Thursday, May 10, 2012

Black Bean Brownies

I know...I know...this dessert does NOT sound particularly appetizing. But, I have a story to tell you...

For career day at my kids' elementary school I went and talked to the third graders about the all-natural bakery I started with a friend. I always like to teach them something about why I believe all natural ingredients are important. Last year I took a bunch of fruits and veggies and we discussed what we can use to color frosting naturally, such as beets, red cabbage, carrot juice and turmeric.

This year, I decided to teach them about how we can incorporate very healthy ingredients into special treats to make them more nutrient rich. I started by feeding them - always a good way to start with a bunch of 8 and 9 year olds! I passed out theses brownie bites and asked them to guess what ingredients we used to bake them.

They did a good job of guessing all the traditional brownie ingredients. By this point, they had eaten all the brownie bites and were oohing and aahing about how yummy they were. I then whipped out a hidden can of black beans and revealed my secret, "the main ingredient in those brownies was BLACK BEANS!" This was met with a big "ewwww!" from all the third graders. They couldn't believe it because they had really enjoyed the brownies. I asked them how many would not have tried the brownies at all if I had told them what they were made of and over half the room raised their hands.

The moral of the story is - these are GOOD! And, the other moral is - DO NOT tell your family that they are anything other than brownies! NEVER mention the word black bean and they will likely never know. In the meantime, they will be begging for more of this protien and fiber packed treat.

Black Bean Brownies
gluten, dairy and soy free!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In your Ninja, food processor or other blender, combine the following:

1 15-16 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
3 eggs
3 Tbsp oil (canola, coconut or grapeseed)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt

Blend/puree until mixture is smooth. Pour into a greased 8x8 baking dish. Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 cup chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until the top is fairly set and dry.

Let it cool, cut into squares and serve.

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