Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Black Bean Brownies

Ever notice how convenience food is nearly always bad for you?  It's like the only way healthy food appeals to you when you're in a hurry or are really busy is when it's completely ready-to-eat; no hassles.  Even rinsing fruit might seem like work to busy-me when there's junk food within arm's reach.  So, what's the solution?  I've been trying out the idea of washing and chopping my vegetables as soon as I've gotten them home from the grocery store.  I'm strictly bringing my meals to work, instead of buying them.  And, I'm making healthy snacks.  Some have turned out better than others.

Rachel suggested the recipe I'm posting tonight.  It's sugar-free, grain-free, and depending on the chips you use, they can be other allergen free as well.  These took some experimenting to get the Stevia level right, and I've learned through making several batches that the chocolate chips really do need to be stirred in as well as being on top, otherwise the beany taste shines through.  Let the processor go at the beans for a while -- the smoother the better.  It keeps the beans as a "secret" ingredient, the smoother you make them.

Don't be discouraged if you don't get the sweetener ratio right on the first try.  It took me a few times to get it to suit my taste.  I'm glad I put in the time to do so -- this recipe makes a great portable snack wrapped up for work breaks.

Black Bean Brownies
Makes: 9 or 12 or 16 brownies (cut to your liking)

1 15 oz can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed (Eden Organics are BPA-free)
3 large eggs
1/3 cup melted coconut oil, plus some for the pan
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp mint extract (or pure vanilla extract)
1/3 cup powdered Stevia
1/2 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand are allergen free)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch baking pan with coconut oil and set aside.

Place the black beans, eggs, coconut oil, cocoa powder, mint extract and Stevia in a food processor and process until smooth.  This may take several minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally.  Remove the blade and gently stir in the half the chocolate chips.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and drizzle with remaining chocolate chips.

Bake the brownies for 30-35 minutes, or until set in the centre.  Cool before cutting into squares.


Source: Rachel Hewitt, RHN.

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