Thursday, September 29, 2011

Brownies With a Secret

     Brownies for dinner? Can you imagine answering the famous question "What's for dinner?' with "Brownies!" I can see the smiles now.

     While that may be inappropriate, I wanted a healthier way of making brownies. I learned from various sources that using black beans in brownies was a great way to sneak in nutrition and keep the texture of the brownie. How clever, I thought. Beans are full of protein and fiber. I hate that empty feeling you get when you eat a snack that is mostly refined flour and sugar.

      By putting beans in my gluten-free brownie recipe instead of starch flour, I add protein and fiber and make a complete protein with the brown rice......and nobody has to know!!! Though the recipe still has fat, sugar and chocolate, it has some nutrition, too. I have served it to my kids and their friends for after school snacks and heard the ultimate compliment, "May I have another?"

Black Bean Brownies               print recipe

4 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. rinsed black beans
1/2 c. soft ghee, canola oil or
         dairy-free margarine
1 c. brown rice flour
3/4 c. cocoa
2 c. sugar
1/1/4 t. zanthan gun
3/4 t. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease  one 9 x 13 inch pan (for thicker brownies) or two 8 x 8 inch pans (for thinner brownies).

Blend beans, vanilla and eggs in blender or food processor until smooth. I use a hand blender.

Measure all dry ingredients into medium mixing bowl and whisk until well blended. Add ghee, oil or margarine and blended beans. Mix just until blended.

Pour into pan(s) and spread until even. Bake 25 - 30 minutes for small pans and 30 - 35 minutes for large pan or until toothpick inserted in center comes out fairly clean. Cool on rack. Dust with powder sugar, if desired. Cut and store in airtight container in refrigerator for 1 - 2 days or freezer for 3 months.

This recipe can be dairy-free if you use oil or dairy-free margarine. If you are just concerned about casein or lactose and are not familar with ghee see link for ghee (added 11/3/11).

Perfect treat for snacks, school lunches and family gatherings. Yum!


  1. These look wonderful! We've tried replacing black beans in our brownie mix, but from scratch sounds so much better!

  2. I tried this recipe using oil and they turned out great!!!! I will definately be making these instead of the box from now on!