These Secretly Healthy Fudgy Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownies will have chocolate lovers swooning over their flavor and texture. And they also happen to be nut-free!
If you’re looking for insanely fudgy and deep, dark chocolately brownies, then look no further. I have you covered 100% and then some with these beauties.
But before we talk about brownies, let’s talk sweet potatoes for a quick minute. I have always viewed them as more dessert than anything else, which no doubt stems from the fact that growing up my mom always served them with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. There’s nothing at all wrong with that (I mean, yum), but it definitely says dessert to me more than side dish.
Now, I’ve seen all kinds of healthy brownie secret ingredients; things like chickpeas, black beans, kale, bok choy, and cauliflower (I kid you not). Of course I’m all for sneaking in more veggies when it can be done; however, there comes a point at which I think many of us would prefer to sit down to say, a gorgeous salad, stir-fry, or veggie-laden soup and enjoy it for what it is, rather than to add veggies that just don’t belong to our desserts (or at the very least, make eating dessert taste or smell like a plate of veggies instead of a chocolate brownie!).
If you eat healthy for the most part, I don’t see anything wrong with enjoying dessert that tastes like dessert every now and again, and it’s a total bonus when dessert happens to also be full of healthy ingredients that either a) can’t be detected taste-wise, or b) are a naturally delicious pairing.
IMHO, unlike cruciferous veggies, I feel like sweet potatoes are a natural fit with chocolate, and I’ve wanted to play around with a sweet potato brownie recipe for a while now. Even though the flavor of these brownies doesn’t scream sweet potato, it is mildly discernable, especially after the first day, so it’s a good thing the two flavors pair well. (Although, I have to say, if you tried one of these brownies without knowing they have sweet potato in them, I don’t know that it would immediately come to mind!) It’s a natural thing; sweet potatoes lend their natural earthy sweetness and give these brownies great fudgy texture.
To keep these brownies paleo-friendly, I used Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Sugar as the main sweetener in this recipe. Similar to brown sugar, I love the caramel-like flavor notes in coconut sugar and I think it works particularly well with the sweet potato here. If you’re looking to cut back on sugar a bit, you could probably scale down from 1 cup to 3/4 cup coconut sugar in this recipe without any issues. And I was able to keep this recipe nut-free by using Bob’s Red Mill Organic Golden Flaxseed Meal, which also adds omega-3 fatty acids and bumps up the fiber content!
Do tell, Dear Reader…what is the craziest vegetable you’ve made into dessert?
- 1 medium-large (about 14 to 16 oz/400 to 450 g) sweet potato, peeled and chopped into ½-inch cubes (2 slightly heaping cups cubed)
- 5 tablespoons coconut oil (or grass-fed clarified butter), melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup (150 g) Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water
- ½ cup (40 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- ½ cup (50 g) Bob’s Red Mill Organic Golden Flaxseed Meal
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips, for the top (optional; use stevia-sweetened chocolate chips to keep them paleo)
- Preheat the oven to 350F; line an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with 2 pieces of parchment paper so it hangs over all 4 sides (so you can easily lift the brownies out later).
- Add the sweet potato cubes to a medium saucepan and cover by 2 inches with cold water. Cover the saucepan and bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down and simmer until the potato is very soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain well and cool slightly.
- Add the sweet potato, coconut oil, and coconut sugar to a blender or food processor and process until pureed, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Add the eggs, vanilla, and dissolved espresso and pulse to combine. Add the cocoa powder, flaxseed meal, salt, and baking soda, and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
- Pour the batter into the prepared dish, let the batter sit for 5 minutes (it will thicken), and then sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Bake until the brownies are set along the outside and are dry to the touch on top, but a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out wet, about 28 to 30 minutes (be careful not to over-bake!).
- Cool completely before cutting. Store any leftovers wrapped in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Disclosure: I’m thrilled to partner with Bob’s Red Mill as a brand ambassador. I received the Bob’s Red Mill product that I used in this recipe for free, and I also received compensation for this post. I am happy for the opportunity to share brands that I believe in with my readers, and I hope you enjoy my recipe. As always, opinions stated are my own.