The Guilt-Free Black Bean Brownies

Vegan Black Bean Brownies

Anyone who knows me, knows I love chocolate. I have it pretty much everyday and I have it without guilt :) If you've read my The Love of Food page, you know that I think indulgence is part of a healthy, happy, sane lifestyle. It is just a matter of indulging in the right way. When I do eat chocolate, I eat the goooood stuff. Like Earl & Grey organic dark chocolate and I slowly eat a few small squares. It satisfies the craving and by eating a small amount, I don't get a sugar rush (and crash) and I don't gain weight. As a life, fitness and food lover, I want to eat foods that energize me all day long and I love finding ways to indulge that are in line with this mission. These brownies are exactly that. They're high in fiber, nutrients AND antioxidants, low in fat, gluten-free, low in sugar, easy to make, individually portioned AND have a really cool secret ingredient (black beans). WOW. And with Valentines Day soon approaching, these are a great gift of healthy love.

Guilt Free Black Beans Brownies
Guilt Free Vegan Gluten Free Brownies 4 Ways

I found this recipe after hearing rumors that you could make brownies with black beans.. I was pretty skeptical to be honest but the "secret ingredient" was so weird that I knew I had to make them. I mean for the love of curiosity!  

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The first batch I made, I followed the original recipe and made a whole batch of walnut chocolate chip brownies. I loved them so much I had to make them again. Except this time I had to get creative and I had to satisfy my flavor ADHD. And I saw a golden opportunity: the individual-muffin-tin-brownie setup from the original recipe made it really easy to make 4 different kinds of brownies. It would be hard to do this with a simple pan brownie!

Guilt Free Vegan Gluten Free Brownies 4 Ways

So I picked my 4 favorite brownie flavors: Raspberry Cream Cheese (my favorite and perfect for valentines day), Peanut Butter, Coconut, and Walnut Chocolate Chip... The beauty of this recipe is you can make the whole batch your favorite flavor or you can even invent your own (like mint chocolate chip?). The original batch makes 12 individual brownies so you make 3 of the 4 flavors like I did or get creative in whatever way you like!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies
Gluten Free Walnut Brownies
Guilt Free Vegan Gluten Free Brownies 4 Ways
Guilt Free Vegan Gluten Free Healthy Brownies 4 Ways

The Guilt-Free Love Brownies 4 Ways

Gluten Free, Vegan, Made with Black Beans! From the Minimalist Baker

Prep time: 5 mins |  Cook time 25 mins | Makes 12

These individual brownies are perfect for anyone with dessert ADHD and anyone wanting to indulge GUILT FREE. They are vegan, gluten free, individually portioned and require just one bowl  From the Minimalist baker: "Healthy, easy and delicious – the best kind of dessert."

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz. can (~ 1 3/4 cups) black beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 2 large eggs or 2 flax eggs (2 flax eggs = 2.5 T flaxseed meal + 6 T water)
  • 3 Tbs coconut oil, melted (or sub other oil of choice)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar (do 1 to 1 1/4 cup if you like things sweet)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Flavor Toppings:
    • 1) Raspberry Cream Cheese (personal favorite): 1/3 Cup Low fat cream cheese, 1/4 cup raspberries,
    • 2) Peanut Butter: 1/3 cup peanut butter & 2 Tbs honey (or agave for vegan)
    • 3) Coconut: 1/3 cup coconut chips or sweetned coconut flakes
    • 4) Walnut Chocolate Chip: 1/3 cup walnut pieces & 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put muffin liners in a muffin pan or lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan (not mini). *** Okay to make conventional brownies in a baking pan (see photo below)
  3. If making vegan, prepare flax egg by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple times and then let rest for a few minutes. (*If doing regular simply put 2 eggs in the food processor)
  4. Add remaining ingredients (besides toppings) and puree – about 3 minutes – scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth.
  5. If the batter appears too thick, add water (start with 1/4 cup) and pulse again until it is less thick than chocolate frosting but nowhere close to runny.
  6. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tins  and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger.
  7. Make the toppings you desire. Put 1 to 2 Tbs of topping on each brownie. Optionally top with chocolate chips.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a knife comes clean from the brownie part (the toppings with not come off a knife clean!)
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so remove gently with a fork if you are NOT using muffin liners. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so don’t be concerned if they seem too moist – that’s the point. Plus, they’re vegan so it doesn’t really matter.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Refrigerate to keep longer.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 140 calories Fat: 6 g Carbohydrates: 22 g Sugar: 9 g Sodium: 163 mg Fiber: 7 h Protein: 5 g

nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 brownie; does not include toppings.
adapted from mylittlecelebration

Guilt Free Vegan Gluten Free Healthy Brownies 4 Ways
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Guilt Free Vegan Gluten Free Healthy Brownies 4 Ways