Black Bean Brownies for a Guilt-free Treat

Beans for dessert? It might seem uncanny but it’s the norm in other parts of the world. Small cakes filled with a paste of red beans and sugar have been part of East Asian cuisine for hundreds of years. Referred to as “mooncakes,” these round pastries are a traditional part of autumn harvest festivals in China.

More recently, western cooks have adopted Eastern traditions to use beans in their sweet dishes. Next time you bake a batch of brownies, opt for black beans instead of flour. The fudgy texture provided by the beans produces a healthy, gluten-free brownie that’s packed with fiber and protein.

You can either use canned black beans for an easy fix or beans you’ve cooked from scratch.

Black Bean Brownies
1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 ¾ cups cooked beans, rinsed and drained)
3 eggs
3 tablespoons of applesauce or canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×8 square baking dish.
2. Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, and sugar in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.
3. Bake until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.