These Peppermint Brownies were on the counter after I was finished photographing them, and my husband Tim inhaled four quicker than I could ever eat one. Not much can get between that man and his brownies.
“They’re the perfect balance of fudgy and cakey. How’d you do that?”
I wasn’t going to tell him that it was the same ingredients he saw on the counter the day before and said, “Ugh. Black beans and cashews. My favorite.” in his most sarcastic voice. I definitely could have thrown an “I told you so” in his face, but instead I just smiled and didn’t tell him the two ingredients he supposedly hates were what was inside the brownies he was loving.
These Peppermint Brownies are both vegan and gluten-free. They are made without any flour or grains at all, actually. They just have seven simple ingredients and are probably one of the most nourishing brownies you’ll ever make. Unless, of course, you make these or these or these. I think it’s safe to say I love brownies and really love creating healthy brownies.
These particular brownies, because they are made with cashews and black beans instead of flour, have double the protein and fiber of regular brownies. You’ll never notice that little healthy aspect of these brownies but you should know about it.
These Peppermint Brownies have the perfect amount of peppermint flavor from one drop of peppermint essential oil. It’s amazing how concentrated essential oils are! You can also use peppermint extract, which is found in the baking aisle. If you go that route, I suggest starting with 1/8 teaspoon of the extract and then tasting and adding more as needed. The extract is very strong, also, and a little goes a long way! Because these Peppermint Brownies are vegan and gluten-free, tasting the batter is not a problem. 🙂
I love when I can create a healthy treat like these vegan and gluten-free Peppermint Brownies that you can enjoy over the holidays when un-healthy treats are the norm. It’s okay to have some beans with your brownies. Trust me, you won’t know they’re there. But the extra nutrients you’re giving your body? A good thing. A very good thing.
- 1 cup dry roasted, salted cashews
- 1½ cups black beans, drained and rinsed)
- 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tablespoons water)
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 drop peppermint essential oil (or ⅛-1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract)
- ¼ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- Optional for topping: 2 candy canes, crushed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line an 8X8 inch baking dish with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a large food processor, process the cashews until they are a fine crumb.
- Add the beans and process very well, until the two are totally mixed and there are very few lumps.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, and process until mixed.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Transfer the batter to the baking pan and bake in the prepared oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before pulling the brownies from the pan and cutting. I like these best chilled in the fridge overnight, but that's optional.
- Top with the crushed candy canes, if using, and serve.