Vegan Halloween Recipes: Boo-tiful Gluten-Free Bean Brownies

October 31, 2016
You had good intentions, buying all that candy for the trick-or-treaters who you were *sure* would show up at your doorstep on October 31st. It'd be just wasteful to throw out the extra, right? Maybe you're thinking this to yourself post-Halloween, or pre- (if you simply couldn't resist those adorable chocolate confections and orange-filled Oreos that seem to have been made to tempt vegan dessert-lovers and the inner child in us all). And maybe you're now feeling a bit over-sugared but still wanting to participate in the fun of this sweet-filled season that's really only beginning. For your Halloween bash, or any holiday gathering that's on your calendar in the next two months, these unconventional brownies promise to deliver and may even arouse a shriek or two from your friends and family when they hear the ingredients. That's because it's frankly shocking--scarily so!--that a dessert so moist, chocolate-y, and rich is made from--can you guess?--beans. The just-right-Goldilocks sweetness comes from an equally surprising source, dry dates, nature's candy as they say and an alternative to the many processed forms of sugar that are on supermarket shelves. I wouldn't call them "sugar-free" per se, but these bean-ies are by far a healthier take on the boxed variety. The final touch of dried coconut adds a spooky, cobweb or skeleton vibe, too, which brings home the boo-factor in a dessert that you'll be adding to the rotation for special occasions of all Mondays.
Vegan Halloween Recipes: Boo-tiful Gluten-Free Bean Brownies

Vegan Halloween Recipes: Boo-tiful Gluten-Free Bean Brownies

Recipe Type: Sweets
utensils YIELDS 16 brownies (20 if smaller)
herb graphic for recipe card
  • 1-1/4 cups adzuki beans, cooked
  • ~15 dry dates
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1/3 bar chopped dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
        graphic for recipe card


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a food processor or blender, prepare the flax eggs (2 tablespoons flax meal + 6 tablespoons water) and let sit for a few minutes until they gel. Then combine the beans and dates and blend until smooth.
3. Add the vanilla and oil; blend.
4. Lastly, add the cacao powder, and blend first on low (to prevent a powder explosion), then high until completely smooth. Taste for sweetness, and if desired, add a few more dates.
5. Pour batter into an 8x8 baking dish lined with parchment. Sprinkle the top with chopped chocolate and gently press into the batter (it will be a thin layer). Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.
6. After 10 minutes, sprinkle batter with coconut, press it down lightly, and bake for another 15-20 minutes until a knife comes out clean when inserted.
7. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Enjoy!

Also by Jennifer: Vegan Tahini Truffles

Related: Gluten-Free Mocha Brownies

Vegan Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Brownies

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Photos: Jennifer Kurdyla

Features Editor Jennifer Kurdyla is a New York City girl with Jersey roots and a propensity for getting lost in the urban jungle. An experienced publishing professional, yoga instructor, home chef, sometimes-runner, and writer, she adopted a vegetarian lifestyle in 2008 and became vegan in 2013. She has written for The Harvard Review Online, The Rumpus, and Music & Literature and maintains a wellness-based website, Be Nourished, which features original writing and recipes. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram @jenniferkurdyla, Twitter @jenniferkurdyla, and Pinterest.


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