Legumes have unfairly been restricted to the savory side of the kitchen.
We have no issue taking wheat, grinding it up and using it everywhere from gravy to birthday cake. But hearing that there are beans in your dessert for some reason feels a bit weird.
It shouldn’t! Lentils, black beans, chickpeas–the whole legume gang–aren’t inherently savory. Like wheat, they are pretty much a blank canvas, ready to take on whatever flavors you throw at them. And they just happen to be packed with fiber and protein, which aren’t typically characteristic of dessert, but they can be if you just get a little inventive (and keep an open mind).
Dessert is usually thought of as a guilty pleasure, something that has no connection to hunger or nourishment and only serves to appease a calling for something sweet and indulgent. But with just a few swaps you can really make dessert work for you.
That’s what these black bean brownies are all about.
You can keep the brownies plain, or further convince them that they’re dessert by topping them with this coffee coconut caramel–more proof that “healthy” and “luscious” can be used to describe the same thing.
Coconut cream gets boiled down with some coffee, coconut sugar, and salt until it thickens up into a drippable, drizzleable, sticky-sweet sauce.
Note: This recipe will leave you with extra caramel, that I’d highly recommend stirring into some hot chocolate the next day.
This batch got topped with some cashews, Jackson Pollocked with some of that lusciously healthy caramel, and sprinkled with just a bit of extra sea salt.
Which felt like a winning combination.
Healthy brownies that you can feel okay about eating for breakfast?
They do exist!
Black bean brownies adapted from Whole Foods.
*If beans give you digestive trouble, try soaking and sprouting them before you cook them.
*This recipe was updated on 3/27/16 because after making the brownies a few times I wanted a more fudgy version, which is why one of the original 3 eggs was replaced with 2 tbs of avocado.
- 1 can black beans or 1/2 cup dried beans, soaked and cooked
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbs coconut oil + extra for greasing pan
- 1 tbs almond butter
- 2 tbs avocado
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocao or cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar*
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- chopped cashews (optional)
- 1 5.4 oz can coconut cream
- 1.5 tbs coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt*
- 1/4 cup brewed coffee (or 1/2 tsp instant coffee mixed with 1/4 cup hot water)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Rinse and drain 1 can of black beans. Add to a food processor along with the rest of the brownie ingredients except for the cashews. Process until batter is smooth.
- Grease an 8X8 or smaller pan with coconut oil. Pour batter into pan and sprinkle chopped cashews on top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
- While brownies bake, add all ingredients for caramel to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, stirring frequently until sauce reduces (about 15 minutes) Caramel will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Remove brownies from oven, cut into squares, and top with caramel. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week (ha ha)
*1/2 cup of coconut sugar will result in a lightly sweetened brownie. For a sweeter brownie, increase coconut sugar to 2/3 cup. *I used 1/4 tsp salt for a salty caramel. For a less salty caramel, reduce salt to 1/8 tsp.
Don't let me do all the talking! Let me know what you think in the comments.