Banana Brownies

What are you grateful for?

Life’s gifts  are so often taken for granted; like the feel of clean warm water as I wash my hands,  the taste and texture of my morning oatmeal, a safe place to call home, laughter.  The list goes on, and each night before I go to bed I write down just 5 things I’m grateful for that day.  Tonight, Life is number one on my list.

Life, Love, Spirit, whatever you want to call it, or not call it; that presence that permeates all, and is the connecting energy between everything.  In the constant feeling and awareness of that is where I seek to reside.

Boy, I’m getting deep!

I am grateful to not only acknowledge that I am alive and blessed, but to feel that thing called Life within me always…well feeling it always is what I strive for : )
I believe that everything is Life, it’s all Love, it’s all God, it’s all Good.
 

Number 2 on tonight’s gratitude list are these Banana Brownies, and my newly discovered joy of vegan baking. 
How can I go from talking about something so deep to brownies?  Aren’t brownies one of life’s simple pleasures?  They’re so simple and easy to make, and so quintessentially American.  For a lot of people brownies represent a childhood comfort food served warm from the oven with icecream or whipped cream, sometimes with walnuts or chocolate chips baked into the already chocolaty amazingness.

As a chocolate lover, rich and fudgy brownies are my favorite.  I like them complex like a fine chocolate bar, with hints of espresso, and perhaps fruity undertones.  When I bite into a brownie it is important to cherish it, and give thanks for such a simple treat. 


The other night I discovered that you can use coconut cream from a can of coconut milk to replace butter and lard in some recipes, making soy free vegan baking easy. When I heard that I was like, “WHAT!? GIRL, STOP!”, and immediately my mind started racing with possibilities!  I thought of vegan double chocolate coconut cookies, brownies, empanadas, samosas, and pie crusts!

So what better way to test the legitimacy of this glorious claim than by making vegan brownies? The idea for banana crept in when I was considering egg replacers for my sweets.  I did my research by analyzing over 10 brownie recipes, and finally came up with this Sweet Potato Soul original.

The coconut cream described can be attained easily.  Just purchase a can of higher quality coconut milk–I like to use Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk, or even the Whole Foods store brand–place it in a cool place, perhaps the refrigerator.  When cool, the contents of the can will separate, and when you open it up you’ll have thick white cream separated from the watery component; and that thick cream is the good good that you want.

The coconut cream and chocolate are melted together over steam and cooled slightly before adding to the banana/wet ingredients.  I only use one cup of flour to make a 9×9 inch pan of brownies, and only one cup of sugar.  The mashed over ripe banana lends a natural sweetness that cane sugar cannot compete with, and instant coffee gives them a surprising kick.  The thinly sliced banana strips that I placed on top sink slightly and begin to caramelize.  The coconut flavor is subtle, perhaps because of the banana. 

These banana bread brownie hybrids are guilt free. What’s the point of feeling guilty about what we eat anyway?  It’s time to be grateful for all that we have, especially the delicious pleasures that put a smile on our faces. Right?!

The second time (in 2 days) I made these Maxx and I filmed episode 4 of Sweet Potato Soul; be on the lookout for that within the next couple of weeks!

So without further ado, I introduce my fluffy and moist Banana Brownies.

Banana Brownies
(makes one 9×9 pan. When making these, have 3 bowls out and ready to use.  Cut the banana into strips right before placing them on top of the brownies.)
1 cup cold coconut cream
8 oz, 1 cup vegan dark chocolate chunks
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp egg replacer (Ener-G brand) + 3 tbsp water
1 over ripe banana, mashed
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant espresso/coffee powder
1 cup sugar
1 ripe banana, sliced thinly, lengthwise
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and oil (coconut oil) and flour a 9×9 or round 9-10 inch baking pan. 
In a small sauce pan bring about 3 cups of water to a boil.  Place coconut cream and chocolate chunks into a heat proof metal bowl, over the boiling water in a steam basket or metal colander.  Do not allow the bowl containing the coconut cream and chocolate to touch the water.  Stir frequently with a spoon spatula, and after about 5 minutes, the steam will have melted the mixture.  Remove from  heat, stir, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl combine 2 teaspoon of Ener-G egg replacer with 3 tablespoons of water; stir to to dissolve powder.  Now add the mashed banana, vanilla extract, coffee powder and sugar, mix well.
In a medium bowl mix flour, salt and baking powder.
Pour the cooled coconut chocolate fudge into the banana/wet ingredient mixture and stir.  Slowly stir the flour into the wet ingredients and mix well.  
Pour the batter–it should be fairly wet–into the prepared pan. Carefully set the banana strips on top and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  
With a paring knife or toothpick check to make sure the brownies are done.  Allow them to cool for 30-40 minutes before cutting. 
Serve alone or with icecream (why didn’t I have icecream?)…
Enjoy! 
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14129754860234591059 Honestly Good Food

    I just whipped up a batch of banana brownies, too. Your recipe looks much better than the one I used. The banana sesame cookie recipe on my blog was created the same way. By wanting to replace the banana with eggs (even though I’m not vegan it’s fun to experiment). Turned out way better than the original.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11338820078931996605 Cathy

    Oh. My.

