YumUniverse | Dark Chocolate, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Brownies

I recently had the opportunity to read a review copy of Heather Crosby’s new cookbook YumUniverse: Infinite Possibilities for a Gluten-Free, Plant-Powerful, Whole-Food Lifestyle through NetGalley and it is AMAZING!

Although I do not live a gluten and dairy free lifestyle, I was intrigued at the possibility of introducing more plant-based meals into my diet. I figured that this cookbook would offer a handful of recipes and tips to try, but I was rewarded with much more than just recipes. It’s an inspiring read, even if you have no intention of going completely gluten-free. I read Crosby’s cookbook cover to cover and highly recommend that you go and order yourself a copy – whether it be a kindle edition, hardback or paperback book. The kindle version (only $9.99) is super user friendly; you can highlight, bookmark and click the link to different recipes in the book.

As a self-proclaimed baking lover I never would have thought you could bake brownies that were gluten and dairy free AND taste delicious! Below you will find an excerpt from her cookbook of some seriously delicious brownies. Thank you to Heather and BenBella Books for creating and publishing an amazing cookbook.

Click here to check out my review on the YumUniverse cookbook.

Check out her website for more information about her book and other products YumUniverse.com

Book Publication Date: October 28, 2014 by BenBella Books


Dark Chocolate, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Brownies

12+ Servings

I do love to sneak unexpected, nutrient-rich ingredients into treats, and this gluten-free recipe is a perfect example. Black beans, sweet potato, and dark chocolate combine into bona fide fudge-like decadence. You can use canned beans for this recipe, but I recommend starting with dry beans (soaked and then cooked by you) to reduce aluminum intake, boost flavor, and optimize digestion and nutritional benefits.



1 ½ cups almond flour

1⁄3 cup Sucanat

½ cup cacao powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon sea salt


2⁄3 cup sweet potato, diced and steamed

2 ¼ cups black beans, cooked (1 cup dry)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

One 3 – oz. gluten-free, vegan chocolate bar

1⁄3 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons coconut oil*

¾ cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and grease a 9″ x 13″ or 9″ x 9″ baking dish or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Sift or whisk together all dry ingredients in a large glass bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place all wet ingredients into the food processor and pulse until super-smooth.
  4. Fold together wet and dry ingredients and transfer to the parchment-lined baking dish.
  5. Bake for 60 – 70 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in baking pan before serving.


For a triple dark chocolate brownie, top brownies with shaved chocolate after baking.

Fold some toasted almonds, pecans, and/or walnuts into your batter.

Fold ¼ cup cherries and ¼ cup toasted coconut into your batter before baking.

Make ’em Mexican style. Fold 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, and ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg to the batter before baking.


2 thoughts on “YumUniverse | Dark Chocolate, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Brownies

  1. Pingback: Book Review | Yum Universe | Living Life With Joy

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