Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies 

These Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies may be our favorite of the Okara Bannock Cookies and Brownies! They are fortified with added protein powder, as many of my other Okara Cookies, along with peanut butter, and the protein and nutrient-rich okara pulp from making soy milk.  They are rich and dense, yet not too heavy, and with just the right amount of sweetness.  Plus, carob has many health benefits, including as a prebiotic, making it great for gut health.

I do add vegan dark chocolate chips on top to garnish.  I like the little bit of chocolate with the carob flavor combo. However, this recipe is suitable for those who need to abstain from chocolate.  Simply omit the chocolate chip garnish, or use carob chips, or even a sprinkling of coconut instead.

All of my Okara Bannock cookies and brownies are loaded with dried fruit for natural sweetness and make for a delightful between meal snack treat!  I enjoy having these with a hot mug of Teeccino Chocolate Mint Chicory Coffee alternative, or their Dandelion Mocha Mint tea, or Eden Japanese Sencha Peppermint Green Tea.  

I love all of the Okara Cookies and Brownies as they are the perfect, protein-fortified, slightly sweet but nutritious blend of everything you want in a midday snack!

Pictured below are the basic Okara Bannock Cookies in the center of the plate,  Gluten-Free Lemon Mango Okara Cookies, at the bottom of the plate, and Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies at the top of the plate.  All are equally delicious, and can be modified in a variety of ways, making this an awesome recipe to customize to your needs.

Okara Bannock Cookies and Brownies 3 varieties-3L: Gluten-Free Lemon Mango Coconut Okara Cookies; Center: Okara Bannock Cookies; R: Carob Squash Okara Brownie Bars

What's in the Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies?

Well, carob and peanut butter for starters.  Uh, hello.

I several deglet dates, soaked to rehydrate along with a couple tablespoons of maple syrup to sweeten these Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies.  I've also made them using Eden Barley Malt combined with a little maple syrup and/or organic cane sugar, depending upon what I had on hand.

I like making these Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies with equal amounts of sprouted wheat flour and oat flour, however, a white whole wheat, spelt flour, or whole wheat combined with an organic, unbleached, non-fortified all purpose flour, or white rice flour all would work.

The peanut butter carob goes well with vanilla, cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg, however, as with the Okara Bannock Cookies basic recipe, and the GF Lemon Mango Okara Cookies ~ experiment with whatever extracts and spices you favor.

As a binder, I used a flax egg, similar to the basic Okara Bannock Cookies recipe.

In lieu of oil, I used 1/2 cup of apple sauce along with about 1/2 cup of peanut butter.

Carob Black Bean Okara Brownies made for FOK online cooking course assignment-11-2023Carob Black Bean Brownie Bars
Okara Carob Black Bean Brownie BarsSuper dense, moist and delicious, Carob Black Bean Brownie Bars

Recipe Notes for Making Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies

You may want to refer to the recipe notes for the Okara Bannock Cookies and Brownies, basic recipe.

Here are a couple reminders, specifically for these Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies.

  • The dough can be made ahead of time. Cover well, and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  • I've made these with previously baked and mashed winter squash and peanut butter which also comes out great.  I've even made these using black beans, blended in a food processor with the dates.  All these are great options!
  • I used a plain / unsweetened soy protein powder most recently.  If using a sweetened protein powder, make sure to adjust the added sweeteners in the recipe.
  • I suggest if using dried deglet dates to soak them in heated water first.  The liquid can be used in lieu of, or in addition to adding nondairy milk.
  • Nondairy yogurt or kefir can be used instead of using a nondairy milk, or apple sauce.
  • As with all the other Okara Bannock Cookies and Brownies, the choice of flour, sweeteners, and added fats (or fat substitutes, such as apple sauce, or mashed winter squash) are up to you ~ what you have on hand, and what you want to make sure to include in a healthy between meal snack ~ or dessert! 
  • I often use two types of flour, especially if using whole wheat to lighten up the brownies.  
  • Pumpkin pie spice, allspice, and/or a pinch of ground clove can be used in addition to, or instead of the nutmeg and/or cinnamon

PRO TIP:  I use the individual cups of unsweetened apple sauce.  These are perfect for baking because in the past, I would open a jar of apple sauce, then not use it up in time.  

If using the individual apple sauce cup, you can measure the peanut butter right into the cup after adding the apple sauce to the bowl to minimize clean-up!