    Those look stunningly delicious, and the banana strips on top are genius!

  • http://www.diethood.com/ Kate @ Diethood.com

    Oh I love these!! Great flavors in there… and they’re vegan? Wow! :)

  • http://www.thesweetsensations.com/ Sandra

    Love those banana strips on top! I agree that being grateful is all that and a bag of chips. I also believe that the more we are grateful for what we have the more we’ll have to be grateful for. Looking forward to Episode 4.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09149781315469755878 Jenn from Much to My Delight

    What an original idea! I’ve never heard of banana mixed with brownie and I am very intrigued! Can’t wait to see more vegetarian recipes; I’m your latest follower:)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02897781349849798723 Lawyer Loves Lunch

    Oooh, you were right! The banana brownies do look awesome! I love the piece of banana at the top! :)

  • http://natureinsider.com/ Nadia

    this looks super delicious! I will definitely give it a try :)

    I was just wondering can you replace the eggs with one more ripe mashed banana? There are no egg replacements in the stores here.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08295973331579634458 Happy Go Lucky Vegan

    These look amazing!! They are next on my baking list for sure!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12360262975028237613 Mary

    What a beautiful, glorious combination of flavors! These looks divine! Bookmarked!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xx
    Delightful Bitefuls

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04979954443694635486 The Duo Dishes

    Experimenting with vegan baking has really been fun, and you’re showing just how exciting and new it can be. Bananas work so well, and they had good vitamins and fiber. It’s a win-win.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00443646003772169500 Samantha

    Made these for friends and they LOVED them! Thank you! I did change a couple of things…made with whole wheat flour and a little less sugar. And then countered my healthy changes by eating two servings….

  • http://www.veggienumnum.com/ Trudy ~ veggie num num

    Ah! I have everything to makes these in my kitchen right now and combine that with an absolute craving for brownies from looking at your pics means I am going to have to go and makes them right now.. hope my turn out as delicious looking as these… yum!!!

  • http://www.sammy-jane.blogspot.com/ Samantha

    Hey! Just wanted to let you know I posted my own pic of your wonderful brownies on my blog! :)

  • http://chefandsteward.com/ chefandsteward.com

    This looks absolutely divine! Love it! Beautiful and very original presentation too!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15098153709600529170 Jennifer and Jaclyn @ sketch-free vegan

    omg these look divine! i like how the bananas are arranged on top of the brownies, so original!

    I just started this healthy food photo sharing site: http://healthfreakfood.com/

    I would love it if you submitted your pretty food photos!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16086254722403957533 The Food Relationship Coach™

    What a combination! I’ve never thought about combining brownies with bananas. It looks delish!

  • http://www.squashblossombabies.com/ Squash Blossom Babies

    Great Recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01191219226134732182 Lucia from Madison

    Sigh. I am in love! Gave up sweets for Lent… but there is that Sunday provision… Thank you for sharing this recipe. First time visitor and now a follower!

  • http://www.justapinch.com/ Sherry @ JustAPinch

    Yum! I don’t think you need to be vegan to enjoy these brownies. Thank you for sharing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05640887063339305700 Elisabeth

    WOW! These brownies look fabulous! I love the combination of banana and chocolate, even more so than peanut butter and chocolate combination.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12336751322558715068 THECaribbeanFolkloreProject

    The best part of these (besides the taste, of course) is the visual feast. The colors are so much more beautiful than your everyday brownie :-). This Skinny Carib soul loves your cooking, your style, and uhm yeah, that other deep thing: Life!

    http://www.SkinnyCarib.com
    http://thecaribbeanfolkloreproject.blogspot.com/p/skinny-carib-kitchen-previews.html

    Keep it Coming!!!
    m.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12336751322558715068 THECaribbeanFolkloreProject

    p.s. We’ve posted a link to this page on ours. Love your soul! [Though we Antiguans consider your sweet potato a yam!]

    http://thecaribbeanfolkloreproject.blogspot.com/p/skinny-carib-kitchen-previews.html

  • Nina Herbert

    These look truly wonderful.
    Just as soon as bananas return to a sane price here in Australia, I’ll be making some.
    I’m rather surprised, given all the amazing (canned) foods available to Americans, that you cannot get canned coconut cream.
    Thank you for this post. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03731789161689703288 javed vardi

    Hello. this dish appears yummy and delicious and i have never tasted it before.but it looks so luring that i cannot stop myself to ask my mum to prepare it for me this browni .

  • Anonymous

    Made these yesterday and they were delicious. This was my first attempt at vegan baking and I’m so glad it was a success. Came out just like the picture and tasted amazing. Thanks for sharing. I will definitely be subscribing.

  • http://unitedkingdompaydayloans.co.uk/ Chelsea

    I am going to book mark your blog. I wanted to go vegan for a long time, but didn’t know what I could make besides salads. Your recipes look really great.