I admit to being skeptical about “healthy” desserts using alternative ingredients– they never taste quite right, and you end up eating more of them anyway because you’ve been lulled into a false sense of security by the “healthy” moniker. So it took me a while before trying this brownie recipe, which uses black beans as a base and which is also gluten-free. But since I was trying to avoid flour this month (my usual diet is way too starchy) I thought this might be a tasty dessert option.
Reviews of similar recipes have been mixed– some people rave over them, others claim that the texture is off-putting and the bean flavor is too obvious. Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle. These brownies are nice and chocolate-y, with no hint of bean flavor, even as an aftertaste. However, the texture is definitely not that of a regular brownie– they’re not chewy at all, nor are they gooey enough to be considered fudge-y. They’re soft, but not cakey– they’re kind of like a dry soufflé, in that they melt away easily in the mouth. And they’re not dense but I wouldn’t call them light either. In short, the texture is difficult to define, but not unpleasant.
According to the original recipe’s calorie count, when cut into 16 pieces each piece is around 125 calories. Not bad, though not something you’d want to eat too much of overall. I actually like these as a dessert, and could actually see myself making them again!
Black Bean Brownies (adapted from Taste of Home)
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided in half
3 tbs. oil
1/2 cup cocoa
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9″ square baking pan with foil or parchment.
2. In a food processor, process beans, 1/4 cup chocolate chips, and oil until they form a smooth paste.
3. Add all remaining ingredients except the last 1/4 cup of chocolate chips, and process until smooth.
4. Spread batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.
5. Bake 20-25 minutes until set and toothpick comes out with moist crumbs on it. Let cool completely before slicing into 16 pieces.