Vegan whole grain brownies for the love of your life (or, you know, you)

Hi! In case you weren’t already aware because the marketing world hasn’t been beating it into your head for the last two and a half months (you know, starting a week before Christmas), tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! Are you wearing a pink sweater? Going on a cliché (I mean CUTE.) date? Holding a dozen roses? Microwaving a sad (AWESOME) dinner for one?

No matter what your plans are for tonight or any future romance, we have a recipe that absolutely deserves your devotion. Why? We’ve got a few reasons: it’s easy (bless), minimal clean-up (let’s hear it for one bowl!) and chocolate, pretty much the only reason we forgive Valentine’s Day for coming around every year.

Let’s talk about chocolate for a second. Not totally bad for you, right? I mean, we all know that if you stick to the dark stuff and limit yourself to less than a pound (?) , you’re adding some pretty badass nutrients to your diet and you still get to eat chocolate. That’s why the phrase win-win was invented. Historical.

You might be wondering, Well, okay, but then why does chocolate make me break out? While I’m totally not a scientist but would for sure rock that white lab coat, my guess is it has more to do what’s added to the chocolate (various types of dairy, a boat-ton of the S-word we’re all supposed to be avoiding, weird stuff like additives and artificial flavors) than the chocolate itself. Basically, the fewer ingredients on the label, i.e. the realer the food, the better off you’ll be.

Now let’s get to the good stuff: the recipe! Brownies are a fun, portable treat you can take the office, bring to your boyfriend (barf: just kidding, y’all have fun), share with your friends, eat out of the pan, etc. Whipping up a batch to include with your V-Day plans will take less than 30 minutes, total. AND they’re vegan without even trying. We dare you to notice.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

      1/2 cup (1 stick) non-dairy butter, softened (Here’s my fave; it’s made with coconut and cashews!)
      3/4 cup cane sugar (I know this stuff has been basically coined evil, but moderation is the key here, folks. If you totally can’t do it, sub in coconut sugar – just as good!)
      2 flax eggs (Wth’s a flax egg? 2.5 TBSPs flaxseed meal + 2 TBSPs water. Repeat.)
      1 TSP vanilla extract
      3/4 TSP baking powder
      Pinch TSP sea salt
      1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
      3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (Can’t find it? Regs works too, girl.)
      If you like to add extra stuff, try: walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips (Check the label! Lots of dark or semisweet varieties still contain milk) or cinnamon
      Coconut oil, for the pan

 

Here’s what you do:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small square pan (8”x8”) with coconut oil. Mix together your flax egg ingredients and set aside (3-5ish minutes will do).

In one large bowl (!!!), whisk together your vegan butter, flax egg, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, salt and cocoa. (Should I just have said everything except flour? Okay.) Do what you can to resist just eating it with a spoon at this point because honestly I don’t have any good argument why you shouldn’t except that maybe your friends are counting on you bringing dessert to the V-Day Stranger Things binge-a-thon and you shouldn’t let your friends down. Got it?

Last, fold in your flour. If you’ve got any extras to add, fold those bad boys in, too.

Pour all that goodness into your prepared pan and bake for 24-26 minutes or until the batter starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and/or a toothpick comes out clean. But let’s be real, a sorta-undercooked brownie never hurt anyone’s feelings, amirite?

Let your pan cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes to an hour (SORRY, I KNOW THAT PART IS KIND OF LONG). Why? So you can cut your brownies into cute shapes with a heart cookie cutter* and eat the scraps before you head out, obvs.

*If you, unlike me, do not own several cookie cutters in the shape of hearts, stars, clovers and a whimsical set of forest creatures, cutting into normal squares will do.

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