If I could, I would hand you one of these brownies right now, so you could taste it before you read any further. In fact, that’s basically what I’ve already done for a few lucky people. The catch is that, after tasting, you have to try and guess the secret ingredient; so far, no one’s guess has been successful, but everyone’s given the brownies a thumbs up!
Since you don’t get a taste, and since it’s a little hard to guess with just a picture, I’ll go ahead and give away my secret. It’s black beans. Shhhh, now it’s your secret too. I’ve been a little nervous that if I tell people what’s in the brownies before they have a taste, they won’t want to try! But so far, once they’ve tasted them, no one’s cared!
I first made these brownies about a month ago, back in New Orleans, but didn’t post the recipe then because I reeeeeally wanted my mom and Aunt Kathy (the brownie queen) to give these brownies a try before knowing their secret. That mission was accomplished today, with two nods of approval, so I’m now ready to share!
The idea for black bean brownies had been floating around in my head for a while, after seeing a reference to them somewhere online. When I had some extra black beans cooked up, I did an online search and perused the results. I wasn’t very happy with any of the recipes specifically, but looked at enough different ones to get an idea of what components and proportions I may want, and then put together my own formula.
Even though the beans act as most of the ‘flour’ in this recipe, I did go ahead and use 1/3 cup whole wheat flour; you may be able to just leave that out (especially if you’re gluten-free), but I haven’t tried it yet. I wanted to only use natural sweeteners, so I went with half honey and half maple syrup, and they turned out great! I guess they aren’t entirely refined sugar free, because of the chocolate chips, but they’re pretty close! You could leave the chocolate chips out and still have a delicious brownie. I went with a Mexican Chocolate version this time, but I’m exciting about trying other ‘twists’ with these brownies…. I’m pretty sure a peanut butter version will be tried soon!!!
So, now, you should make these, and watch with delight everyone’s responses when you inform them they’re getting a healthy dose of protein in their dessert!
2 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup coconut oil, gently melted
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp cocoa
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne, depending on how ‘hot’ you want them
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch baking pan; the first time I floured the pan as well, but the second time didn’t and they turned out fine.
In a blender, combine the beans, eggs, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, and coconut oil. Blend until everything is smoothly mixed.
In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and cayenne. Mix in the chocolate chips so that they’re coated with flour. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until set and a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool, then cut into squares. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. These are delicious chilled!