Yes, you read that right, Black Bean Brownies! These are naturally gluten free, as there is no flour of any sort used. Black beans are a good source of folate, protein and heart healthy fiber and flavonoids. And the dark chocolate used in this recipe, is also rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids act as antioxidants to inhibit free radical damage. Flavonoids have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti allergenic properties. They also have a vasodilatory effect, thus helping to lower blood pressure. I have been playing around with the recipe for a few weeks now and have finally come up with one that I am pleased to post. Please, as always, feel free to tweak this however you like!
8 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate (70-100% cocoa content)
1/3 cup oil
3 cups soft-cooked black beans, drained well (canned is fine)
2 tsp. cardamom
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (granulated) instant coffee
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fig jam (or any other)
1/3 cup egg whites
1/2 cup shredded coconut
6 tbsp peanut butter, spread throughout the middle of batter
1 cup walnuts, pecans or almonds, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line an 13- by 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly oil with spray, or just spray with oil if you do not have paper.
Melt the chocolate over low heat, while stirring, 1 to 2 minutes until chocolate is completely melted. Place the beans, vanilla extract, whole eggs, sugar, jam, cardamom, coffee and chocolate into the blender. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans smooth.
In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer beat the egg whites until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the coconut and beat well. Set aside.
Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. Mix well.
Pour 1/2 the batter into the prepared pan. Spread the Peanut Butter over the brownie batter.
Then pour the remaining batter over the top. And sprinkle with chocolate chips and/or coconut as desired.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares. They will be soft until refrigerated and should be stored in the refrigerator.
Makes about 20 brownies.
I like to prepare them when I have time and then freeze. When I have guests, I can quickly thaw them in the microwave 2 minutes at 50% power. I hope you will enjoy this rather healthy dessert!