Sweet Potato Is The Star Ingredient For Decadent Vegan Brownies

Stack of brownies
Stack of brownies - Alvarez/Getty Images

When it comes to baking with vegan ingredients while trying to preserve the quintessential deliciousness of your favorite recipes, you may find that vegetables are your unexpectedly effective best friend. With natural sweetness and moisture as well as tons of vitamins, veggies are often the secret to making moist vegan chocolate cake or elevating a boxed cake mix to a new homemade standard — and thankfully, brownies are no exception. While it takes more than just one substitution to make a completely vegan brownie, you'll find that a simple addition of mashed sweet potatoes is undisputedly the star player in the entire ensemble.

In terms of baking chemistry, mashed sweet potatoes in brownies will mostly function as the main substitute for eggs. However, they bring a natural sweetness that sophisticates the flavor profile, a natural moistness that helps nail a decadently fudgy texture. On top of all that, it is a starchy and thick binding agent that brings all the ingredients together. Put away the commercial egg substitute, don't settle for the plan and flat vegetable oil and water combination, and get ready for a serious upgrade to your vegan baking repertoire.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

The Benefits Of Using Sweet Potatoes In Brownies

bowl of mashed sweet potato
bowl of mashed sweet potato - Drong/Getty Images

While sweet potatoes aren't the best choice in some pastries due to the distinctive hue they add to the dough, they're more than perfect for use in darker desserts like brownies, where the subtle coloring doesn't show through. Your mileage may vary on whether or not you'll be able to taste the sweet potato through the sweetness of the brownie, but you may find that the slightly earthy flavor more than complements the decadent chocolate.

On top of all that, sweet potatoes bring a ton of nutritional benefits you won't find in your traditional brownie. While you are losing out on protein by using it as an egg swap, you'll also be getting a good deal of fiber, vitamins, and minerals in exchange. Additionally, sweet potatoes carry tons of natural antioxidants like beta carotene and chlorogenic acid (or anthocyanins if you're using purple sweet potatoes). On top of reducing oxidative damage and lowering cancer risk, the abundance of beta carotene in orange sweet potatoes is also converted into vitamin A inside your body. Using sweet potatoes to make vegan brownies doesn't just make them decadently fudgy — you'll be getting a much more nutritious and healthier treat.

Other Substitutes To Consider

mashed fruits and vegetables
mashed fruits and vegetables - Fotografiabasica/Getty Images

If you're not a fan of sweet potatoes overall, the good news is that there are other vegetable options you can turn to for that egg-free smoothness in your brownies. Of the many egg substitutes you can use in baking, a close equivalent to mashed sweet potatoes is a can of pumpkin purée. Just as orange, sweet, and smooth as sweet potatoes, pumpkins also come with a nutritional profile packed with healthy servings of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The only caveat is that you'll probably want to use canned pumpkin purée or pick out sweeter kinds of squash if you're making the purée from scratch. Traditional carving pumpkins are far less delicious and rarely used for any kind of baking or cooking.

Not a fan of the slight pumpkin taste, either? Don't bust out the store-bought egg substitute just yet. The real answer to your perfect vegan brownie might lie with fruits instead. Mashed avocado, bananas, and applesauce all come with a subtle complementary flavor, their own assortment of healthy nutrients, and all the natural moisture needed for a smooth and fudgy mouthfeel. Just make sure to cut down on the sugar if you're using mashed bananas or applesauce — these fruits are a powerhouse of sweetness that need very little help to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.