Pumpkin Brownies

Updated: Nov 26, 2019


Vegan Pumpkin Brownies

As the days become cooler and the trees get more colorful, one of my favorite things to do is crank up the oven and get baking. Another fantastic part of fall is that pumpkin is finally in season and socially appropriate to eat again, yay!

Pumpkin is high in vitamin A and a good source of fiber. Basically, it's good for our eye health, cell regeneration and growth, and a happy digestive system. It is naturally cholesterol and fat-free. Because of this in combination with it being high in fiber, it’s considered a heart healthy food.

Pureed pumpkin is moist so it is often used in baking to create soft, creamy textures. Imagine pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin rolls… sweet! These treats nearly negate the health benefits of the pumpkin by adding high amounts of fat and sugar. It can be difficult to find a “healthy” dessert that’s worth sharing and seasonally appropriate.

Below are three takes on the brownie: the original Basic B Boxed Brownie, the Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Brownie, and lastly the Vegan Pumpkin Brownie. Just because it has vegetables hidden in it, doesn’t automatically make it healthy. Just because it’s healthy, doesn’t mean it tastes bad. Make sure to read below for the full nutrition review!

Basic B Boxed Brownies

Serving size: The box says 1/20th. Let's be real. We cut a 9x9 inch pan into 4x4 pieces; it's 1/16th. 2 1/4 inch brownie square

Yield: 16 servings

Time: 65 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (20 oz.) Brownie mix

  • 1/2 cup Vegetable oil

  • 2 large Eggs

Method

  1. Follow the directions on the box. Using a 9x9 inch glass pan, heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Stir brownie mix, eggs, water, and oil in a medium bowl until well blended. Spread into a greased pan.

  3. Bake for 35-38 minutes. Insert a toothpick about 2 inches from the side. Brownies are done when the toothpick comes out mostly clean.

Basic B Brownies Nutrition Facts

Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Brownies

Serving Size: 2 1/4 inch brownie square

Yield: 16 servings

Time: 65 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 oz.) Pumpkin puree

  • 1 box (20 oz.) Brownie mix

Method

  1. Combine brownie mix and pumpkin together in large mixing bowl. Spray 9x9" glass pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into glass pan.

  2. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-50 minutes.

  3. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before cutting.

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Brownie Nutrition Facts

Vegan Pumpkin Brownies

Serving Size: 2 1/4 inch brownie square

Yield: 16 servings

Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Old fashioned oatmeal

  • 1 can (15 oz.) Pumpkin puree

  • 1 can (15 oz.) Black beans, drained, rinsed

  • 1/2 cup Sugar

  • 1/4 cup Cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon Coffee ground, instant

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9x9 inch glass pan with non-stick cooking spray.

  2. Add oatmeal, black beans, and canned pumpkin to a food processor or blender. Blend until well combined, about 3 minutes. Add sugar, cocoa powder, coffee grounds, and vanilla. Blend for an additional 1-2 minutes.

  3. Pour brownie batter to greased pan; spread evenly.

  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Take out of oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.

Vegan Pumpkin Brownie Nutrition Facts

Pumpkin Brownies Nutrition Comparison

Nutrition Comparison

To make the nutrition comparison fair, all of the brownies are the same realistic serving size. Cutting a 9x9 inch pan of brownies into 20 pieces like the brownie box suggests isn’t going to happen. A 4 piece by 4 piece cut (16 pieces total) is more realistic. This yields brownies that are 2 ¼ inch squares.

The Basic B Brownie is (not surprisingly) the highest in Calories. The most probably reason for this is because it is also the highest in total fat. Fat is the most calorie dense nutrient. The Basic B Brownie contains an extra 6-7.5 g total fat than the Two-Ingredient and Vegan Pumpkin variations. This 6-7.5 g of fat difference leads to a 45-70 Calorie different from fat alone! The fat is lower in the second two brownies because the pumpkin is used to replace the liquid ingredients such as vegetable oil.

Both the Basic B Brownie and the Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Brownie have similar amounts of total carbohydrates. Thirty grams carbohydrate is equivalent to the carbohydrate content of 2 slices of bread. The Vegan Pumpkin Brownies has much fewer carbs, nearly 50% of the original. This might be because it contains much less added sugar than the box mix. The USDA Guidelines of Healthy People 2020 recommends that no more than 10% of total calories for the day come from added sugars. Both the Basic B Brownies and Two-Ingredient Brownies provide 40% of that allowance in one serving. Yikes! Thankfully, the Vegan Pumpkin Brownies contain much less added sugar; one serving only takes up 13% of the daily added sugar allowance.

The last benefit of the Vegan Pumpkin Brownies over the other two variations is that the Vegan Pumpkin Brownies are higher in fiber. The daily recommendation is between 25-30 g fiber daily. In order for a food to be an “excellent source” or “high in” any nutrient, it has to meet more than 20% of the recommended daily value. This food is a good, but not an excellent, source of fiber because it contains 13% of the recommended daily value.

Did you try making these brownies? What were your impressions?


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