Paul and I have been on a health kick lately, so I’m revisiting some lighter recipes. Here’s a simple dessert that’s filling, gluten-free and high in fiber, thanks to these little guys:
Yep, black beans! I know it sounds strange, but the beans replace all the flour and produce a thick, fudgy brownie. The trick is to pulverize them in a food processor until they are very, very smooth. (You can make this recipe with a blender, but it will take longer to achieve the right texture.) I won’t say that you’ll fool anyone into thinking these are regular brownies, but they’re definitely capable of satisfying a craving with about 160 calories each.
The original recipe I used comes from Meal Makeover Moms. I’ve made a few changes to their version, including adding a ripe banana for more moisture, reducing the oil, increasing the chocolate chips(!) and omitting the peppermint extract.
Black Bean Brownies
Makes 16 brownies
- 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1 ripe banana
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- dash of salt
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and coat an 8 x 8-inch brownie pan with cooking spray. Rinse your black beans in a colander until no bubbles appear, then shake the colander and let them dry out for a few minutes.
- Add the black beans, banana and oil to the work bowl of a food processor. Process until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. You can’t really over-mix at this point, so don’t rush it! (The original recipe has you processing the beans by themselves, but I think you get a smoother result when there’s some liquid and other ingredients with them.)
- Add the eggs, vanilla, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt to the food processor. Process just until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips (reserving 1/4 cup) to the food processor and pulse it several times until the chips are combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Top the batter with the reserved chocolate chips.
- Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes until the brownie begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool before slicing, preferably overnight. I know it’s hard to resist the appeal of a warm brownie, but these are definitely better the next day.
- Fun but not necessary: Slip them to your friends and family under the guise of “dessert” and see if they can discern the secret ingredient.