The keen-eyed among you might be noticing a trend in this week’s round of protein-rich eats: two of the three recipes I’ve featured so far have featured beans. Kidney beans and mung beans, to be precise. Today we’ll focus on another bean, a true mainstay of the vegan diet: the humble black bean. A staple of many cuisines, they’re the workhorse of the legume world. And I do mean workhorse. Because not only are black beans the star of many savory dishes, but they work in sweet ones as well.
Black bean brownies took the healthy-eating blogworld by storm a few years ago, but I never really got into them. It wasn’t a purposeful lack of interest; I wasn’t rebelliously bucking a trend and I didn’t have some idealogical opposition to beany brownies. They just weren’t my thing.
Now, though, maybe they will become my thing. Because I really like these brownies. They offer a potent dose of chocolate without a huge sugar rush or that nasty tummy-ache I get from oily desserts. As long as you don’t go into the experience expecting a super rich, sweet, buttery brownie, they’ll probably hit the spot for you too. And, oh yeah—each square will give you 7 grams of protein, 13% of your daily dose of iron, and 9% of your recommended dose of calcium. Thanks, beans!
Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
Makes 9 brownies
- 2 T coconut oil
- Heaping 1/4 C chocolate chips
- 1/4 C + 2 T coconut sugar (brown sugar would likely work as well)
- 2 T pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 C black beans (if using canned, be sure to rinse well)
- 1/2 C full-fat coconut milk (another nondairy milk would likely work just fine)
- 1/2 C unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 C cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 C chocolate chips
Prepare an 8″ x 8″ square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper or oiling it lightly. Preheat the oven to 350˚.
Combine the coconut oil, chocolate chips (the heaping 1/4 cup), coconut sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a small pot and heat on low until the chocolate and coconut oil have melted. Stir frequently to ensure that nothing burns. Once everything is melted and combined, turn off the stove and remove the pot from the heated burner.
Add the black beans, coconut milk, and the melted chocolate mixture to a blender and blend until the black beans are pureed. It should only take a few minutes.
Pour the wet mixture into a large bowl, then sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix until all ingredients are combined, then add the remaining chocolate chips.
Transfer batter to the baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
How do you feel about bean-based desserts? What’s your favorite recipe?