So Valentine’s Day is tomorrow…Do any of you celebrate it?
Mark and I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day, at least not officially. We both have a weird thing about it. It almost feels like a holiday where we’re forced to show our appreciation to one another when we technically should be doing that all the time.
For the past three years we’ve unintentionally celebrated it because different events and school breaks happened to fall on the same day. Take last year for example. We ran our marathon where I finished, puked, and knocked out for 5 hours before I was able to reluctantly reintroduce myself to society for dinner. Technically we had a Valentine’s Day dinner, but only because I needed to seriously increase my caloric consumption before I actually passed out. But hey, here I am being ‘weird’ about it again.
This year Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday. No school breaks. No special events. So it’s going to be low-key with me, the gym, and then a lovely home cooked meal and these mouthwatering, naturally sweetened, plant-based red velvet brownies.
Yes, I realize that I should have posted this recipe a few days earlier so that if anyone wanted to bake them up for Valentine’s Day, they could’ve. Good job thinking ahead, Hayley. Face palm. This is the main reason why I’m posting on a Monday night. I’m hoping that some people forgot that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and will be madly scrambling around for a healthy vegan recipe…
If you do happen to have these following ingredients stowed in your kitchen, all you’ll need is a food processor and you’ll be able to whip these guys up in no time! If not, maybe this could be a Belated Valentine’s Day gift.
One key ingredient in making this red velvet brownie and any other red velvet baked good a rosy red color is beetroot (photographed below, ain’t it the prettiest ugly beetroot ever? Yes, quite the paradox, I know).
You’ll also need garbanzo beans, dates, quick oats, cashews, cocoa powder, and a few other items. Trust me, the ingredients are strange, but the product is so worth every bite.
Look at the vibrant brown red color of the batter! Mm, mm, mm, I can’t wait for it to be baked to perfection.
I strategically placed the chocolate chips so that each piece would have one chocolate chip. Genius, right?
The brownies are moist and soft with a light chocolate flavor, similar to the flavor you’d find in red velvet cupcakes. They’re slightly denser than your average brownie, but if you’re a fan of my black bean avocado fudge brownies, then you’ll definitely like these. If anything, I think these ones taste better, and they’re even more nutritious.
The recipe contains instructions and ingredients to make the plant based cream cheese frosting as well as the brownies.
Note: I didn’t really photograph the brownies with the cream cheese frosting lathered on top mainly because they weren’t very photogenic. Only one photo contains some of the frosting on it.
- ½ cup cashews (soaked overnight or for an hour in hot water)
- 1¾ Tbsp coconut oil
- 2¾ Tbsp honey or agave
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¾ tsp vanilla
- ¾ tsp lemon juice
- a pinch of salt
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 15 oz. can of garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup dates (pitted)
- 1 small beetroot (100 grams uncooked) - boiled, peeled, and cubed
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ c quick oats
- ⅛-1/4 cocoa powder (use ¼ if you really like chocolate flavors)
- 1 Tbsp almond milk
- ½ c chocolate chips
- For the cream cheese frosting, dump the cashews in a food processor. Pulse/process until it's smooth. Add water to help it blend. Then add the coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon juice, salt and blend everything together. Taste and decide on whether or not you'd like to add more honey, lemon, or salt. Scoop out the frosting into a separate bowl.
- Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You don't have to clean the bowl of the food processor super well. Add the dates into the food processor. Blend until the dates aren't chunky and are smooth. Add the chopped boiled beetroot and process until its smooth. Add the garbanzo beans and process until it is smooth. Add the quick oats, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, baking powder, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Process until everything is incorporated and the batter is smooth. Add ¼ c of chocolate chips and give it a quick pulse so that it's mixed into the batter.
- In a lightly greased 6x6 baking pan, scoop the batter into it and spread it out. Add some chocolate chips. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove the brownies from the oven, let them cool. Cut them and place them on a plate. You can melt the rest of the chocolate chips and drizzle them over the brownies. You can then spread the 'cream cheese' frosting over the brownies before devouring them.
A deep gorgeous beet red brownie for your valentine! With garbanzo beans, beets, cashews (from the frosting), dates, and oats, these brownies are nutrient dense and power packed with protein, healthy fats, iron, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, folate, and the list goes and and on. It’s the ideal pre and post workout snack and dessert!
My macro lens does the best job of capturing all of the details and textures in this brownie, wouldn’t you agree?
Bake these and give your loved ones something healthy and tasty this Valentine’s Day. And whether you celebrate the holiday or not, I hope you have a wonderful day where you feel extra loved. Stay happy and healthy y’all!