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Black Bean Brownies
From Coach Courtney, RD www.vitalitynutrition.ca
When it comes to desserts, I usually approach it in one of two ways:
Save treats for occasions that are worthwhile. Eat the "real" thing and enjoy the heck out of it. Don’t allow yourself to be tempted by a chocolate bar at the gas station when you are fueling up your car. It is unlikely that the chocolate bar is a special treat. Hold out for those "worthwhile" moments like dessert with your best friends, a slice of your grandma's homemade pie, or your favorite holiday square from the Christmas baking tray that only comes around 1x per year!
Find alternatives. Often times you can find or make "better for you" alternatives to your favorite indulgences. These Black Bean Brownies may not be as decadent as a fudgey brownie made with sugar, butter, and flour - but they are still tasty in their own way!
“Why would I want to eat a ‘healthy’ brownie when I could be eating a deep, dark, rich, fudgy, and chocolatey brownie instead?” True! You might not want to. But, if you do want to experiment in the kitchen I highly recommend giving this recipe a go. The black beans are a gluten-free substitute for flour while adding fibre and mositure to the recipe.
I used maple syrup to sweeten the brownies. If you wanted to lower the carbohydrate content, you could experiment with a non-nutritive sweetener like Truvia. Stevia blended with a sugar alcohol called erythritol (Truvia) works well in low-carb baked desserts. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol which contains no digestible carbs. Its texture and weight are similar to sugar. You will notice on the Nutrition Facts table the Truvia will list 0 calories but 2g of carbohydrate. This is mandated by Health Canada's labelling standards - but the carbohydrates in the erythritol offer very little caloric value. I've made the recipe both ways!
If you want to keep the recipe nut free - substitute 1 tablespoon of butter or coconut oil for the almond butter.
The only equipment you need is a blender or food processor - I find that a blender does a better job of pureeing the beans to a smooth texture.
540ml can of black beans (350g), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup (40g) cacao powder
1/2 cup maple syrup (50g Truvia for lower carb)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (30g) almond butter
1/4 cup (60g) dark chocolate chunks
Preheat the oven to 350F
Add the canned black beans to a high powered blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth.
Combine the remaining ingredients (except for the dark chocolate chunks) and add them to the blender with the black beans. Blend until the batter is smooth.
Line a baking dish with parchment paper or spray with a non-stick cooking spray
Spread the batter into a baking dish using a spatula.
Sprinkle the dark chocolate chunks on top (you could also add chopped walnuts or cacao nibs)
Bake at 350F for 25 minutes
Yields: 12 Servings
If you make the recipe with Truvia the estimated Nutrition Facts per brownie are:
11g of carb (4g of fibre)
5g of fat
5g of protein