COVID-19: These brownies are vegan, gluten-free, full of protein and fibre, and perfect for pandemic-era comfort

The Teahouse in Stanley Park pastry chef Noel Singh shares a favourite recipe that's also ideal for Earth Day

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      If you've found yourself turning to chocolate and other sweet treats as a means of coping with COVID-10, so be it. Chances are you're not alone.

      Noel Singh, pastry chef of the Teahouse in Stanley Park, has a recipe to shake things up. 

      "We are all probably in the same boat right now," Singh says. "We aren’t as active as we once were and we may be letting our cravings get the better of us.

      "However, these decadent-tasting protein brownies let you indulge all your cravings without any of the guilt," Singh says. "They are all-vegan, gluten-free; no refined sugars; and full of protein and fibre. The best part is that it they're a breeze to make, too!"

      Here's how.

      Noel Singh's Healthy Brownies


      1 1/2 cups black beans
      1 cup pitted dates, soaked overnight
      1/2 cup gluten-free flour
      1/2 cup non dairy milk
      1/3 cup cocoa powder
      1/4 cup dark chocolate, melted
      2 Tbsp almond butter (or any neutral-flavoured nut butter)
      1/2 Tbsp ground coffee
      2 tsp baking powder
      2 tsp vanilla extract
      1/2 tsp salt


      2 avocados, peeled and pits removed
      1/2 cup maple syrup
      1/4 cup cocoa powder
      2 tsp vanilla extract
      1/4 tsp salt

      Optional Garnishes:

      toasted coconut flakes
      toasted nuts
      dried fruits


      Preheat oven to 350F and line a 8″ square baking dish with parchment paper

      Drain, rinse, and measure out 1 1/2 cups of black beans from the can and also drain the excess water from the dates.

      Measure the remaining ingredients for the brownies, melt the dark chocolate, then put everything into the food processor. Use a neutral-flavoured nut butter like almond or cashew so it doesn’t alter the flavour of the brownies. But if you like the idea of chocolate and peanut butter go for it!

      Pulse a few times to combine the ingredients together. Remember to scrape down the sides of the blender and continue pulsing until it forms a smooth thick batter.

      Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread out evenly using an offset spatula.

      Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, just until the top starts to develop small cracks.

      Cool brownies completely before frosting them. You can speed up the process by cooling them to room temperature and then putting into the fridge.

      After they are cooled completely, put all the ingredients for the frosting into a food processor and blend until it is completely smooth. Spread the frosting evenly over the brownies and top with whatever garnishes you like or leave them plain.

      Cut them into 9 squares and store any remaining pieces in the fridge for up to a week. (But they will be long gone before then.)