Brownies are a must in any cookbook worth its weight in chocolate, but healthy alternatives are always a challenge in the treat department. Enter Chocolate Black-Bean Brownies - a healthier twist on a classic favourite using heart-healthy natural cocoa powder and protein-rich black beans. Yes, black beans! Sshhh, don't tell, and no one will ever notice.
Recipe by Andrea Villneff, P.H.Ec., owner of Lime and Lemon Media
Excerpted from The Vegetarian's Complete Quinoa Cookbook, by Mairlyn Smith. Reprinted with permission of Whitecap Books, 2012.
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup (250 mL) water
1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
2 cups (500 mL) brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) quinoa flour
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) natural cocoa, sifted if lumpy
1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cooked quinoa made with water
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch (3.5L) metal baking pan with canola oil.
2. In a food processor, pulse the beans. Slowly add the water to puree. Add the vanilla and pulse once or twice to combine. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, quinoa flour, cocoa, walnuts (if using) and baking powder. Gently fold in the cooked quinoa.
4. Add the bean puree mixture. Stir well to combine. The batter will be very thick.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Flatten the top with a spoon or spatula. Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the centre is firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. Carefully cut exactly 16 squares and store in a covered container in a cool placer for up to 4 days.
Makes 16 brownies.
One serving = 1 brownie (without nuts)
Nutrition per serving (without nuts)
219 calories 2 g total fat 0 g saturated fat
0 mg cholesterol 16 mg sodium 46 g carbohydrates
4 g fibre 27 g sugars 5 g protein