Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Banana Brownies

We've all been faced with the brown banana syndrome: you buy a bunch on the weekend / grocery day, eat a few (one a day if you're a die-hard), and before you know it the rest of the bunch is starting to turn rather not yellow. In the summer, bananas get it doubly tough - not only to they overripen at lightning speed in the heat, but the sheer availability of other (and IMHO more delicious) produce like fresh berries and peaches relegates them to the ignored corner of the counter.

Now, I'm the first to admit that I don't like fresh bananas. I'll eat them, if they're mostly green with a tiny yellow blush, but given the choice, I'm finding another fruit. Baked into bread, cake or cookies is a different story, and I even love mashing a frozen one with some cocoa powder for a mock ice cream (especially since chocolate makes everything better). My mom and stepdad, though, eat them out of hand a lot over the winter in particular, and on weekday mornings my mom regularly slices one over her oatmeal and blueberries.

Banana BrowniesEven so, I have a running freezer cache of bananas too far gone for anything but mashing, and as you know I've made my fair share of banana bread over the years. But then I found a great use for them (that included chocolate!) on Whisk, Write, Repeat. Banana Brownies. I know... how much more delicious can you make the rejected fruit? I re-veganized the recipe, added some vanilla soy protein powder for a little "oomph" (I was serving it to a crowd that included finicky kids who hardly ate anything). I was able to use the delicious Pure Via Stevia (the baking blend) to cut down the sugar a bit, while the sugar I did use was the rich dark brown variety. For a little added texture (and fun), I tossed in a few handfuls of Cheerios along with the chocolate chunk - the chunks added pockets of gooeyness that were a joy to discover! The kids lapped them up - and considering their taste preferences I was definitely patting myself on the back.

Banana Brownies
Makes one 9x13" pan, 18 large pieces
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup vanilla protein powder (I used a soy blend)
Banana Brownies
1 cup Pure Via Stevia blend (or sugar)
½ cup muscovado sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 finely mashed bananas
⅓ cup unsweetened soy milk
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1 cup Cheerios
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13" baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, protein powder, stevia, sugar,  cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, mix the mashed bananas, soy milk, canola oil and vanilla. 
  4. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, stirring till just combined. 
  5. Fold in the chocolate chunks and Cheerios.
  6. Pour evenly into the baking pan and bake 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out cleanly.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 173.0
Total Fat: 6.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 98.3 mg
Total Carbs: 30.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 5.0 g