Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Best Blog Tips

As you may be aware from reading this blog in the last few months, I am refining my vegan low-glycemic way of eating because of a diagnosis of pre-diabetes (and it's working!).  I've lost some weight, and I'm learning to use some different ingredients and to cook a bit differently from what I was used to, but it's really not been that difficult.  You can read about my research here and see some of my new low-glycemic recipes, discoveries and cooking adventures in my blogs from March 2018 to the present.

The one thing that we haven't been eating very often is dessert, sadly. (My husband is being very patient!)  I have devised a delicious low-sugar apple/rhubarb crumble, and some yummy no-sugar corn muffins, but we've mostly been enjoying the lovely fruits available this summer, and the occasional Chocolate "Nice Cream. (It's made with frozen ripe bananas and no added sweetener-- I'll post my version soon, as well as my newest version of Peruvian Lucuma Ice Cream, made with lucuma powder, which is used as a natural sweetener by some raw foodists, so you don't need to add much sweetener.). But, as  the weather was changing a bit, I thought I'd work on making some LG and low-fat  brownies. (You might have noticed that I love chocolate!)

In my first version, I use a combination of oat, millet and soghum flours (all low-glycemic) and smooth unsweetened applesauce instead of fat and a small amount of agave nectar for the sweetener (you could use maple syrup instead). They weren't bad, but the millet and sorghum flours made the brownies slightly crumbly in the finished product, even though the flours felt very fine to me when raw.  So, I tried  the same recipe again with only oat flour.  The brownies were better, but I still felt that they weren't moist enough. 

The 3rd time I made brownies, I used 2/3rds oat flour and 1/3 bean flour, AND I added 1/4 cup of yellow split pea puree, which I keep in the freezer, frozen in ice cube trays [2 tablespoons per cube] and then popped into freezer bags. This puree is a great as a fat replacer in baking and I thought it might add just that little bit more moisture that I needed. It turned out really well and this is the recipe I'm sharing below.

UPDATE: But, re-reading my post on baking with yellow split pea puree, I noted that I had been adding 1 T. water to the 2 thawed-out cubes of puree for a moist texture in muffins.  So, I did just that today (Sept. 22, 2018) when I made a fourth batch, and the brownies were perfect this time. One more change I made was using 6 tablespoons of agave nectar instead of 1/3 cup (which is 5 1/2 tablespoons). We brought the brownies over to some friends today and they loved them! So I have updated the recipe below and I hope you enjoy it!PS: See about baking with yellow split pea puree, + a yummy fat-free muffin recipe at this link.

Anyway, enough chatter!  If you try these, let me know what you think.  I may try using a date puree for the sweetener next time and, if it works, I'll post it.

Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S MOIST & DELICIOUS LOW-GLYCEMIC, LOW-FAT, VEGAN BROWNIES (soy-free and gluten-free if you use GF oats; NO added oil)                 
        Servings: 12 bars   
RECIPE UPDATED SEPT. 22, 2018 (See highlighted paragraph above.)
UPDATED on June 21, 2019:
If you cannot have any kind of sugar, you can use your favorite non-sugar sweetener, use sugar-free chocolate chips and use 1 cup chopped walnuts. 
[I dislike the taste of stevia, BTW.] Allulose is a relatively new type of sugar-free sweetener that sounds ideal (I haven't tried it yet, but plan to soon)-- read about it here . Considering that most of the newer sugar subs are quite expensive, this is a pretty good buy, if you're interested.

1/2 cup oat flour  (I simply blend rolled oats in a dry blender until fine and fluffy.)
(NOTE: stir the oat flour a bit before measuring.)
1/4 cup chickpea flour, yellow split pea flour, soy flour or white bean flour (You could use a darker bean flour, if you like, as long as the taste is mild.)
(PS: Soy flour is very low-glycemic-- GI 20-25 ; yellow split pea flour and black bean flour are GI 30; chickpea and oat flours ar GI 44.)
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup smooth UN-sweetened applesauce
6 tablespoons agave nectar (you can use maple syrup instead, if you prefer)
1/4 cup yellow split pea puree (see Tip below for how to make and store)
1 tablespoon water (to mix with split pea puree)
1 tsp vanilla extract
EXTRAS: (Optional)
1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate chips (can be minis)
1/2 to 1 cup walnut halves or pecans, roughly chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (NOTE: When I use my little counter-top Cuisinart Air Fryer Oven, 325 degrees F works best.)

Oil an 8-inch square baking pan (I use a Pyrex pan). Line with baking parchment, if you wish.

In a medium bowl, mix together the Dry Mix ingredients.

In a small bowl, mix together the Wet Mix ingredients.

Pour the Wet Mix into the Dry Mix and combine briefly but thoroughly. If you are using the chocolate chips and/or nuts, stir them into the batter.

Spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Check with a toothpick at 18 minutes. If the toothpick is a bit gooey, bake a few minutes more. A toothpick should come out just about clean, but not really dry.

