Half-Baked Brownies {for us runners: whole-food-plant-based & healthy}



sweet potato brownies oil-free vegan
natures bakery brownie

So gwen is doing this thing right now where after eating every meal he eats 1-2 bananas with a brownie (previously from Natures Bakery). He claims that this is ok because of his French blood, it is traditional to eat a small dessert after every meal. As runners, (especially plant-based ones where the calories naturally occurring in plants are lower than animal foods) we get to eat a lot of food!

natures bakery brownie

Well you see this is a problem because at this rate we will run out of these little brownies! Natures Bakery is a really cool company (owned by a guy I went to high school with) and they send us a few hundred of their Brownies and Fig Bars so we can pack them for our adventures, as they are packaged well and have a shelf life. (And their ingredient list is really good for a packaged snack). 

I knew that if I didn't come up with something in the place of these brownies for Gwen to “dessert” on, we would be out of our adventure snack quickly!!!

sweet potato brownies oil-free vegan side yellow

So this mini crisis, (yes, running out of bananas and brownies in our house is now classified as a crisis, along with running out of ripe bananas; which is the biggest crisis we face) inspired me to come up with my own substitute for these brownies, so he can eat them after every meal with his bananas!

We both love our classes Double-Chocolate Black Bean Brownie recipe so much, I knew that would be a good place to start. I also knew that right now we want to include sweet potato into as many meals as possible (because they are complex carbohydrates) and along with fruit, would make a perfect snack/dessert.

sweet potato brownies oil-free vegan top

So BAM.. I came up with this recipe, which I am constantly modifying and adding things to, to suit our current life plan. 

I also made a fun recipe video that you must watch!

The only thing that could makes these brownies better, would be peanut butter!!! But we don’t eat peanut butter… but we do eat peanut butter powder! So this is the healthiest frosting you will ever see!!!

And it complements the brownies really well if you want to eat them all on their own! Banana based!

Recipe video right here if you want to watch that!!!



  • 3 cups cooked black beans (about 2x 15oz cans) or peas or both
    • We suggest using 1/2 black beans and 1/2 green peas (we love using green peas in these, and together with the black beans and sweet potato they are super healthy!)
  • 1.5 cups Sweet Potato, steamed & mashed  (or 1 x15oz can baked sweet potato)
  • 2 cups dates, pitted, soaked and drained (or date pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • Optional to add 4 very ripe bananas to make more moist and sweet (we do this but the brownies turn out really gooey if you do, which we like).
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
  • ½ - 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar, date sugar, date paste, agave, whatever sweetener, (optional, we don't add it)
  • ½ cup mini vegan chocolate chips (optional)


  • Add everything except for the walnuts and chocolate chips to a food processor
  • process until smooth
  • add walnuts and chocolate chips
  • pulse until mixed
  • preheat oven to 350
  • pour batter into a 9X12 baking dish lined with parchment paper or lightly sprayed with coconut oil spray
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes (remember, these are gooey, half-baked brownies)
  • Make The Frosting while you wait, if you want frosting (recipe below)

ENJOY with Bananas, soy milk, banana nice cream, cereal, etc. Our favorite is to put them into a bowl with Banana Nice Cream and puffed cereal, also we ate these for breakfast the other day with rice milk and puffed cereal.. Always finding ways to eat yummy food!!!

This stuff is super delicious, low fat and cheap!


  • 2 ripe bananans
  • 3 tablespoons Peanut Butter Powder of choice (We use PB FIT)
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder


  • Mash and mix all these ingredients together.. thats it! (see video if still confused).

Hope your running is going well,

Love you guys!

- Katie

sweet potato brownies oil-free vegan

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OUR INGREDIENTS: Where we get em and what we use

We find this stuff here on Amazon, at Costco or even in bulk at Winco

Peanut Butter Powder

Like I mentioned before, this stuff is much healthier than traditional Peanut Butters. We really love NUTTZO for our Nut-Butters but Peanuts are not even NUTS. They are Legumes and roasted are just really high in fat.. so when this form of peanut butter came out we were stoked!
Basically all the oil  / fat is squeezed out of it leaving just the protein and carbohydrates. So yes, it is processed but in this way it is beneficial over full-fat peanut butter... in our opinion! 

Cacao Powder

CHOCOLATE is delicious, but "Chocolate" in the way most of us know it is not good for us.

Cacoa on the other hand, is actually GOOD FOR US!

To learn more on the topic, we go to NutritionFacts.org > videos right here on the subject!

RAW CACAO Powder, cheapest source we have found

RAW COCOA is called CACAO, and is more healthful than roasted because its vitamins and minerals are supposedly more in-tact. But it is also more expensive, however we found that on Amazon it is not too bad, we get this exact one!

For the regular old BAKING COCOA that we use for this recipe and others that we bake with, we do not get the raw stuff, there is no point, and it is definitely cheapest in bulk at your local supermarket or health food store.