Now, I know there’s nothing surprising about brownies being delicious, but these are a special case. You won’t find any milk, butter, or flour in these brownies, but they come out moist, rich, and delicious. What makes these so surprising is the main ingredient: black beans.
I had heard rumours that using mashed up black beans was a healthy alternative to butter and flour for brownies and other chocolate recipes, but I was skeptical. I don’t like beans, at all, and I was imagining that these would taste like a vaguely chocolatey veggie puree. But, for whatever reason, I was feeling brave today, especially when I found a recipe that seemed both simple and economical.
To say I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome would be an understatement. These are good. Really good. Do they taste exactly like classic brownies? No. But are they rich, moist, chocolatey, and delicious? Yes! Even better, they take about 5 minutes to assemble, and you whip up the whole recipe in the blender, which makes cleanup ridiculously easy.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe!
1 19oz (540ml) can black beans, well rinsed and drained (I used an organic variety which is preserved with seaweed instead of salt or calcium chloride)
3 large eggs
3 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup unrefined white sugar (unrefined is a personal preference and what we have in the house, I’m sure refined is just fine though)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Cocoa Camino dark organic chocolate chips, and they were perfect)
Rinse and drain the black beans well.
Add all ingredients except for chocolate chips in blender.
Blend until very smooth, pour into an 8 inch square baking pan which has been greased lightly, sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake at 350 for 30-32 minutes.
*Note that although the original recipe says to bake for 30-32 minutes, I did mine for 25 and they were perfect, so I’d recommend checking them around the 20-25 minute mark. A knife inserted into the middle should come out clean.
I found the original recipe here: http://mmmisformommy.blogspot.com/2011/05/legendary-black-bean-brownie.html and modified it slightly to my tastes.
A healthy advantage that these have over regular brownies (besides reduced sugar and significantly less fat) is that they’re PACKED with fibre, and also have a healthy dose of antioxidants if you use dark chocolate chips. I’m sure you could also add some chopped walnuts for some added healthy fats, if you’re the type who likes nuts in your brownies.