Monday, August 19, 2013

The Perfect Black Bean Brownies

My search for the perfect black bean brownie recipe began long ago when I was in the mood for chocolate. Specifically, gooey, sweet, chocolatey brownies.

I had not indulged in a brownie for a long time since becoming vegan. Mainly because I had only come across recipes that were made with white flour and a lot of refined sugar.

Therefore, I needed to find a delicious, but healthy vegan brownie recipe.

Could it be done?

Having stumbled upon multiple black bean brownie recipes, I decided to give one a try. I had never tried black bean brownies, but they appeared to be much more nutritious than traditional brownies.

Challenges arose after my first attempt.

This batch of brownies was good, but they did not have that gooey, chocolatey-ness I was craving. So I continued my search.

I tried two more recipes. One of which utilized bananas.

This was a mistake.

Black bean brownies made with bananas do not taste like gooey, sweet, chocolatey goodness. They taste like bananas.

I then made it a goal to simply create my own, perfect recipe for black bean brownies. One that satisfied  my standards for scrumptious brownies, as well as one my friends, who are not vegans, would approve of.

My first two tries were disasters. I made the mistake of using chia seeds, which are perfect for making pudding, not brownies. But I was determined.

I woke up early this morning ready to make the perfect brownie.

And I did it on my first try!

These brownies are the best ones I've tasted, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. :)


Makes 13 brownies

Dry Ingredients 
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans (rinsed) 
  • 8 pitted dates 
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • Pinch of sea salt 
Wet Ingredients
  • 2 flax eggs (2 Tbs ground flax + 6 Tbs water)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted) 
  • 1 Tbs local honey (not totally vegan, but you can sub in maple syrup) 
  • 1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. 
  2. Add the flax meal and water to a food processor and pulse a couple times to combine. 
  3. Place pitted dates in a bowl and cover with water. 
  4. Let flax eggs and dates sit for about five minutes. 
  5. Take the dates out of the water and add to the food processor and process until fairly smooth. 
  6. Add in the rest of the ingredients and process until combined and smooth. 
  7. Line a muffin tray with paper liners or grease with coconut oil*
  8. Fill paper cups about 1/2-3/4 full. 
  9. Bake for 25 minutes. 
  10. Let cool and then place in the refrigerator for at least 10-20 minutes to solidify the chocolatey goodness.
*Note: These can also be made in a regular brownie pan, although the bake time may be a bit longer.

Optional Toppings/Add-Ins 

Caramel and Sea Salt Brownies

  • 8 dates 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or more to thin)
  • 3 tsp coconut oil 
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Pinch sea salt 
  1. Combine all ingredients in food processor. 
  2. Spread on top of brownies. 
  3. Sprinkle a few grains of sea salt on top.

Chili Chocolate Brownies

  • 1 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • Cayenne powder to taste (optional)*
  1. Add in chili powder and optional cayenne powder prior to dividing batter into the muffin tin. 
*Note: I tried adding cayenne for extra spice, but I was told to add a bit less next time otherwise I would result in "taco brownies" aha...oops. 

Peanut Butter Brownies

I spooned a bit of peanut butter on top of my brownies, but I think they would be better if the peanut butter was inside. To achieve this, spoon some brownie batter in the muffin tin. Add in peanut butter to taste. Spoon on more batter. 

Additional Note:
I no longer promote consuming beans, but have left this recipe up for those who choose to do so.

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