I’ve been wanting to make brownies for a while but couldn’t decide on a recipe. I don’t necessarily have a go-to brownie recipe as the last time I made the better than boxed recipe they didn’t come out that great. I also couldn’t decide if I wanted to go with a lighter healthy recipe or a completely rich and indulgent one. Being the health enthusiast that I am, I went the less indulgent route and added some interesting, nutrient rich ingredients as well.
Since I couldn’t find the perfect recipe, I pretty much just made my own, stealing some tips and tricks from brownies and bars I’ve made before. To decrease the fat content (and add some protein!) I substituted some black beans for the oil. I know this sounds weird and I definitely don’t tell people that the brownies are full of beans until after they’ve tried them but I promise the brownies don’t have a beany taste at all. I’ve had success baking with beans in the past and have seen many recipes using this technique so it’s really not that crazy.
To upgrade the nutritional profile of these babies I used almond meal and sweet brown rice flour instead of all-purpose (which also makes these gluten free!) and used half coconut palm sugar instead of all white. Lastly, instead of throwing more chocolate chips into the batter, I added some cocoa nibs which are bits of fermented, dried, roasted and crushed cacao beans. They are one of the best dietary sources of magnesium and a good source of calcium, iron, copper, zinc and potassium and add an interesting crunch to the brownies. Chocolatey and good for you? Sounds like my kind of treat!
Even though there are some odd and nutritious ingredients in these brownies, they still taste like a deliciously rich and chocolatey treat. I was very happy with the outcome and am excited to use these as well as other healthier ingredients in my future baking experiments. I encourage you to sneak some beans into your baked goods as well. Chickpea blondies anyone? Or perhaps some red bean red velvet cake?
Kel-Beany Brownie Bites
- 3/4 cup black bean puree
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp almond meal
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sweet rice flour
- 1 tablespoon cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup cocoa nibs
- Grease a mini muffin tin.
- In a food processor, puree the black beans with the sugar. Add the coconut oil, and vanilla extract and process until smooth.
- Over very low heat, place the chocolate in a small pot on the stove — stirring constantly until melted. Add to the other wet ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix together until just combined.
- Using a cookie scoop drop the brownie batter into your prepared mini muffin tin and refrigerate for half an hour to an hour.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the middles are set, but not dry.
- Let cool completely before removing from pan.