As I wandered the aisles of some nutrition fair back in undergrad, one of the vendors offered me a sample of seemingly innocent brownies. I accepted the brownie offering, and it was good! But there had to be a catch. This was a nutrition fair after all.
Well there was a catch…and that catch was black beans. No flour, all beans. And it rocked my socks. But I never tried to actually make them for myself until today and, well, they’re still sock rockin’.
And the numbers aren’t so bad either. In addition to being gluten-free, a cup of black beans has about half the calories that a cup of all-purpose flour has, it’s got 20% of your daily iron, AND it has a slightly higher protein content (15g). Brownies make you strong like bull.
You’ll need to rinse, drain, and puree a can of black beans to make a good pastey base, then mix in the rest of your wet ingredients (3 eggs, 3 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp vanilla extract). In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (¼ cup unsweetened cocoa, ⅔ cup sugar, ½ tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp salt, ½ tsp coffee grounds). The coffee grounds can be omitted if you don’t have ‘em, but if you do, throw them in. They add a little something something.
Also, I like to mix the wets and dries separately to make sure everything gets mixed evenly. If you’ve ever experienced a mouthful of baking powder due to uneven mixing, well, you’ll make sure things are mixed reaaallll well next time.
So mix the wets and the dries, then mix in ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 8×8 or 9×9 (or really any pan with sides) pan, and bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or fork comes out clean. The bigger the pan, the less time you’ll need.
- Puree black beans in food processor or blender (or mash with a fork).
- Mix black beans, eggs, oil, and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl mix cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt, and coffee grounds (if you have them).
- Mix wets and dries, then stir in chocolate chips.
- Pour into a greased 8x8 or 9x9 pan and bake about 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees F (176 C), until center is no longer gooey (test with a toothpick or knife). Time will be shorter for a larger pan size.
- Allow to cool slightly before cutting.