These pumpkin & cacao brownies are rich & fudgy — with no dairy, eggs, grains, or refined sugar! Better still, they are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants, protein, fibre, and healthy fats. So you can have your cake (or delectable chocolatey brownies in this case) and eat it for breakfast, too!!
Passionate About Pumpkin
Pumpkin is one my favourite fall fruits. It is incredibly versatile and packed with fibre, minerals, and vitamins such as A and C. It is also rich in antioxidants that help protect against cancer and heart disease. Furthermore, these powerful phytonutrients have benefits for the eyes and skin (anti-aging), helping you to look and feel your best!
Cacao is the purest form of chocolate we can consume and is free of all the unhealthy sugar and additives found in most processed chocolate. It is rich in minerals like magnesium and iron, as well as health-promoting flavonoid antioxidants. Consumption may help to reduce the risk of hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
And raw cacao actually makes us feel good! It has probiotic effects and has been shown to interact with the gut-brain-axis to trigger the release of natural feel-good chemicals in our bodies such as serotonin and phenylethylamine (PEA). PEA is the same neurotransmitter that is released when we fall in love!
Chocolate Pumpkin Brownie Recipe
These brownies can be enjoyed naked or with a homemade vegan coconut icing and chopped nuts for something truly decadent!
1 cup pure pumpkin purée
3/4 cup cashew nut butter
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
2 scoops Nuzest Clean Lean vanilla or chocolate protein powder
2 Tbsp ground chia seeds
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp gelatinized maca powder (optional)
1 to 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (adjust to taste)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
optional Lakanto monkfruit sweetener, pure stevia, or sweetener of choice, adjusted to taste
optional toppings: coconut icing (below) and chopped nuts, or toppings of choice
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 6x6 inch baking pan with parchment and grease lightly with coconut oil.
Place pumpkin purée, cashew butter, protein powder, chia seeds, coconut oil, maca, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and sea salt in a blender or food processor container.
Blend until well-mixed, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom with a spatula as needed. Sweeten to taste.
Scrape batter into the greased pan and bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and chill. Top with icing as desired and enjoy!
Vegan Coconut Icing
This recipe requires coconut cream. If coconut cream is not available, you can use the solidified cream from the top of refrigerated full-fat coconut milk. The liquid can be reserved and used later (perhaps in a tasty smoothie!). Two cans may be required.
1 cup well-chilled coconut cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Lakanto monkfruit sweetener, stevia, or sweetener of choice, adjusted to taste
optional chocolate icing version: add 2-3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
Put the cold coconut cream, vanilla, and cacao (if using) into a bowl. Beat until smooth. Sweeten to taste. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to spread on cooled brownies and serve.
This recipe was originally published October 12, 2017. It was updated Oct 17, 2018.