Sweet potato chocolate brownies have been around for a little while, the most famous being Deliciously Ella’s version. There are now numerous variations ranging from completely vegan and sweetened with dates, to versions with eggs sweetened with coconut sugar or rice syrup.
Sweet potatoes are abundant in vitamins, minerals and nutrients, and are especially known for their carotenoids beta-carotene and lycopene which have some powerful anti-cancerous properties. Sweet potatoes are also phytoestrogenic which means they help remove unwanted environmental oestrogens, and they also promote productive bacteria in the gut. Even though they’re sweet tasting, the main sugar in sweet potatoes is sucrose which is made up of half fructose and half glucose. Glucose is essential for many important functions in our bodies, and while fructose is best avoided, sweet potatoes only contain around 0.7g of fructose per 100g. This equates to 3.5g in total in this recipe and is considered to be far outweighed by all the sweet potatoes other health promoting properties.
My ultimate goal with this recipe was to create a sublime tasting chocolate brownie that’s completely sugar free and ideally sweetened solely with sweet potatoes (or kumara as we call them in NZ). I’ve been playing around with sweet potato brownie recipes on and off for quite a while, and so far this recipe which has half a cup of rice syrup is the closest I’ve come to a brownie that tastes amazing AND is acceptable on the low fructose scale.
As covered in my previous post for nutty chocolate truffles here, rice syrup is a fructose free sweetener that has a very low GI, which means it can often be a well tolerated choice for people on low or no sugar diets.
These sweet potato chocolate brownies are dense and fudgey, and have a rich chocolate flavour thanks to a full cup of raw cacao powder. They’re dairy and grain free, containing coconut oil and ground almonds, however they do contain eggs as a binding agent which also act as a raising agent. I’ve added a little spice by way of cinnamon and cardamon, but feel free to omit these if they’re not to your liking.
As usual these brownies are super easy to make. Literally throw a couple of whole sweet potatos into the oven to bake for 30 minutes or so, then it’s simply a case of combining all the ingredients in a food processor and pouring into a brownie pan. They only take about half an hour to bake in the oven and the hardest part is waiting for them to cool! Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Chocolate Brownies
Makes: small 18 x 30cm brownie pan or approximately 12 generous pieces
Prep time: 15 minutes Bake time: 35 minutes + 30-45 minutes to bake the sweet potato
2 cups (500g) cooked orange sweet potato (approximately 2)
1 cup (95g) raw cacao powder
3/4 cup (150g) coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup (125g) almond milk
1/2 cup (150g) rice syrup
4 Tbsp ground almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch Himalayan pink salt
To cook the sweet potato, preheat the oven to 200ºC fan bake. Wash the sweet potatoes to remove any surface dirt, prick a few times with a fork and place on a lined oven tray in the centre of the oven. Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes depending on size. When you can easily slide a knife into their centres, they’re done. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool. The skins will literally steam themselves off and when cool enough to handle you should be able to easily peel the skins off with your hands.
Turn the oven down to 180ºC fan bake. Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until well combined and smooth.
Line a small brownie pan (18cm x 30cm or 20cm x 20cm) with baking paper and pour the brownie mixture in. Smooth the top with a spatula then place in the centre of the oven to bake for approximately 35 minutes. The brownie is done when a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool before removing from the tin and cutting into squares. Store the brownie in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. This brownie is delicious eaten straight from the fridge, at room temperature or heated with a dollop of your favourite yoghurt or ice cream.
Hi, if using coconut sugar, how much should I use?
Hi Danielle, the point of these brownies was to make them low or no sugar which is why I chose rice syrup as the sweetener as it’s fructose free. Rice syrup is a liquid sweetener, so if you want to use an alternative sweetener, a liquid sweetener like pure maple syrup would be a better choice and just use the same amount. I haven’t tried this recipe using a solid sugar like coconut sugar, but you could try 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. Let me know what you end up using and how it turns out! 🙂
Great, thank you. I just haven’t been able to source the rice syrup. I think I will try the maple syrup instead….
Any ideas where I can get rice syrup from? Would it have to be a specialist shop?
Hey Danielle, in NZ you can find it at a lot of supermarkets now (Countdown/New world), any whole foods or organics foods store will usually have it or you can easily order it online. If you use maple syrup make sure it’s pure maple syrup and not just “maple flavoured syrup” 🙂
Can I use coconut milk in place of almond milk?
would gelatin eggs work if you avoiding eggs?
also no sugar or a little stevia/honey ( I dont touch rice syrup)
Hi Nat, no gelatin wouldn’t work as it’s setting qualities would be destroyed by the heat when baking. Try using flax or chia eggs or nut/seed butter. Yes you could leave out the sweetener entirely or substitute for something you prefer. Hope that helps! 🙂