It finally feels like fall! Fifty-degree nights mean Thanksgiving must be just around the corner, and I’m becoming dangerously giddy as visions of sweet potato casserole dance in my head. I’m wearing boots and a sweater today despite the fact that it’s supposed to be 85 degrees this afternoon. I wish Texas weather would cooperate and embrace autumn as wholeheartedly as I have.
When I came across this recipe combining the flavors of my favorite season with one of my very favorite desserts, I knew that these brownies needed to be in my belly ASAP. Brownies have it all; they’re chocolatey, fudgy, gooey, melty, and best of all, they’re healthy! At least, this recipe is. But the fun doesn’t stop there, because we’re adding pumpkin!
I truly hope you’re not tired of pumpkin, because I don’t see the end of pumpkin recipes anywhere in sight for the next few weeks. I’ve still got a few cans patiently waiting to be used in my next bowl of oatmeal and Elesha’s Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bars.
I have to mention that I was housesitting when I made this recipe and was without the ingredients to make the brownies from chickpeas, as I usually do. However, I strongly suggest using the chickpea brownie recipe rather than the original, as chickpeas provide a great fiber and protein boost! Just remember that the brownies pictured are made with whole wheat pastry flour and are more crumbly than those made with chickpeas, which turn out fudgier. I’ve included the chickpea brownie recipe following the original, so if you’ve got beans on hand, I recommend skipping to the bottom first!
Adapted from this recipe, makes a 9 x 9 pan
Brownie Layer (from original recipe, pictured)
4 oz chocolate, melted (I used dark)
1 cup canned or pureed pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar (or substitute – please do!)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 T cornstarch
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup canned or pureed pumpkin
2 T cornstarch
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup sugar (or substitute)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch ground allspice
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 and oil your pan. I like to measure out all the ingredients at the beginning because it makes things easier and more enjoyable. Sipping a hot cup of pumpkin spice coffee while baking is also recommended. 🙂
Step 2 (Brownie Layer): Melt the chocolate (the microwave is the easiest way, in my opinion). In a large mixing bowl mix together pumpkin, sweetener, oil and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Sift the dry mixture into the wet mixture until smooth.
Step 3 (Pumpkin Layer): Mix all pumpkin layer ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
Step 4: Spread the brownie layer into the prepared baking pan and pour the pumpkin layer over it. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pumpkin layer looks fairly firm and is golden brown.
Step 5: Let cool for 20 minutes and then transfer to the fridge to set for at least an hour and a half. In the meantime, make a delicious spinach salad to offset all the dessert you’re about to consume.
Step 6: Devour a brownie or two with a sprinkling of chocolate chips and store the rest in the fridge. These absolutely must be refrigerated or they’ll go bad pretty quick, which I’m very sad to say I learned the hard way. Fortunately, I thoroughly enjoyed a few of them beforehand!
Below is the alternative brownie layer recipe I promised.
Brownie Layer with Chickpeas (healthiest method!)
Note: this make a large batch, you may not need to use all of it.
- 2 cans (or 3 cups cooked) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup dry sweetener
- 1/2 cup honey or agave (depending on desired sweetness)
- 1 T vanilla
- 1/2 cup ground flax
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup cocoa (I like dark)
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (or canola)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
- 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (optional if you want it less fudgy)
- 1/2 cup (or more!) canned or pureed pumpkin (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Directions: Blend all ingredients except chocolate chips and walnuts in the food processor until very smooth. Boiling the garbanzos first is helpful because they’re softest when hot, and will be easier to blend, resulting in a smoother brownie. Harder beans make the batter gritty. Add walnuts and chocolate chips if desired and finish with the recipe above, starting with Step 3.
There are more delicious autumn recipes on the way – and I promise they won’t all contain pumpkin! If you’re interested in giving your favorite fall recipe a skinnyfat makeover, just leave a comment and we’ll see what we can come up with. We love a good challenge!
~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl