Yes, you read that right: Black bean brownies. Now before you click away with a shudder and an “eew,” let me beg you to stay and consider the proposition. By replacing flour with mashed black beans, you get a dense, moist, wholesome brownie that is loaded with the nutritional excellence of beans, is great for gluten-free eaters, and tastes completely divine. I promise!
Now I’m not going to lie and say that these babies aren’t caloric, but they are a very healthy kind of fattening with only a few empty calories. The use of agave nectar makes this a low glycemic option. You’ll notice the ingredient list does call for eggs and butter–for a vegan variation, replace the butter with coconut oil and replace the eggs with this homemade flaxseed egg substitute.
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups soft-cooked black or pinto beans, drained
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup instant coffee
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 large free-range eggs
1½ cups light agave nectar
1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line an 11-by-18 brownie pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler until smooth. Put the beans, half of the walnuts, the vanilla extract, and several spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Process for about 2 minutes, or until thick and smooth.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the remaining walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, instant coffee, and salt. Mix well.
4. In another bowl, beat the eggs until light with an electric mixer, about 1 minute. Add the agave nectar and beat well.
5. Combine the two chocolate mixtures and stir.
6. Reserve 1/2 cup of the egg mixture, and add the rest of the egg mixture to the chocolate. Mix well, and then 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.
8. Chill to firm, then serve.
Inspired by a recipe in Baking with Agave Nectar: Over 100 Recipes Using Nature’s Ultimate Sweetener by Ania Catalano.
If you’re looking for a delicious vegan brownie recipe, try this recipe for Rich Chocolate Vegan Brownies.
By Melissa Breyer, Senior Editor, Care2 Green Living