So, if you've been following me then you are aware that I am currently trying to get my self and my family to eat a little better. (Not that we were eating horribly before, but there is always room for improvement.) Less processed food and refined sugars and more healthy proteins, veggies, and just basically "whole" foods. Well, I decided that I would join a clean eating challenge that was happening on Facebook. It was a one week challenge to eat only whole and "clean" foods. It was during this challenge that the group leader shared the original version of this recipe. I actually waited until after the challenge was over to make these, because I wanted to use chocolate chips and since they have refined sugar in them (a small amount, but still) I couldn't eat them and still feel that I was staying honest to the challenge. So, now my challenge is over, and I have made them twice since then.
I know what you are thinking. Black bean brownies? No refined sugar? (Except for the chocolate chips) Gluten free, egg free and even vegan (if you sub in another sweetener for the honey)? How can that be good? Well, let me tell you they are! My children (my oldest especially) was one of the nay say-ers when he saw me making them. But, then he tasted them and was thrilled that I made them a second time a few days later (because the first batch disappeared in no time!).
Granted, these are a different texture than you are used to. I love me some boxed brownies, even though I know how bad they are. And a close second are Dark Chocolate Bombshell Brownies. Both are crunchy on the edges and chewy throughout. Well, these brownies are neither crunchy or chewy, but they ARE moist, soft, fudge-y and gooey (as you can see by the picture above). Will these brownies replace the other "bad for you" brownies in my dessert arsenal? No. But will I make these brownies again and again? Yes! I like knowing that I am getting a bunch of protein with my sweets. It makes me feel a little less guilty. :)
Here's how you make them:
The brownies can be assembled in a food processor, or in a bowl with an immersion blender. I opted for the immersion blender. (*If you choose to use a food processor, start with your oats, not the banana.)
In the bowl, blend up the banana first. This way you will be certain not to have any banana chunks in the brownies. They are here for sweetness, not flavor.
The next step is to blend your oats into a flour. (I do this in my single serving cup that came with my blender, but you can use your food processor (*see note above), blender, or even a mason jar with the blender blade screwed on) This is also how I blend my oats and fruit for my Homemade Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal.
Just put the oats in and blend until you have a fine powder, like this:
Most of the ingredients go into the bowl, and blended together. (If you opted to use a food processor, everything but the nuts and chocolate chips can be added at this point.)
Blend until COMPLETELY smooth.
Then you can add the oat powder/"flour."
Using a spatula, stir in the nuts and chocolate chips (both optional but very good additions!).
Pour the badder into a 9x13 pan (I greased it with a little coconut oil)
And smooth it out into a single layer,
Sprinkle on some more chocolate chips (again optional, but so yummy!) and bake @350F for 15 minutes or so. You want them set, but don't over bake! The more you bake them, the cakier they get!
When they are set, take them out and let them cool.
Cut into 20 squares (or however many you want, but these are pretty rich so you don't need a big piece to feel satisfied)
And dig right in! I went for a corner piece, because that's my favorite and I was hoping for crunchy edges. No crunchy edges, but all the chocolate-y goodness within made up for it. :)
Here's the recipe:
adapted from Black Bean Pumpkin Brownies
*If gluten free is a requirement, make sure to only use certified gluten free ingredients.
**For strict vegans, substitute maple syrup or Agave for the honey, and use vegan chocolate chips
*** Nut free, if using nut-free ingredients and leave out the walnuts
Fudgey Black Bean Brownies
Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. Preheat oven to 350F. Drain and rinse the beans VERY WELL. Blend the *oats into a fine powder (using a blender or food processor). Using a food processor, or in a bowl with an immersion blender, blend the banana until smooth. Add the salt, baking soda, beans, vanilla, **honey, oil, and cocoa powder and blend until completely smooth. Add in the oat "flour" (unless you started with the oats in the food processor) and blend again. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the nuts and 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips (if using). Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth out into an even layer. Top with the remaining chocolate chips (if using) and bake for 15 minutes (until set, and a toothpick comes out mostly clean). Take out and let cool. Cut into 20 squares and serve.