Cool the pan on a rack. When it has cooled completely, cut into 12 squares. Store in a covered container at room temperature-- they are even better the next day!

TIP- To make and store yellow split pea puree:
Mix 2 cups of dried split yellow peas [they don't have to be soaked first] with 4 cups of water in your Instant Pot or other pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. (PS: Or, you can simmer them in a pot, covered, for 30 minutes on your stovetop.) Let the pressure come down before opening the pot. The resulting soft mush just needed a few stirs to "puree", and the yield was 5 cups.

I refrigerated the puree for a day or so.  When I removed it from the refrigerator, it had hardened considerably! I pressed some of the the puree into ice cube trays, which made cubes of 2 tablespoons puree, and some in 1/4 cup portions in silicone cupcake liners also in a silicone ice cube tray that made 1/4-cup cubes. Then I  froze them.  Later, I popped out the frozen portions, bagged them up in zipper-lock storage bags and placed them back into the freezer for future use.) Add 1 Tablespoon water to each 1/4-cup portion of split pea puree before adding to a baking recipe for brownies, muffins, etc..

WITHOUT chocolate chips or nuts:
Nutrition (per bar): 64 calories, 6 calories from fat, less than 1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 134.1mg sodium, 139.2mg potassium, 14.9g carbohydrates, 1.8g fiber, 7.1g sugar, 1.8g protein, 2.1 points.

WITH semisweet chocolate chips, but NO nuts:
Nutrition (per bar): 98 calories, 23 calories from fat, 2.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 134.9mg sodium, 139.2mg potassium, 19.4g carbohydrates, 2.3g fiber, 7.1g sugar, 2.1g protein, 3.2 points.

WITH 1/2 cup nuts, but NO chocolate chips:
Nutrition (per bar): 96 calories, 33 calories from fat, 4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 134.2mg sodium, 160.7mg potassium, 15.6g carbohydrates, 2.2g fiber, 7.2g sugar, 2.6g protein, 3.1 points.

WITH both chocolate chips AND 1/2 cup nuts:
Nutrition (per bar): 130 calories, 49 calories from fat, 6.1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 135mg sodium, 160.7mg potassium, 20g carbohydrates, 2.6g fiber, 7.2g sugar, 2.9g protein, 4.1 points.

WITH semisweet chocolate chips AND 1 cup nuts:
Nutrition (per bar): 195 calories, 94 calories from fat, 10.9g total fat, less than 1mg cholesterol, 141.6mg sodium, 198.7mg potassium, 20.1g carbohydrates, 3.5g fiber, 6.5g sugar, 5.3g protein, 5.6 points.

Nutrition Facts for this recipe, using 1/2 cup sucralose instead of agave, and with 1 cup chopped walnuts and no choclate chips, are directly below,

***followed by Nutrition Facts for the recipe 
using 1/2 cup sucralose instead of agave, with 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup sugar-fee chocolate chips or chunks, and***

Nutrition Facts for the recipe using 1/2 cup sucralose instead of agave, with 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup sugar-free chocolate chips or chunks.

Nutrition Facts for the recipe using 1/2 cup sucralose instead of agave, with 1  cup chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips.



vegan1 said...

Can't wait to try these!

When you do the split peas in the instant pot, do you do a quick release or natural release? Thanks, Colleen

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Vegan 1, I mixed 2 cups of dried split yellow peas with 4 cups of water in my Instant Pot and pressure cooked at high pressure for 10 minutes. (PS: You could use any pressure cooker, or simmer, covered, for 30 minutes in a pot on your stovetop.) The resulting soft mush just needed a few stirs to "puree", and the yield was 5 cups.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Vegan 1, I added the above and more about using and storing to the text. I hope that helps!

Cynthia said...

Hi Bryanna
I am a vegan diabetic...(yes, we exist) and just want to make sure that the sugar content only changes by .1 when adding semi-sweet chocolate chips. I am just wanting to double-check because is this too good to be true or are you a genius? Hoping the latter is true.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Hi, Cynthia! I'm a vegan pre-diabetic, which is why I'm eating low-glycemic. I use Living Cookbook recipe software for my nutrition facts and it gets excellent reviews. I hope they are accurate! You might want to try Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels, or even other brands that are sugar-free (personally, I don't use sugar subs...I use agave, maple syrup, or dates, but less than ususal). Even Hershey's has a sugar-free version, now (they use maltitol for teh sweetener. I made my own chocolate "chunks" by melting unsweetened baking chocolate, adding some agave to make a sort of bittersweet/semisweet taste and a bit of coconut oil, because I had to cocoa butter but will use that next time, as it was a bit soft. (I cut them into small chunks and froze them.) I didn't write down the amount of sweetener, but will be trying it again, maybe with date puree. If it works I will post it! (There are many recipes online, but most use artificial sweeteners.)