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.
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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! And they're a lot healthier too.
Do you need to buy tinned pumpkin purée to make these brownies?
I used tinned pumpkin purée* for some of the test versions. However, I found that I got better results with homemade puréed butternut squash. Using homemade purée also makes these brownies healthier.
I usually steam my pumpkin to make purée. However, 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 ingredients do you need to make pumpkin chocolate brownies?
For full recipe, ingredients and quantities go to the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
They're made with:
- black beans, which supplies an added protein hit
- spelt flour (or wholemeal)
- raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- maple syrup
- vanilla extract
- baking powder
- bicarbonate of soda
- apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar or lemon juice)
- pumpkin or butternut squash
- chocolate chips (optional).
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 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.
How to store these brownies
These brownies will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Be sure to allow them to cool completely before transferring to your storage container.
Can you freeze these pumpkin brownies?
Yes. Allow to cool completely then freeze on a tray for one hour before transferring to a freezer box or bag. Alternatively place a small piece of baking paper between each one.
Don't forget to label your bag with the name and date.
How to make pumpkin chocolate brownies
If you have made this recipe I would love it if you’d leave a comment and rating below. Thank you!
Please do not reproduce this recipe without permission.
Healthy pumpkin chocolate brownies
- 380 g tinned black beans drained and rinsed (230g drained weight)
- 200 g puréed pumpkin or butternut squash
- 50 g cacao or cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 100 g spelt flour or wholemeal plain flour
- 100 g vegan 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 the drained tin of black beans and 200g pumpkin puree into your food processor and pulse until well combined. You may need to stop and scrape the sides down once or twice.
- Add 50g cacao powder, 6 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1.5 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 100g spelt flour) to the bean and pumpkin mixture and continue to process until well combined, scraping the sides down as needed.
- Remove your food processor blade and use a wooden spoon to mix in 100g chocolate chips.
- Scrape all the mixture into the cake tin and smooth down the top.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes until set and crisp on top.
- Allow to cool in the tin, then cut into squares.
- Store in an airtight container.
Pin pumpkin chocolate brownies for later:
NB: this recipe was updated in October 2020
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