Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies – Gluten Free

What another brownie recipe Clare? Yes, there are three things that you cannot have too many recipes for: bread, soup and brownies. (Well, OK, four – add cookies to the list. Five if you count muggins!)
Brownies have a long history in my life.

black bean brownies


When I married I had one spankin’ new cookbook and 12 well tested brownie recipes.
So naturally, you may find a few brownie recipes posted on Nana Clare’s Kitchen.
The list of brownie recipes I’ve posted is an eclectic group that reflects the yo-yo thinking of my diet – sometimes full fat and rotund with sugar. Other times the brownies are lean with ingredients you can eat in public without blushing. See for yourself:
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies: http://www.nanaclareskitchen.com/2012/08/20/dark-chocolate-zucchini-brownies/
The Digest Diet’s Dry Brownies: http://www.nanaclareskitchen.com/2012/08/09/digest-diets-dry-brownies/
Yummy Lowfat Brownies: http://www.nanaclareskitchen.com/2012/06/18/yummy-lowfat-brownies/
Double Mint Fudge Brownies: http://www.nanaclareskitchen.com/2012/04/26/double-mint-fudge-brownies/
Dr. Oz’s Butt Blasting Brownie Experiment: http://www.nanaclareskitchen.com/2012/03/24/dr-ozs-butt-blasting-brownie-experiment/
Cream Cheese Brownies with my Easy Chocolate Frosting: http://www.nanaclareskitchen.com/2012/02/13/cream-cheese-brownies-with-my-easy-chocolate-frosting/
Brownie Lovers Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Glaze: http://www.nanaclareskitchen.com/2012/01/10/brownie-lovers-brownie-with-chocolate-glaze/
Kahlua Brownies: http://www.nanaclareskitchen.com/2011/11/04/kahlua-brownies/
I’ve heard about black bean brownies at Weight Watchers, and Dr. Oz and other food blogs, but never got up the courage to try them. It just seemed wrong to violate a food that I love. My feelings were confirmed when I read comments from those who tried the recipe posted on Dr. Oz last season. Several folks admitted they “chucked the whole mess into the garbage.” Not a rousing endorsement that inspires confidence – or drooling. I put the idea on the back burner.

blend in a food processor


Until recently, when Chocolate Covered Katie posted her “No Flour Black Bean Brownies.” http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/09/06/no-flour-black-bean-brownies/
I took notice, because this girl loves sweets – even tho she always says she doesn’t want things “too sweet.”

However, Katie is vegan, which I’m not. Her version is a bit limited by the lack of eggs, honey and the potential for dairy. I made a pan of her brownies as an experiment and found they had a nice chocolatey flavor – but mostly from the added chocolate chips.

Wanting to improve them, the next day I whipped up a batch with my own variations. Then I took samples to my friend Karen and her husband. Karen needs gluten free, which this recipe accommodates. But neither of us is vegan, so my version added an egg.
And I wanted more cocoa flavor, so I bumped up the cocoa powder.
To enhance the chocolate flavor, I also added espresso powder and I sweetened with honey. They had great flavor and were a bit deeper than the eggless version. Next time I’ll make them with two eggs and add some almond flour, to retain the gluten free quality.


Karen’s eyes lit up when she tried my brownie. She was hesitant at first because she had heard of a recipe through a weight loss group and that can be dicey. She said my black bean brownies had a rich dark chocolate flavor, but she didn’t appreciate the coffee I added. Oops – didn’t realize she didn’t drink coffee. I used espresso powder, but even I thought it was a bit grainy. Perhaps an instant coffee would have been better next time. Believe me, I’ll try again. Because if you know me, you know I love to play with recipes… expecially for brownies.

Sorry Zoe, no chocolate for you

brownie on left has egg

2 brownies side by side

If you want the brownie – without the guilt and the sugar rush, try these;
Dark Chocolate Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies – not a sexy title, I know.
Ingredients
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz can)
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil (or canola)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
3 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup oats – old fashioned have more texture
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp instant coffee powder – optional
1/2 – 2/3 cups dark chocolate chips – I use Ghirardelli
2 tsp powdered sugar for garnish – optional

Note: you really need to blend these beans well to get the right texture. A food processor is recommended. If you don’t have one, a blender may also work. My food processor is rather small, but it was still up to the task for this batch of batter.

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Grease an 8″ square pan.
Pour the beans in a food processor and blend well.
Add the ingredients (but not the chips) in the order given, blending after each one.
When your batter is very smooth, take out the blade and add the chocolate chips.
Mix well and pour into your prepared pan.
Bake 15 – 18 minutes

The protein and fiber from the black beans and oats will keep you from getting hungry too quickly after eating these brownies. If you’re craving a brownie, but are trying to eat a healthy diet, this is a recipe to take for a test drive.

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