Up until about 4 years ago, I hated beans. Don't put them in my burrito, don't add them to my soup, and sure as heck don't throw some on top of my salad. Barf. The only dish that I'd eat with beans in it was chili. And that's only because chili isn't chili unless there are beans in it, right? Ok, so hot dog chili is chili, but of a whole different breed (and also really, really gross). Needless to say, beans and I weren't friends. It wasn't until around the time when D left for his first deployment that I thought, "Hey, I should make something with beans!," and slowly but surely I began to allow beans into my life. At first, it was just casual. Refried beans alongside my chimichanga? We're dating. And I happily called D after every Mexican meal I ate to tell him I ate beans. After years of watching me turn up my nose, he was proud. Then things started getting serious when I went to Jason's Deli one day (dear Lord, I miss Jason's Deli) and put gobs of garbanzo's on my spinach salad. There was no turning back then. I was having a full on love affair with beans and I didn't care who knew it. These days, we're having beans in some way, shape, or form at least 2 times a week. And now...we're having beans for dessert. Yes siree.
In a continuous effort to find healthier dessert alternatives (and keeping my love for beans alive, mind you), I read in a forever old issue of the Food Network Mag, my guilty pleasure magazine, about using beans in brownies. The first time I skimmed that issue, my bean-hating self probably cringed and kept on flipping pages, but recently, with my new diet (which is going really well, in case you're wondering), I've opened myself up to using other ingredients in baking. Black beans in a chocolate brownie? YES, PLEASE! These bad boys are not only gluten-free, but they're flour-free, egg-free, oil-free, and refined sugar-free! For a low 114 calories per 2" x 2" brownie square, this dessert is a no-brainer. D tried them last night and had no flippin' clue they were made with black beans. But I will warn you...like with any bean-based food, they may cause flatulence. Which I discovered thanks to my darling husband post-brownie indulgence. Annnd we're back to gagging at beans. Super.
Chocolate Chip Black Bean Brownies
Yields: 9 brownies
Ingredients:1- 15oz. can of reduced-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed throughly
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup old-fashioned quick-cooking oats
2 packets (roughly 2 tsp.) of Stevia (or any Stevia-based sweetener like Truvia)
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup organic pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 8x8 pan. Combine all ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, into the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth (you may still see flakes of oats, but that's ok!). Fold in 3 Tbsp. of the chocolate chips and set aside the remaining Tbsp. Pour batter into the greased pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top of the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean in the toothpick test. Allow brownies to cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Serving size: 1- 2"x 2" brownie
Nutritional Breakdown: 114 calories, 2.5g fat, 1g sat fat, 22g carbs, 9g sugar, 3g fiber, 4g protein, 200mg potassium, 142mg sodium
[Nutrition facts were calulated using MyFitnessPal]