Try not to freak out. I know it’s black beans in your brownies and a lot of them. But think of how moist they make the brownies and all the protein added, replacing all the flour. So if you have a few cans of black beans hanging around, give this recipe a whirl, I swear that it’s really not bad. I added some dark chocolate chips and coconut flakes for some added taste, but throw in whatever you might put in regular brownies – toffee bits, semisweet morsels, peanut butter chips, etc.
The recipe calls for Agave Nectar. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t be scared. It’s a natural sweetener with a low glycemic index which means that it takes longer for your body to absorb the sugar, hence it’s better for you and especially for people with diabetes. It’s one of the least refined sweeteners. Personally, I’ve been “off” Splenda since January and there is no going back. Sure, it packs immediate sweetness with no calories but it’s completely artificial and overly processed which can’t be good for you. Agave Nectar has the consistency of honey but with its own nice sweetness. If you can’t find Agave Nectar, just substitute honey. Or you can actually just use dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate instead of the non-sweetened chocolate. I’m flexible.
Strange but Amazing Black Bean Brownies
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks from Baking With Agave Nectar: Over 100 Recipes Using Nature’s Ultimate Sweetener by Ania Catalano
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups soft-cooked black beans, drained well (canned is fine)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (granulated) natural coffee substitute (or ground coffee beans)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 large eggs
1½ cups light agave nectar
Possible add-in’s: Dark Chocolate Chips, Coconut, Toffee Bits, etc
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 11- by 18-inch (rimmed) baking pan (or jellyroll pan) with parchment paper and lightly oil with canola oil spray.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high. Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely.
3. Place the beans, 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the vanilla extract, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans smooth. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, coffee substitute, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
5. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer beat the eggs until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the agave nectar and beat well. Set aside.
6. Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the coffee/chocolate mixture. Stir until blended well. Add the egg mixture, reserving about 1/2 cup. Mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup egg mixture until light and fluffy. Drizzle over the brownie batter. Use a wooden toothpick to pull the egg mixture through the batter, creating a marbled effect.
7. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares. (They will be soft until refrigerated.) They are best after they’ve been refrigerated for a few hours or overnight. Best when served cold out of the refrigerator and cut into small 2-inch squares.
Makes 45 (2-inch) brownies.