Kylie may not realize it, but she and I have an inside joke: black bean brownies.
The first time I made black bean brownies, I loved them. The concept was great, you cannot taste the beans, and they are gluten-free, moist, and very high fiber. But, that same day, Kylie posted her Skinny Brownies, in the description of which she professes her, ahem, reservations about beans in brownies. And since my first batch of black bean brownies turned pretty great, I decided it was my mission to make her a believer (I may or may not actually have told her that, until now). So I guess our inside joke is Kylie secretly loves black bean brownies. She just doesn’t know it yet.
Listen, upfront you probably totally agree with her that this is a bizarre concept and wouldn’t blame you for doubting my credibility, taste buds, and – let’s face it – sanity right now. But think about it: black beans are relatively tasteless and take on whatever flavors they are paired with. They are starchy and moist, so they replace not only the flour (bulk) in the recipe, but also some of the fat. You see, fat provides moisture in baked goods, and since the beans contribute so much moisture on their own, the need for additional fat is significantly reduced. The chocolate chips, cocoa powder and vanilla extract provide the flavor, and the beans are pureed into oblivion so you don’t get any bean-ish texture either. These should really be called Stealth Black Bean Brownies.
These wonder brownies are also incredibly low-effort: make them in 5 minutes in a food processor and pour them in a pan to bake for 25 minutes.
So let’s recap: these brownies are fast and easy to make, gluten-free, high-fiber, nearly-fat-free, and contain very low sugar. Wait!! Don’t run away. There is no catch.
I know what you’re thinking, and they do not taste like chocolate-dipped cardboard. In fact, these easy, healthy, 30-minute brownies are delicious. They are moist, dense and deeply chocolatey throughout, almost like fudge, plus, you get a bit of creamy chocolate – from the chips on top – in every bite. No one who tried these without being aware of the, ahem, secret ingredient, had any idea what they were eating. They all thought it was a full fat, wheat-filled brownie! Trust me, you would never know they are so good for you, and certainly never feel deprived. Feel free to use these trick your friends and family into eating healthy. I won’t tell.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BLACK BEAN BROWNIES
makes 8 browines
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips + more for the top
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt*
1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
*Note: I used fat free Chobani, but feel free to use whatever you have around, as long as it is Greek and plain.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. This will take about 90 seconds to a minute on the high power setting. They may not melt completely; stir vigorously to finish melting the chips until chocolate has a smooth and uniform consistency.
Pour black beans and melted chocolate into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to pulse until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse a few more times to make sure everything is completely incorporated.
Pour into prepared pan and smooth to level and fill corners, etc. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the top. Bake for 25 minutes until the top has cracked slightly and the center has set. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before cutting into 2″ squares.
Makes 8 brownies. These are best if eaten immediately after they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.