies. They could easily be made gluten free.
For best results you should use the chocolate chips (you can get vegan or dairy free chocolate chips if needed). I did test a version without and one with raisins instead. Both were good – but not as good. NB: these brownies don’t rise as much as traditional brownies – but they still taste amazing.
Here’s how to make pumpkin chocolate brownies:
Healthy pumpkin chocolate brownies
- 1 380g tin of black beans drained and rinsed (230g drained weight)
- 100 g puréed pumpkin or butternut squash
- 50 g raw cacao powder
- 6 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 50 g spelt flour
- 100 g chocolate chips optional, but read note above recipe
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas mark 6.
Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
Put all the ingredients apart from the chocolate chips into a food processor or high powered blender and process until well combined. You may need to stop halfway to scrape down the sides.
Mix in the chocolate chips.
Scrape all the mixture into the cake tin and smooth down the top.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes until set and crisp on top.
Allow to cool in the tin, then cut into squares.
Store in an airtight container.