Carob Peanut Butter Okara BrowniesDon't let my poor lighting fool you ~ These Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies really rock! So satisfying!
Carob Peanut Butter Okara BrowniesCloser up photo of the Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies from the recipe, below. Soooo delicious!

Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies - Ingredients & Recipe

  • 1 Tbsp. ground chia or flax seeds mixed in a small bowl with 3 Tbsp. filtered water for the flax egg
  • Around 15 dried deglet dates, or around 8-9 medjool dates, pitted and chopped ~ enough to make 1/2 cup
  • About 1/2 cup each raisins, golden raisins (sultans), and/or dried cranberries
  • Roughly 2/3 cup, give or take, okara (the equivalent of making one batch of soy milk with 3/4 cup soybeans in a SoyaJoy or other soy / nut milk make)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce ~ (1 individual apple sauce cups)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (measure in the apple sauce container if using individually packed containers)
  • 1/3 cup carob powder (I like Chatfields, but there are many other options you can find, here.)
  • 1/4 cup date and/or raisin soaking liquid (more as needed) 
  • 2+ Tbsp. maple syrup, date syrup, brown rice syrup, (Sweet Cloud or Lundberg), barley malt syrup (we use Eden), or sweetener of choice
  • 1&1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1&1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup plant protein powder (I used unsweetened soy protein powder this time, and have used pea protein previously.  Use whichever you like to bake with) 
  • 1/2 cup sprouted wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, whole wheat flour, or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (or grind 1/2 cup rolled or quick oats to a flour consistency)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. potassium bicarbonate (for lower sodium) or use baking soda
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup vegan dark chocolate chips or carob chips
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut, optional ~ can add to batter, or sprinkle on top as a garnish, optional 
  • Chocolate or carob chips to garnish on top, optional

The photos below were taken late, on a cloudy, dark, wintery afternoon.  I didn't set up any better lighting.   Despite the lighting not being great, I wanted to show the batter, and how it looks before baking (center) and just baked (right.)

Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies batter with all the dried fruit
Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies to bake
Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies just baked

Preheat oven to 375ยบ and lightly oil an 8x8 baking dish

  1. Mix the chia or flax seeds in a small bowl with water, and let it sit while prepping fruit
  2. Place chopped dates in a small heat-proof bowl.  Separately, place raisins in a heat proof bow.  Top both with just barely enough heated water to cover, then cover with a plate until all the dried fruit has rehydrated and softened, about  10-15 minutes.  Strain, reserving soaking liquid.  (Alternatively, you can soak them all together in the same bowl.  I just did mine separate not knowing how much of the soaking water I'd be using, and wanted to use the date soaking water up first.)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine okara, chia or flax egg, apple sauce, peanut butter, about 1/4 cup of the date soaking water (to start), maple syrup and vanilla.  Stir, then add dried fruit, and the spices.  
  4. Stir in protein powder, then add 1/2 of the flour.  (Either flour is fine.)  Sprinkle the baking powder and baking soda on top of the flour, then stir to combine.  Stir in remaining flour.
  5. If the batter seems too wet and sticky, add more flour, 1-2 tablespoons at a time.  If the dough is too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons more soaking water at a time.  If you didn't soak the dried fruit, or do not have anymore soaking liquid, use 1-2 Tbsp. of nondairy milk at a time until you get a thick batter that isn't too wet or sticky.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared baking dish, and even it out with the back of a spoon.  It will be thick, so this will take a couple minutes.  Garnish with optional sprinkle of shredded coconut, or several chocolate chips.
  7. Bake about 18 - 20 minutes.  They should spring back when pressed with a finger, and a toothpick entered should come out clean.
  8. Remove from oven.  Let cool at least 15 minutes before removing.  Cut into 16 squares, and carefully remove to a plate to let cool completely before packing them up.

Keep Carob Peanut Butter Okara Brownies in an airtight container on the counter for 2-3 days, or wrap in wax paper, then a ziplock bag or airtight container, and keep them in the freezer.

Once frozen, pull out however many you want, and let thaw on the counter.  

To reheat, bake in a covered heat proof dish, or wrapped in foil in the oven.  Even quicker, microwave for about 20 seconds on power level 5 (half power.)  They come out perfect, like fresh baked!

You may also like the Gluten-Free Lemon Mango Coconut Okara Cookies, pictured left, or the original Okara Bannock Cookies, picture on the right.

Gluten-Free Lemon Mango Coconut Okara Bannock Cookies
Okara Bannock Cookies and Brownies 3 varieties-3
Okara Bannock Cookies with Chocolate Chips on baking tray

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