I am so excited to share today's Eggplant Mesquite Brownie Recipe with you guys! These fudgy eggplant brownies are the perfect summer treat. They're made with super healthy and clean ingredients. They're naturally sweetened and super rich, they remind me a lot of cosmic brownies!
What Is Mesquite?
To be completely honest with you guys, I just recently discovered mesquite. I am sure I heard about it at some point in my life, but it's definitely not something that is regularly used in baking. However it should be, because it's incredible!
Mesquite is a protein-rich, high fiber, low glycemic sweetener, and superfood. It is also full of healthy Omega 3s, and zinc. This means its great for supporting a healthy immune system! Mesquite also contains a lot of minerals such as: calcium, magnesium, copper, and iron.
You may have heard of mesquite in barbecue recipes, but besides that it's fairly uncommon. It has a strong flavor, but in recipes like these eggplant brownies it taste divine. Mesquite doesn't fluff up like regular flour, which is a good thing in the case of these brownies. The mesquite powder actually helps these brownies achieve a super dense, moist, and fudgy texture! AKA the best texture in my opionion.
Why These Eggplant Mesquite Brownies Should Be Served Chilled?
These eggplant brownies are not the type of brownie you eat right out of the oven with a big scoop of ice cream (that's my Date Sweetened Brownies). These eggplant brownies have more of a Cosmic Brownie texture. They should be enjoyed chilled.
I wouldn't recommend eating them warm. Why? Since these are flourless brownies, they are not going to firm up in the oven like most other brownies. This does not mean that they don't cook properly, or they're underdone, it just means they need to set. Think of it like baking lemon bars, or cheesecake.
I recommend placing the brownie pan in the fridge and letting cool for at least an hour before frosting and serving. Because these brownies are served chilled, it actually makes them the perfect on the go dessert! I love packing these brownies with me whenever I need a healthy sweet treat at the ready.
Ingredients For These Flourless Eggplant Brownies:
- Mesquite Powder - It's pretty hard to find mesquite powder in stores, so I definitely recommend buying it online. This is the base of the brownie, so I would not recommend replacing it.
- Baking Soda - Helps the brownies puff up slightly and bake evenly.
- Ground Flaxseed - Is the egg replacement in this recipe. You can also use ground chia seeds and they will work the same.
- Date Sugar - I have started to see date sugar pop up in more stores, but I always purchase online, because it's more affordable. I wouldn't recommend using whole dates, or date syrup.
- Cacao Powder - Make sure you use cacao powder and not cocoa powder. Cacao is much healthier and is less processed. "VEGAN10" for $10 off!
- Eggplant - I've made this recipe multiple times. I've measured out the eggplant, and just used a whole medium sized eggplant, and both ways turn out perfectly. This is a very forgiving recipe. If you think your eggplant is well over 1 cup, you can always double the rest oof the ingredients and make more brownies!
- Vanilla Extract - You can also use pure vanilla bean powder. Personally I love using Mexican Vanilla. It has a strong vanilla taste that compliments so many recipes.
- Plant Based Chocolate - You can use any vegan chocolate, but make sure it is made without oil and refined sugar. Some of my favorites are: Hu Kitchen, Taza Chocolate Bars, and Pascha.
Dairy-Free Chocolate Frosting:
- Cashew Butter - It's super important to use raw cashew butter and not roasted cashew butter. Roasted cashews butter has a much different taste, and isn't as creamy. I get mine from Wilderness Poets. You can use my code: "VEGAN10" for $10 off your purchase!
- Plant Based Chocolate - Same as above.
- Cacao Powder -Same as above.
How To Make These Eggplant Brownies:
These eggplant brownies are super easy. All you'll need is a blender, a large bowl, a small bowl (or cup) a pot, or pressure cooker, and a brownie pan (or any shallow pan).
Begin by steaming the eggplant. You'll want the eggplant to be super soft. While the eggplant is cooking make your flax egg and set aside.
Once soft and mashable, add to a blender along with the chocolate and the vanilla. Blend until it forms a smooth paste.
