With a delicious crumb and decadent flavor, these vegan dark chocolate brownies have your name written all over them. They’re only sweetened with fruit, and have any easy grain-free option – so they’re practically healthy, too!
No rocket science necessary.
Believe it or not, there was a day when brownies weren’t my thing. Not necessarily because I didn’t like them (how could any chocolatier in their right mind not like brownies?). No, it was because I thought they were too complicated to make. And in my defense, there are some rather complicated brownie recipes out there. But does a good brownie really need to be complicated?
No. Not at all.
In fact, in the past few years I discovered that most brownies are relatively simple to make. And that left me to enjoy their deliciousness freely, without having to spend an hour in the kitchen prepping my treat.
All the brownies.
Since then I’ve come up with many a delicious brownie recipe…
- Dark Chocolate Mexican Blender Brownies
- No-Bake Banana Walnut Brownies
- Banana Walnut Carob Brownies
- Perfectly Easy Coconut Flour Brownies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
- Sweet Potato Brownies
- Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
and of course, these vegan dark chocolate brownies. As you can see, I’m really not too picky when it comes to my brownies, though fudgy is my preferred brownie texture.
Vegan Dark Chocolate Brownies.
When I first came up with these dark chocolate brownies, they were as a treat for my kids. I didn’t want anything too sugary, so that my littles wouldn’t go completely berserk after enjoying their treat. So instead of using coconut sugar or honey, I just used some no-sugar-added fruit juice that I had on hand. And instead of eggs I used a banana. All the natural sweetness from the fruit combined with the cocoa powder for a decadent, dark chocolate treat.
Of course, I did use some dairy-free chocolate chips, which do have a little sugar in them. There are stevia-sweetened options, if you want, or you could use my delicious homemade chocolate chunks for a naturally dairy-free option! I usually sweetened them with honey, but you could try stevia or maple syrup, instead.
Another note on the sugar aspect is that – even though it’s natural sugar – most juice is pretty high in sugar. So if you want to cut the sugar content down even more, you can use coconut milk instead of the fruit juice.
My first few batches of these brownies were made just regular ol’ gluten-free. But since then I’ve cut all grains out of my diet, so I worked on trying a paleo-safe version. Instead of rice flour and potato starch, I opted for almond flour and a little arrowroot. It’s an easy sub, though it does change the texture a tad. If you opt for the grain-free version the brownies will be a little more crumbly, since there are no eggs. I’ll post options for both below, so you can try them both if you want and see which version you enjoy best!
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Vegan Dark Chocolate Brownies
Free from gluten, eggs, dairy, and sugar, with grain-free option.
- 1/2 banana, mashed
- 1/4 cup no-sugar-added fruit juice (you can easily make your own) or plain dairy-free milk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla (I like to make my own)
- 2/3 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour *see note for grain-free
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour or potato starch
- 1/2 teaspoon guar gum
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (I like to make my own)
- 1/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I like to use my honey-sweetened chocolate chunks)
Preheat oven to 325 and grease a 9×9 inch baking dish, or line it with parchment paper.
Cream together banana, juice, vanilla, and applesauce.
In separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Pour over wet ingredients and mix well until no dry spots remain.
Stir in chocolate chips and bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Try your very best to let the brownies cool as much as possible before serving. (This step is even more important if you’re making the paleo version!)
For grain-free, sub 1/2 cup of almond flour for the rice flour. Please note that the texture will change!
Pinned this because I definitely have to try them!
What delicious AND healthy brownies! I love the addition of banana and applesauce to the recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your great recipe on Allergy-Free Wednesdays! Be sure to check back next week for recipe highlights (including the top 3 reader choice submissions and hostess favorites).
Could I substitute gelatin or arrowroot instead of the guar gum?
No. . . those really won't do the same thing. You could use xanthan gum, or you could just leave it out all together. The texture will just be a little chewy/gooier. If you try them, please let me know how they come out without it!
will do 🙂
Oh my does this look good. It is a featured post at this next's week Healing With Food Friday. Thanks so much for linking up.
Thanks Jennifer! Glad to share. : )
These look wonderful! I don't have any tapioca flour, is there anything I can substitute?
Thanks! You could sub more potato starch or cornstarch for the tapioca. Hope you enjoy the brownies!
Hi there, these look great, would love to try 'em!
Is there a way to sub the rice, tapioca, potato and guar gum ingredients with oat and / or coconut flour…? If so, how would you do it? I'm still trying to figure out how to sub ingredients successfully. 🙂
Tnx in advance!!
Hmmm…. I would try just using a cup oat flour. If you really want to use coconut flour, maybe cut the oat flour down to 3/4 c. and add just a couple tablespoons of coconut flour. It really soaks up the liquids, so you don't need a lot. They may be a tad crumbly without the guar gum, but I think they're fudgy enough that they should be ok. 🙂 I hope they turn out for you! I might have to go try them with oat flour to see how they work…. 😉 Thanks for stopping by!
I would like to make them whole foods, but I don't care about gluten free. Would another flour work as well? My wife and kids love brownies and I do all of the cooking/baking. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, Robert. I can't say for sure how they would come out, but you could try subbing the rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, and guar gum for 3/4 cup or so whole wheat/unbleached white, or a cup of oat flour. The texture might be a little different, since rice flour makes things a little chewier than wheat, but for healthy brownies I'm sure it's worth a try! 🙂 Thanks for asking! I hope they turn out for you! 🙂
I’ve got some King Arthur gf all purpose flour lying around. (“King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose flour is a mix of white rice and brown rice flours, tapioca starch, and potato starch”) Wondering if I can total up your rice/tapioca/potato ingredients and use that measurement of flour?
That should work fine, Deanna. 🙂
I LOVE how many brownie recipes you have on your site, Raia, LOL! Go girl. These look awesome. How cool that there’s no sweetener, and my boys love all things banana. Can’t wait to make these for my egg-free son especially!!
I’m so glad you’re able to find some that are safe for your son! I hope he enjoys these, Megan!