Vegan peanut butter banana brownies

Thick, fudgey brownies marbled with creamy peanut butter make for a great treat to pair with a cold glass of almond milk. Mix in some perfectly ripe bananas for a subtle sweetness and extra kick of fiber and nutrients.

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I am a firm believer that butter + eggs + sugar + flour in some ratio and order equals delicious magic pretty much every single time. BUT I also understand that 1) munching on a steady stream of butter + eggs + sugar + flour would have your doctor spasming in horror and 2) different people have different dietary needs, and I want to create recipes that everyone can enjoy. 

So enter these vegan peanut butter brownies. They’re moist, chocolatey, and have that wonderful stick-to-the-top-of-your-mouth quality I love in anything both fudgey and peanut buttery. And while I don’t like labeling desserts as “unhealthy vs, unhealthy,” because I think all things can be part of a healthy diet if eaten in moderation, I will say this recipe definitely packs in more nutrition that your average brownie or sweet snack. It was also a great recipe to try out Domaine Sante’s grape nectar, a natural sweetener made from California wine grapes (non-alcoholic!)

What makes these brownies a more nutritious option?

  • Fresh ripe bananas add natural sweetness and flavor, along with nutrients like Potassium and Vitamin C
  • Organic natural peanut butter adds creaminess and texture with less saturated fat than regular peanut butter and no added sugar
  • A heaping scoop of cocoa powder adds rich chocolatey flavor along with antioxidants and again, no added sugar
  • Grape nectar reduces the granulated sugar in this recipe from 1/2 cup to 1/8 cup while adding a subtle berry flavor

Bonus: I used coconut oil instead of butter so these brownies are 100% plant-based for all my vegan friends out there.

What did I think of the grape nectar?

I loved the rich, vibrant berry tones of the sweetener, and also appreciated that the 1/4 cup of grape nectar had less than half as many calories as the granulated sugar I was replacing (120 vs ~300). I also like that it has a lower glycemic index (about the same as cherries), so your blood sugar will rise more slowly, and you’ll have less of a “sugar high” + “sugar crash.” It was also fun to try something new and different in my baking! You can find the grape nectar here: https://domaine-sante.com/collections/all-sass/products/all-sass-187-ml-wine-grape-nectar.  While the product was gifted to me, the opinions expressed our my own – I genuinely enjoyed baking with the nectar 🙂

 I hope you enjoy this recipe – I know my boyfriend and I did. We polished off the whole batch in less than a day! And if you don’t have grape nectar readily available, no worries – I include how much regular sugar you need to make these brownies a hit!

Adapted from https://tasty.co/recipe/peanut-butter-banana-brownies

Vegan peanut butter banana brownies

Thick, fudgey brownies marbled with creamy peanut butter make for a great treat to pair with a cold glass of almond milk. Mix in some perfectly ripe bananas for a subtle sweetness and extra kick of fiber and nutrients.
Course Dessert
Keyword banana, brownies, chocolate, peanut butter, vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 9 brownies

Equipment

  • medium mixing bowl
  • spatula
  • 9×9 baking pan

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/8 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • cooking spray or oil for greasing pan
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter – I use organic natural

If using grape nectar

  • 1/4 cup ALL-SASS grape nectar
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

If using regular granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325F if using grape nectar, 350F if using regular sugar
  • In medium mixing bowl, use fork to mash bananas. Add either 1) grape nectar + granulated sugar OR 2) just regular sugar. Add coconut oil and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  • Add flour, salt, and cocoa powder. If using grape nectar, add baking soda as well. Whisk to combine.
  • Grease 9×9 pan and pour in batter. Spread evenly with spatula; don't worry if the layer of batter seems too thin.
  • Add spoonfuls of peanut butter spaced 1-2 inches apart on the top of the batter. Use a butter knife to swirl the peanut butter through the batter.
  • Bake for 25 minutes on the center rack of the oven until the center is set and no longer jiggles when the pan is shaken.
  • Cool completely before cutting and serving.

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