Vegan Chocolate Brownies With Peppermint Candy Cane Frosting

I don’t bake much, but I’ve been on a bit of a quest to come up with vegan desserts that are EXTRA healthy. (Like my Skinny Chocolate Mint Chia Pudding and Skinny Pumpkin Spice Pudding.) So healthy that—dare I say it—they’re even good for you. This Healthy Brownies with Peppermint Frosting recipe is so chock full of high-fiber goodness, you could eat them for breakfast!

The internet—especially Pinterest—is full of gorgeous vegan desserts. I’ve never been much of a baker (these brownies are far from beautiful!), but I started experimenting with simple desserts when I first went vegan, probably because I was so worried I’d feel deprived. (I realize now how silly that was.) But I soon discovered many of those desserts were loaded with saturated fat, usually from coconut oil.

Before you write to me and tell me that coconut oil is good for you, I’d encourage you to check out some studies on NutritionFacts.org. Saturated fat from plants may be ‘better’ than saturated fat from animal sources, but it can still raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol. Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fat. When I realized this, I ran into my pantry and threw out a large, new and quite expensive jar of the stuff.

But the great news is, you don’t need it! You can make vegan, whole-food, plant-based desserts like these Healthy Brownies with Peppermint Frosting with no oil whatsoever. And they taste great. (Really! I promise!)

So, what makes these brownies SO healthy? They’re made with wholesome ingredients like black beans, oats, dates, almond butter and applesauce. (Almond butter has only .7 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon compared to 12 grams for coconut oil!) And the peppermint frosting is made with cashews, strawberries and non-dairy yogurt. With me so far?

If you skip the optional peppermint candies (they’re pretty, but I actually prefer them without), there’s just a bit of added, unrefined sugar in this recipe—1 tablespoon of coconut sugar in the brownies, which is optional, and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup for the frosting. The rest of the sweetness comes from 4-5 dates and chocolate chips. (You can find these vegan, refined-sugar-free baking chips at Whole Foods and on Amazon.)

The true test of these Healthy Brownies with Peppermint Frosting—or any healthy dessert I make—is the Hemant test. My husband has a major sweet tooth! I’ll confess, there have been iterations of this recipe he didn’t care for, but this one gets a resounding double thumbs up. And he’s not even a big fan of chocolate. (I’m the chocoholic in the house.)

Over the holidays (or any time), these Healthy Brownies with Peppermint Frosting are a nice sweet treat you can spring on your unsuspecting friends and family. Just don’t reveal the ingredients until after they devour them.


This recipe was republished with permission from Elizabeth Shah, Healthy Midwestern Girl.

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