Cycling 61 miles and Vegan Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownies

by Joanne on September 7, 2010

Great day yesterday.  When I was done with my run, Ted decided we should go visit his brother in Syracuse.  The kicker is that Ted wanted to bike out there, 46 plus miles (him NOT me).  Remember that Ted had escorted me on my run and done some looping around. He biked 26 miles early in the morning now he wanted to do another 46?!!  

Ted asked for an hour and a half head start which allowed me to get a few things done.  Since I felt good, nothing was sore and everything seemed in working order after my long run, I spent the time in the kitchen, my favorite room of the house. 

Looking for Ted:

At 2PM Ted called and said he was in Vernon but the wind was against him making the ride more difficult than planned. He said you might want to leave a little later. NO WAY!  I was so worried about him being on those main roads alone, I’d only feel better if I was with him, riding along in the car.

At 2:30 I left the house and tried to contain myself from speeding along in hopes of getting to him. Afraid I would zip right past him, I kept my eyes tight to the side of the road, looking for him almost immediately from leaving the house. Silly but desperate. 

In Chittenango, there’s my rider.  The 35 mile point. I pulled over, he pulled in and said “STUPID wind!”.   It was relief for me to put his bike on the car and drive the remaining 10 miles together.  It was rolling terrain and a tough ride. 

Considering the 26+ miles biked earlier in the day, the wind, the hills, and the fact that he has never ridden any more than 30 miles, I’d say he did GREAT!  A PR for Ted, 61 miles. He got in the car saying, “when can I try this again?”  I’m thinking when my nerves recover from this experience, NEXT YEAR?!!!

The Good Brownie:

Don’t get all…”OH NO! Not Vegan. Those CAN’T be good”..on me.  These are pretty good.


The smashed sweet potato gives these brownies moisture, antioxidants, and fiber.  The consistency is fudgy.  Very little fat and its the healthy kind.


If you get “Women’s Running” Sept/Oct 2010 issue, you’ll find the original recipe on page 56. I changed it to suit my preferences regarding sugar, fat, and overall flavor.

  • 1 large sweet potato: stab with a fork a few times and microwave on high about 7-8 minutes depending on your microwave power and the potato size. It should be cooked through.
  • 1 TBS ground flax seed:  Mix the ground flax with 3 TBS water and let sit while you mix up all the other ingredients. The flax will soften *This is your egg replacer = 1 large egg
  • 2 TBS canola oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder mixed with 1/2 cup Turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • For Topping:
  • 1/2 cup Powdered sugar
  • 1 TBS water
  • 2 TBS sliced almonds or nut of preference

After you have cooked the sweet potato and when cool enough to touch, peel it and mash it in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9 x 9 baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, cocoa-sugar mixture, baking soda, and salt.  Make a well in the middle and add the maple syrup, potato mash.

To the flax seed and water, add the vanilla and ginger.   Add this mix to the maple syrup and potato and now fold everything together. Do not over mix. Only mix until all flour and other ingredients are blended.

Turn into the prepared pan and bake about 20 minutes.

When cooled, mix the topping of powdered sugar and water. Drizzle onto cooled brownies and top with nuts. ENJOY!


Just look how moist these little beauties turn out!


Do you have a favorite VEGAN dessert? (No eggs, dairy, or any animal derived ingredients. No products processed using animal products which includes granulated white sugar. )


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  • At 2010.09.07 07:23, Heather said:

    Gooey, fudgy brownies are my favorite!! No cakelike brownies for this girl.
    Good job on the bike ride, Ted!!! You’ll get it next time…… 🙂

    • At 2010.09.07 09:17, dawn hutchins said:

      These would be perfect for my daughter if I subbed something for the wheat flour. Yum!
      I’m impressed Ted wanted to do the bike ride in the first place! (I can’t get Chris to bike a mile up the road.)

      • At 2010.09.07 09:40, Indi said: good no matter what form it comes in:)

        • At 2010.09.07 12:23, Monet said:

          Joanne, I’m seriously impressed with both how good those brownies look and the great and healthy ingredients that they are composed of! Great work!

          • At 2010.09.07 12:34, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

            Congrats to Ted on the ride! Long rides become addictive….

            Those brownies look good!

            • At 2010.09.07 17:50, Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox said:

              Mmm sweet potato. The baking cheat ingredient of choice. (That and pumpkin. All about the orange) Those brownies look so good!

              Congrats to Ted! That’s awesome! But I would’ve been worried too.

              • At 2010.09.07 21:00, Pam (IIN Health Coach) said:

                Great job on the bike Dad!!
                Way to go 🙂

                Great job on your run Joanne, you are going to do great in the marathon next month!!!

                • At 2010.09.07 22:19, Katie H. said:

                  Wow! Ted is intense. That is quite the bike ride.

                  I don’t have any good vegan recipes- if you aren’t familiar with her blog check out Ange’s recipes over at

                  • At 2010.09.08 03:18, Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear said:

                    I don’t know if I’ve ever had a vegan dessert! but if they look like that, I probably should 😀 I never thought of adding sweet potato into brownies!

                    • At 2010.09.10 13:47, Liz said:

                      I’m really glad you included a picture of this recipe because it looks so much better than it sounds!

                      Congrats on your awesome run 🙂

                      • At 2010.09.20 23:27, barb said:

                        i”m someone who does not bake, but I really want to try this brownie recipie – sounds yummy, and good for you too!

                        My only question is, is your ingredient list you have 2tbsp canola oil, but the directions do not specify when to add that. Does it matter when you add the oil to the mixture?

                        • At 2010.09.21 08:20, Joanne said:

                          Whoops! So right – simply stir the oil in with the maple syrup and potato. Try to keep wet with wet.

                          • At 2012.08.22 10:01, Brittany said:

                            I made this recipe last night WITHOUT any oil (I didn’t realize it wasn’t in the directions so I left it out haha) and it turned out fine! More like a very dense cake then a brownie in my opinion. It was VERY good!! SO rich!

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