When most people look at their pantry, they know which ingredients are used for specific dishes and will rarely consider cross mixing recipes or challenging the methods by which traditional foods are made. Brownies are an all time favourite, but as more people avoid the regular use of refined flour, replacing this ingredient with beans for desserts has never tasted as sweet and fudgy.
When people think of black beans and cacao powder, they’re most likely to have burritos and chocolate cake coming to mind, respectively. But spicing things up a little in the… kitchen doesn’t only have the potential of leading to new flavour-bursting discoveries, but can also lead to a new found love for baking.
These brownies will allow you to experience a fudgy consistency without worrying about the brownies drying out or resembling a thin sponge cake. Wave goodbye to any disappointing brownie experiences!
These brownies are vegan, naturally gluten free due to the list of ingredients, and are high in protein thanks to the amazing qualities of black beans and the health benefits and nutritional density of flax seeds. (My vegan pancake recipe has a list of the benefits of flax seeds).
I’ve listed the ingredients and the method below, including some ingredient alterations for when you don’t have the set ingredients at hand. Disclaimer- using the bracketed alterations could alter the overall consistency of the brownies, but they will still taste very similar and maintain a firm, yet gooey texture.
• 1 can black beans – drained and rinsed*
• 1 cup coconut milk (any plant milk will work just as well)
•1/2 cup coconut oil ( OR 1 flax egg: 2 heaped tbsp. ground flax seeds, 4 tbsp. water )
• 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
• 2/3 cup quick oats
• 1/2 cup brown sugar (or 1 cup if you don’t have a liquid sweetener at hand)
• 1/3 cup maple/ agave syrup (or use any other liquid sweetener)
• 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
• 1 tbsp. baking powder
• 1tsp. baking soda / 1/2 tsp. salt ( I prefer to use pink Himalayan salt)*
• 1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
• 1 handful nuts of choice (optional)
• Peanut Butter
• Coconut shreddings
• Finely ground/ chopped nuts
• Other toppings that you could use include: chocolate chips (sprinkle ontop of brownie batch 5/ before removing tray from oven)
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius
2. Add all the wet ingredients into a food processor, including the flax egg if you chose to use one (which should have been prepared in a small bowl 5 minutes prior to the ingredient combining process)
3. Add all the dry ingredients to the food processor, mixing them in with the wet ingredients and scrapping down the sides when needed to achieve a smooth consistency.
4. Adjust ingredients by adding more oats/ plant milk in order to achieve the preferred texture, which should be slightly thicker than frosting, but nowhere near runny or what cake batter would be, should ideally be relatively thick but still smooth.
5. Grease a baking tray with coconut oil, or preferably line a baking tray with some greaseproof paper.
6. Evenly distribute the batter into the baking tray and place into the oven, baking the brownies for 15-20 minutes.
7. Bake until the top / edges of the batch are dry, poking the mixture with a fork that should come out (relatively) clean with no wet/ gooey mixture left on it.
8. Remove the batch from the oven and allow it to cool for 20/30 minutes before cutting into pieces. Don’t be concerned if the mixture seems tender, as the brownies are meant to be fudge on the inside- besides, they’re vegan so no ingredients can be undercooked.
9. Drizzle the peanut butter ontop or ice your cupcakes, whilst also adding your preferred toppings onto them.
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* Rinsing beans: I would recommend rinsing your beans because many brands contain a thick starchy, sodium based liquid for preserving the beans and this can alter the taste of the recipe. Even when buying beans that are merely stored in water, I’d still recommend thoroughly rinsing them as this will remove most of the gas- producing properties in the liquid. It’s completely up to you whetheror nor to want to rinse the beans, but I’ve found that I barely have any gas from eating beans once I since them well before cooking- which simultaneously reduces the possibility of bloating as well.
* Pink Himalayan salt:
- Aids in vascular health
- Supports healthy lungs and respiratory function
- Promotes a stable pH balance within the cells
- Reduces the signs of aging
- Promotes healthy sleep patterns
- Increases libido
- Prevents muscle cramps
- Increases hydration
- Strengthen bones
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves circulation
- Detoxifies the body of heavy metals