The holidays are quickly approaching, so plan ahead, especially this year because good health and appropriate safety precautions should be top priorities. Even though your traditions may require so alterations, such as shaving down the guest list, here is some good news: This year we can expect more people to make healthier choices, reach for plant-based options, and experiment with plant-based alternatives.

The recipe today is a batch of pull-apart, warm, cakey brownies that are healthier than the traditional treat because the ingredients list calls for natural sweeteners, dates, and a veggie-based carbohydrate, yams. In addition, this recipe is gluten-free and made with almond flour.

If you're heading to a small get together with family and friends, this dessert is perfect for anyone with allergies or specialty diets who is plant-based, gluten-free, or keto. Here is a pro-tip if there is a nut allergy: For a nut-free version, substitute almonds for sunflower or pumpkin seeds. for the almond flour, use oat or a pre-mixed baking blend.

Yams make for a great egg substitute because they add a thick, creamy, rich texture to the base of the brownie. Here are some pro tips when baking with yams: You will know the yam is ready once the skin has “popped.” Remove it from the oven, peel away the skin, and slice to blend easily.

The best part about these brownies is that you can have fun with the creative process, children also love to join in on making this dessert. All you need is a pan and a food processor, and you're good to go. Before you start mixing ingredients be sure to preheat the oven.

Recipe Developer: Nikki Elisheva, @mysweetbelly

Why we love it: These brownies are healthier than traditional versions and make for the perfect dessert to bring to holiday parties, especially now because health is a top priority. You will love the creativity that comes when baking this recipe.

Make it for: A dessert for the holidays or keep this recipe in your back pocket for the times when you need a sweet fix without a calorie over-kill.

Pull-Apart Yam Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 c chopped vegan dark chocolate
  • 1.5 c almonds
  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa/cacao powder
  • 9 to 10 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 medium-size yam, baked, peeled, and chopped
  • 1/4 c sunflower seed butter
  • pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Place the chocolate in the freezer.
  2. Spread the almond on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes. Place the yam (can use sweet potato) on an oven rack.
  3. Remove almonds from the oven and blend in a food processor, until finely grated. Make sure you don’t over-process. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  4. Place the chocolate in a food processor and blend until it is in small pieces. Transfer to the mixing bowl. Add the cocoa powder, almond flour, and salt.
  5. Place the dates, yam, and sun butter in a food processor and blend until smooth. Spoon into the bowl with your dry ingredients.
  6. Spoon the batter into the baking pan and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool and slice the brownie into squares.