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Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies

I’ve been having irresistible chocolate cravings lately but I really don’t like eating a lot of junk.  I’d heard rumors about black bean brownies and after some serious skepticism, my cravings motivated me to give them a try.  My first attempt came out decent but a little dry and not chocolatey enough.  However, my two year old absolutely loved them and they were good enough to keep tweaking the recipe.  This version is moister with a rich semi-sweet chocolate flavor.  They’re also softer and lighter than regular brownies which can be dangerous because it makes you feel like you can eat the entire pan!  The beans completely replace the flour and reduce the sugar content by about 1/3 (and somehow you don’t taste them at all!).  This adds nutrients, fiber and protein to your brownies and significantly reduces the empty ingredients.  They’re better for people who are concerned with gluten (they’re gluten free), blood sugar (they have a lower glycemic index) or who just want to eat better without depriving themselves.  If I’m being honest, I still think regular brownies taste better.  But these are shockingly close and the significantly improved nutrition makes them well worth it!

Black Bean Brownies makes about 16 brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15oz) can beans, drained  (almost any type of bean can be substituted for black beans, you can also use 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans instead of canned)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder (optional – it enhances the chocolate flavor)

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Put all the ingredients except the chocolate chips into your blender and mix until smooth.
  • Add the chips and pulse a couple times until they’re mixed throughout.
  • Pour into a greased pan (8″ square, 9″ square or small casserole dishes work well – ours is 7”x11”).
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until the brownies just start to pull away from the sides and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven, cool completely and enjoy!

Notes: These brownies aren’t as sweet as regular brownies, which I really like.  If you’d prefer a sweeter dessert, you’ve got options:

  • The easiest thing is to simply increase the sugar content – I’d recommend using a full cup instead of 2/3rds.
  • The most natural route is to add a ripe (or over-ripe) banana to your brownie batter.  This adds both sweetness and a little moisture to the recipe.  It does however add a noticeable hint banana flavor to the finished product – I think this tastes great but some people might disagree.
  • Or after cooling, you could top the brownies with icing to add flavor and sweetness that way.

 

If you liked these brownies, here are some additional healthy dessert recipes you might want to try:

 

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/closari/2222411490/

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