On February 26th, Mrs. G and new neighbor Worldwide Wholesale Flooring welcomed industry professionals to the Worldwide showroom for a 2015 kitchen trends event. We had a captivated audience of nearly 100 people who were eager to learn some of the new and innovative upgrades to our standard kitchen appliances (did you know that GE is coming out with a fridge with built-in Keurig? Retweet it). Knowing that we would get people excited for the next wave of kitchens, I wanted to have them talking about our food too. That’s why I prepared gluten-free black bean brownies.
I already made these for Debbie and had her very enthusiastic seal of approval. And I have to agree, they are really, really good. Anyone who bakes with vegetable or legume substitutes knows, the final product usually tastes just as good–or even better–than the original.
Why Cocoa Powder?
Since this recipe calls for an entire can of black beans, use cocoa powder instead of baking chocolate to get that rich chocolate flavor. Cocoa powder is chocolate in a more pure form. There is less coca butter in it (as compared to melting chocolate), and thus has more of a natural chocolate flavor.
Coconut Oil vs. Vegetable Oil
Moving on to cooking oil, I like using coconut because of the health benefits. Even though it’s higher in saturated fat than vegetable oil, it is high in lauric acid which boosts your good cholesterol (HDL). Unlike other saturated fats found in cheeses or steak, coconut oil contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) which metabolize differently in the body and are a good source of energy. Some oils lose their benefits at high heat, but coconut oil does not. It maintains its taste and adds to the texture of our foods. It’s wise to go with the Extra-Virgin version, available at any food store or even online. And don’t stop at baking; coconut oil has been known to benefit your hair and skin too. We like to take into consideration various dietary needs with our events. And even if you don’t have any special restrictions, it’s always good to vary your food choices and introduce new concepts to your own home-baking. Go ahead and try these on your family too– see if they even notice a difference!
- • 1 15 oz. can (~ 1 3/4 cups) black beans, well rinsed and drained
- • 2 large organic eggs
- • 3 T coconut oil, melted (or all natural unsweetened applesauce)
- • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (the higher quality the better)
- • 1/4 tsp sea salt
- • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- • ½ cup date sugar or organic coconut sugar
- • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- • Optional toppings: crush walnuts, pecans or semisweet chocolate chips
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 2. Lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan (not mini). Make sure you've rinsed and thoroughly drained your black beans at this point.
- 3. Place black beans in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple times to break up beans.
- 4. Add remaining ingredients (besides walnuts or other toppings) and puree - about 3 minutes - scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth.
- 5. If the batter appears too thick, add a Tbsp or two of water and pulse again. It should be slightly less thick than chocolate frosting.
- 6. Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin ( an ice scoop works best) and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger.
- 7. Optional: Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips.
- 8. Bake for 20-26 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides. I found mine took about 25.
- 9. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so remove gently with a fork. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so don't be concerned if they seem too moist.
- 10. Store in an airtight container for up to a three days. Refrigerate to keep longer.
- These black bean brownies are gluten-free and require just one bowl and about 30 minutes to prepare! Healthy, easy and delicious - the best kind of dessert.