Thursday, January 31, 2013

Black Bean ‘Power’ Brownies

As many of my friends, Twitter/Instagram/Facebook followers know, I have been doing the Tone It Up Love Your Body series since the start of the New Year.  Last night, my husband said he wanted some dessert, and I am not one to pass down dessert.  I wanted to stick to something healthy, so we discussed our options and he allowed me to try something totally new, Black Bean ‘Power’ Brownies.  Okay, maybe I didn’t fully disclose they were black bean brownies…instead I said “healthier” brownies.

I had seen this recipe on Pinterest last year and said, “Pff, black beans in MY brownies, heck no!”  Then I kept seeing it in healthy living blogs, like this from Powercakes, so I decided I would give it a shot.  I am in love with healthy ‘ice creams’ now, so why not brownies? 
(My Healthy Ice Creams = combos of frozen bananas, frozen fruit, Greek Yogurt, cocoa powder, peanut butter, & nuts)
Your Healthier Black Bean Power Brownies
  • 1 Can Black Beans, drained & rinse
  • ½ Can Pumpkin
  • ½ C Milk (Vanilla Almond = Yum!)
  •  2 T Peanut Butter, or other nut butter

  • ½ C Cocoa Powder, unsweetened
  • 1 t Baking Powder
  • 1T Chia Seeds, ground
  • 1 t Vanilla extract
  • 3 t Cinnamon
  • ½ C Chopped Walnuts
  1. In a food processor (or blender), combined your black beans, pumpkin, peanut butter and ½ of your milk.  Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour black bean blend into a large bowl and add remaining milk, cocoa, baking powder, chia seeds, vanilla & cinnamon.  Blend until smooth.
  3. Add in chopped walnuts & pour into 8 x 11 pan.   (Other sizes will work, that’s just my favorite pan.)
    • See below for swirl options you could add at this time for a different, yet still healthy flavor
  4. Cover with foil & bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
Because these brownies aren’t as sweet as I am used to, they aren’t loaded with a ½ cup sugar after all, I wanted a little something sweeter on top.   I took equal parts of organic raspberry jelly & organic Greek yogurt and mixed them in a bowl before letting it all melt on top of my warm brownie. 
That makes for a great & still healthy brownie!
Another topping I saw here was a combination of frozen bananas, blueberries, & walnuts mixed in a food processor and spread on top.  I’d try that!
Use the type of cocoa powder you would normally use in your other favorite brownies.  I tried dark cocoa in these, and I think they were a little too bittersweet.   Since I normally use it, I will try regular cocoa next time. 
Next time, for a tastier combination, I am going to make a brownie swirl. To make your swirl, simply pour your brownies into your pan as usual, then plop your swirl ingredients in multiple locations on top, use a knife to cut the swirl design.  (See here with my Pumpkin Brownies Swirls)
  • 2 Swirl Options I’d try:
    •  Greek yogurt/Peanut Butter combination and swirl my brownie mix before putting it in the oven
    • Add in my favorite fruit, raspberries.  Crush ½ a container and swirl them into the mix with a knife before baking.
Have you ever made Black Bean ‘Power’ Brownies?  Will you try any for yourself?

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