An indulgent-tasting flourless treat, made from a few wholesome and nutritious ingredients; chickpeas, banana, peanut butter and cacao powder, with a little maple syrup for sweetness. These brownies are deeply chocolatey, super fudgy, sweet and salty, totally delicious, and made entirely from good things.
There was a minor disaster in my household at the weekend, when the chocolate supply ran dry. This was in part due to the fact that I had eaten all of it but that is neither here nor there. The point is it was gone. So I took it upon myself to make some chocolatey treats, and given I had eaten all of the chocolate, I thought it might be advisable to try something a little more worthy.
I’ve been making these Peanut Butter Chickpea Blondies for a while, but until now haven’t experimented with a brownie version. And given the impossibility of chocolate chips, which I always enjoy in a brownie, I decided to go for some extra peanut-y goodness with a peanut butter swirl topping.
Bear in mind, these are not an exact replica of a classically decadent chocolate fudge brownie (which btw you can find a very good vegan recipe for here). But if you want a sweet chocolate-y treat with far smaller quantities of fat and sugar, and much more protein, then you are in the right place.
How to make peanut butter, banana and chickpea blondies
Not only is this recipe tasty and nutritious, it’s also really quick and easy to whip up. First, pre-heat your oven and grease and line a small cake tin or oven dish with greaseproof paper. Then – pay attention because this is where things get complicated – put all of the brownie ingredients in a food processor and whizz until smooth.
Ok, so there are a few extra steps for the peanut topping, and if you want to add any chocolate chips or chopped nuts you’ll need to stir them into the batter before you bake it, but that is essentially it.
There are a few things to be aware of. Firstly, check the ingredients in your peanut butter. It often contains added salt and sugar, and you may not want to use all of the maple syrup and salt in the recipe as a result. Secondly, instead of maple syrup you could also use agave syrup or brown rice syrup, however both of these are a little sweeter than maple, so again, start with less, taste the batter, and adjust accordingly.
If you don’t have a food processor then a stick blender would also do the trick. The batter will be very thick, so a standard blender or high-speed blender won’t work.
For the peanut butter topping, put a little more peanut butter, a long with some maple syrup, coconut oil and a pinch of salt in a heat-proof bowl or mug, and heat in a microwave for a few seconds at a time, until the coconut oil has melted and you can mix everything together to form a smooth and thick, but pourable sauce. If it’s still a little thick, or not quite smooth, add a little more melted coconut oil. Spread the brownie batter into your prepared tin until it forms a reasonably even layer, then drizzle the peanut butter mixture over the top using a teaspoon. Use a skewer or knife to swirl the peanut butter until it’s relatively well distributed.
Bake for 25–30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5–10 minutes before carefully turning the brownies out and leaving to cool on a wire rack. When they’re nearing room temperature you can slice them up and enjoy!
Please let me know if you give these a try – I always love hearing from anyone who has enjoyed my recipes. You can comment below, or tag and follow me on Instagram and Twitter @greedybearbakes.
Vegan Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chickpea Brownies
Deeply chocolatey, super fudgy, sweet and salty, and totally delicious, plus these brownies are made entirely from good things!
Vegan, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Soya-free
For the brownies:
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas (approx 230g drained weight)
- 1 small banana (approx 100g)
- 4 tbsp peanut butter*
- 5 tbsp cacao powder (or cocoa powder**)
- 4–5 tbsp maple syrup (OR agave / brown rice syrup)
- ¼–½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder (gluten-free if necessary)
- 50g vegan dark chocolate chips or chopped nuts (optional)
For the peanut butter topping:
- 2 tbsp peanut butter*
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 175C fan and grease and line a small cake tin or oven dish with greaseproof paper. I used a rectangular oven dish measuring around 21 x 14 cm and anything around that would be fine.
- Drain 1 tin chickpeas and add to a food processor along with 1 small banana, 4 tbsp peanut butter, 5 tbsp cacao powder, 4 tbsp maple syrup, ¼ tsp salt and ½ tsp baking powder. Blitz until completely smooth (you may need to scrape down the sides a couple of times), then taste and add a little more maple syrup or salt if necessary. Stir in 50g chocolate chips or chopped nuts, if using.
- For the peanut butter topping, put all of the ingredients into a heat-proof bowl or mug and whizz in the microwave for 10 seconds at time until the coconut oil has melted (you can also do this in a saucepan on a low heat on the hob). Stir everything together until you have a smooth and thick, but pourable sauce. Taste and add a little more salt or maple syrup if you like. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more melted coconut oil until the mixture is just thin enough to pour.
- Spread the brownie batter into your prepared tin and level out, then drizzle the peanut mixture over the top. Use a skewer or knife to swirl the peanut butter so it’s even distributed, then bake for 25–30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool before slicing. Can be kept in an airtight container for 2–3 days.
*Peanut butter can vary quite a lot depending on the amount of salt and sugar added. It’s best to start with the lower quantities of salt and maple syrup, as you can always add more later depending on your ingredients and personal preference.
**Cocoa powder tends to have a stronger flavour than cacao, so if using cocoa start with 4 tbsp and taste to see if any more is needed.