Before you run away simply from the title of this post, hear me out! These babies are flavorful and super duper healthy, plus a great dessert detox for the weekend after Easter. Black bean brownies. I’m sure you’ve heard of them, as I had on several occasions, and a few weeks ago I decided to finally give them a try.
In theory I love the idea of healthified desserts, so these seemed like a win-win. Not only are these brownies made with black beans, but avocado is substituted for butter, and almond meal is substituted for flour. The only not-so-great ingredient in these brownies is 1/2 cup sugar, and I used organic cane sugar so it’s less processed, and a smidgen healthier?!
The resulting “brownie” is more like fudge, with a smooth and dense texture. I’m happy to report they were rather well received given the healthy ingredients, and lack of the “good” stuff (sugar, butter… you know). Upon first bite, I thought they tasted a LOT like beans, but each subsequent bite tasted better and better. There were even a couple of nights spent on the couch when I easily gobbled down two of these, but those two brownies were still way healthier then even half a normal brownie so it’s totally ok. Kevin seemed to really like these, and I brought them to a gluten-free coworker who loved them. Overall, not bad.
I will not make any promises about these brownies, because I don’t want anyone coming back and telling me these taste nothing like real brownies (because they don’t), but for a change they are pretty good. Definitely a unique dessert experience! If you’re craving something sweet but also something nutritious, these are a great bet. Report back and tell me what you think!
Black Bean Avocado Brownies
adapted from The Way The Cookie Crumbles
12 medium squares
¼ cup almonds
½ cup natural cane sugar
⅛ teaspoon table salt
1 (15-ounce black) beans, rinsed and drained
2 ounces avocado flesh (about ½ an avocado)
3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray.
1) Process almonds, sugar, and salt in a food processor until the almonds are finely ground, about 2 minutes. Add beans and avocado, and process until the beans are smooth and pureed, 4-5 minutes (some flecks of bean skins may remain).
2) Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan containing one inch of simmering water. Add chocolate and stir frequently until melted and smooth, then remove from heat. In a separate small bowl, whisk cocoa, water, vanilla, and espresso powder together until combined. Add chocolate, cocoa mixture, and baking powder to the bean mixture in the food processor; pulse to combine. Add eggs and process for 30 seconds, stopping twice to scrape the sides of the bowl.
3) Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing (at least 1 hour). Store leftovers, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.