Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easiest Black Bean Brownies AND Super Raspberry Protein Brownies

Black Bean Brownies. All the rage....or so it seems in my little corner of the world. Especially when dietitians (who adore dessert) get talking about ways to increase the nutrient density in sugary confections. Brownies are one of America's favorite sweet treats and you can bet even skeptics will give black bean brownies a whirl...I still wouldn't tell them until after their first bite. ;) 

Typically, I'll admit, when I make black bean brownies I simply buy a box of Ghirardelli double chocolate brownie mix (don't skimp on the cheap stuff filled with more crapola), a can of black beans, and some water. Black bean brownies are literally easier than following the traditional directions...you simply rinse and drain black beans and then mash or blend (my preferred method of madness) them with ~1/2 cup water. Add more water if needed until batter looks thin-ish like brownie batter...bake according to package..and BAM! Nutrient dense, fudgey, black bean brownies. They are even more divine if you add chopped dried cherries and/or chocolate chips in the batter. 

However, for those days I feel like putting a little more work into the brownie baking business (and really limiting the crapola), I'll use this recipe. It's not uber sweet but just sweet enough. Again, feel free to play with this recipe either using gluten free flour or adding chocolate chips for a richer taste.

Try both versions (the quickie box method) and the homemade version and let me know which one you prefer! Gobble up my loves.


PCRM Recipe of the Week

Super Raspberry Protein Brownies

Putting beans in brownies may seem like a strange idea, but you will change your mind after one bite of this protein-packed sweet treat! The beans add fiber, calcium, and protein, making these brownies a healthful indulgence.

Makes 16 brownies
2 15-ounce cans low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup all-fruit raspberry jam
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Combine the black beans, dates, jam, and vanilla in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and process again. Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top looks set. Remove from the oven and cool completely, then cut into 16 squares.

The brownies will keep, refrigerated in a covered container, for up to 1 week.

Per serving (1 brownie): 145 calories; 1 g fat; 7% calories from fat; 5 g protein; 33 g carbohydrates; 15 g sugar; 8 g fiber; 110 mg sodium

Source: Power Foods for the Brain by Neal D. Barnard, M.D.

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