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It’s February, which means some of us like to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a healthy dose of chocolate…. As Nutrition Therapists, we love to make treats a bit healthier!
This simple brownie recipe is a crowd-pleaser – it’s vegan, gluten-free, not too sweet, and surprisingly fudgy and rich. Plus, the secret ingredient is a fiber-rich superstar: cooked black beans!
Why we love it
- 1-Bowl Recipe: This is a 1-”bowl” batter! Well, we’re not actually using a bowl – we’re using a food processor. All the ingredients are placed into the food processor, mixed and then transferred into muffin tins. So easy! Another helpful tool to have for this recipe is a coffee grinder. You can grind the flax seeds to make flax meal, and the same grinder can also be used to pulse the cane sugar to make it just a bit more fine.
- Resistant Starch: Although brownies are definitely not the recommended source of black beans in a healthy diet, it’s worth talking about the overall benefits of black beans. Black beans are a great source of resistant starch. Resistant starch is a type of starch that resists digestion by passing through the small intestine. When the resistant starch reaches the colon, it undergoes anaerobic fermentation by local microbiota. One of the products of this process are short chain fatty acids, which provide fuel for the epithelial cells and support gut integrity.
There are numerous health benefits associated with resistant starch, including improved insulin sensitivity, an increase of calcium absorption and the reduction of inflammatory bowel disease. As you can see, resistant starch is something you want to incorporate into your diet! Other beans also contain resistant starch, and some non-bean sources of resistant starch include green bananas, green plantains, potatoes, grains, cassava flour, tigernuts, and Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes).
To get the maximum amount of resistant starch from beans, potatoes and grains, you want to eat them cooled! A study showed that cooled cooked black beans had an average of 29.4% more resistant starch than freshly cooked black beans. And remember: it’s recommended to soak your grains or legumes properly first to maximize the nutrient availability.
Black Bean Brownies (vegan + GF)
- 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed well (~ 1 3/4 cups)
- 2 large “flax eggs” (2 heaping tbsp flaxseed meal + 6 tbsp water)
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 3/4 cup cacao powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar (slightly ground in a food processor or coffee grinder for refined texture)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Optional toppings: crushed walnuts, pecans or semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan.
- Prepare flax egg by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor.
- Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.
- Note: If the batter appears too thick, add 1-2 Tbsp of water and pulse again. The consistency should be less thick than frosting, but not runny.
- Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tins.
- Optional: Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips.
- Bake for 20-26 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan.
Makes 12 servings
Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker
Not a fan of beans but still want a sweet, chocolatey treat? Try these Sweet Potato Brownies instead!
Want to learn how to create and prepare recipes like this?
Join our Natural Food Chef Program! Picture yourself in your kitchen surrounded by nothing but organic vegetables, whole grains, top-quality meats, eggs and a range of the more unusual things like pâté, kimchi, kefir and bone broth. If you resonate with the idea of creating delicious meals that are not only healthy but downright regenerative, then join us for our 15-week program!
Daina Rasutis is a recent graduate of NTI’s Nutrition Therapist Master Program. She plans to use her certification to spark a craving for health through movement, sustainable living, and, of course, nourishing food. Follow Daina’s cooking creations and lifestyle tips on Instagram: @tabletocrave
Image use permission given by Table to Crave
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