In a large bowl sift together the mesquite powder, cacao powder, date sugar, and baking soda. Mix together. Pour in the flax egg and eggplant mixture and mix until you get one smooth mixture.
Pour into a coated brownie pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. The top may crack a little, but that is okay. Once the time is up, remove from the oven and allow to chill on the counter top for 15 minutes in the pan. While it is chilling, make the chocolate frosting.
Melt the chocolate and mix together with the cashew butter and cacao powder. You can either frost the brownies immediately in the pan, or wait about 10 more minutes (25 minutes total), and remove them from the pan and frost them.
Once frosted, place the eggplant brownies back in the fridge and allow them to chill for at least an hour. These brownies taste best when they are cold, so I like to leave mine in the fridge for about 3 hours so that they are nice and cold.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why Do People Add Eggplant To Brownies?
I had never heard of people adding eggplant to brownies until recently. At first I thought it was crazy. Personally I hate eggplant, so the thought of adding it to brownies sounded insane. However my brother told me a story about eggplant brownies he had, and insisted that they were incredible.
He challenged me to make a recipe using eggplant, and ta-da! To my surprise adding eggplant to brownies is genius (especially for oil-free and vegan baking)! Why? It's actually pretty simple.
Eggplant works a lot like oil when used in baking. If you've ever used applesauce as an oil replacement it's a lot like that. Why not just use applesauce? In my opinion applesauce works well for fluffy foods like breads and cupcakes, but doesn't work well in fudgy foods like brownies.
Eggplant is also great for flourless baking. These flourless brownies are egg-free, so they need something to keep them together. This is where I think eggplant is superior to applesauce. It has a much eggier texture, and help binds the brownies together.
Eggplant doesn't have a strong flavor, especially when mixed with chocolate and dates, so you don't need to worry about it having a weird flavor in desserts.
What Is Date Sugar?
If you're new to refined sugar-free baking, you may not know what date sugar is. If you're anything like I was you hear sugar and you run. However do not fear! Date sugar couldn't be more different than refined sugar!
Refined sugars are so heavily processed that they lose all nutritional value. They don't even resemble their original form by the end. However date sugar does not go through a process like this at all. Date sugar is simply just dried and ground up dates.
Therefore date sugar retains all the micro and macro nutrients found in dates! It doesn't work exactly like cane sugar, so it won't melt. There's definitely a learning curve to using it, but It's been a game changer when it comes to whole foods plant based baking!
Are Cacao And Cocoa The Same Thing?
If you're like me and grew up on the Hershey's chocolate powder like I did, you might assume that's what natural chocolate powder tastes like. However that is not pure cacao. Cocoa that is in most chocolates and powders is the roasted version of cacao. In this process many of the key nutrients are lost.
You may be wondering why I would bake with cacao over cocoa if many of the nutrients are lost during the roasting process. Cacao is fermented rather than roasted, so it preserves the nutrients immediately rather than having them stripped away.
I also prefer buying cacao, because it's much easier to find in bulk. I buy all my pantry staples in bulk because it is so much more affordable.
Related Healthy Vegan Desserts With Vegetables:
- Healthy Vegan Zucchini Bread
- Paleo Sweet Potato Brownie
- Carrot Cake Overnight Oats
- Best Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies
Eggplant Mesquite Brownies
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350. Peel and chop your eggplant and place in the steamer/pressure cooker, and steam for 10-15 minutes, until soft (you almost want it mushy.)
- Add the chocolate to a blender with the steamed eggplant (while it's still hot), vanilla extract, and blend until smooth.
- In a large bowl combine remaining brownie ingredients. Pour the chocolate eggplant mixture into the bowl and mix. Pour the batter into a coated brownie dish and bake for 45 minutes.
- Make the chocolate frosting by combining the melted chocolate, cashew butter and cacao powder.
- Once brownies have cooked, take out of the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before frosting. Place in the fridge and allow to chill for at least an hour. Top with cacao nibs and enjoy!