Black Bean Brownies; Gluten Free!

 Why does there have to be this grouchy pre-conceived notion that ALL desserts that are tasty and delicious have to make us fat?

Why do we have to be using granulated sugar when we could be using the natural sugars from fruits or agave nectar or honey? Why can’t we, instead of using sugar-calorie ridden milk chocolate, use real dark cocoa-that has been proven to have health benefits? Why do we have to use all these complicated enriched flours to thicken things when we could use natural thickeners, say like black beans? (cue segway)…

Now, I know this is nothing competely new to a lot of you foodies out there, and I certainly cannot take the credit for coming up with the fabulous idea of using black beans in brownies, BUT I’m posting this anyways because I think that it’s important for people to realize that dessert doesn’t have to be the enemy! It can, in fact, contain loads of protein and fiber and other good things- it’s all just about using unexpected ingredients.

You Will Needs:
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups soft cooked black beans (drained, please)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup instant coffee
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 large eggs
1.5 cups light agave nectar

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a brownie sized baking pan with parchment paper and lightly oil it with butter or non stick spray

Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high. Or, (for what I find to be better consistency), put a bowl over a saucepan w/ simmering water and slowly melt the chocolate and butter by stirring it over the heat of the hot water. Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely. Put in the beans, 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the vanilla extract, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans smooth at this point.

In a large bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, coffee substitute, and salt. Mix well and set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until light and creamy, which should take about 1 minute. Add the agave nectar and beat well. Set aside.

Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the coffee/chocolate mixture. Stir until blended well.

Add the egg mixture, reserving about 1/2 cup. Mix well. 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. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let it cool for a bit, then dig in!


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