Beans for dessert? It’d seem uncanny, but it’s the norm in some parts of the planet. Small cakes crammed with red bean paste and sugar have been a part of East Asian cuisine for many years and are referred to as “mooncakes.” these round pastries are a standard part of autumn harvest festivals in China.
Next time you bake a batch of brownies, choose black beans rather than flour. The fudgy texture provided by the beans produces a healthy, gluten-free brownie that’s full of fiber and protein.
Everyone loves an upscale and moist chocolate brownie.
There’s something about the dense texture and deep flavors that make brownies an irresistible treat. But there is a way to make your brownies even richer and moister. You’d never guess that the key ingredient is black beans. Once you get used to it, you can’t taste the black beans, but you certainly will notice how much more delicious and dense your brownies are!
You can either use canned black beans for a simple fix or beans you’ve got cooked from scratch. Amazing flour-less black bean brownie may be a moist, chocolatey, and delicious brownie.
These black bean brownies are easy to make, fudgy in texture, and healthy for you as well. It is also a low-fat, gluten-free brownie that’s made with no flour and no butter!
If you’ve never had black bean brownies, you’re certainly in for a treat!
Full of healthy ingredients like black beans, eggs, 100% unsweetened cocoa powder, and cinnamon, these brownies pack some serious nutrients like fiber, protein, and iron that you would not normally receive from an average brownie made with all-purpose flour.
And the best part is they do not taste like beans at all! Beans are the last thing on your mind when you get a bite of these. It is pretty amazing how tasty they are.
What Are Black Beans?
Black beans are classified as legumes. Also known as turtle beans because of their hard, shell-like appearance, black beans are, in fact, the eatable seeds of the factory.
Like other legumes, black beans are prized for their high protein and fiber content. They also contain several other crucial vitamins and minerals that are known to profit moral health.
Black beans are about the size of a pea, up to 1/ 2- inch long, with a boat shape common to kidney beans. They’ve got satiny black skin and a white center.
Black beans are enjoyed by numerous societies around the world and are packed with flavor.
One of further than 500 kinds of kidney beans, the black bean is native to the Americas but has become popular worldwide. In Louisiana Cajun and Creole cookery, the turtle bean has come a chief.
Black beans are about the size of an oblong pea, up to 1/ 2- inch long, with the slightly less pronounced boat shape common to kidney beans. As per their name, black beans have black skin and a white center.
When cooked, the beans have a delicate texture with a strong, slightly sweet flavor. Black beans aren’t pricey to buy, especially in bulk.
Black beans are legumes, which include beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts. There are several types of black beans, including Domino, Black Magic, Blackhawk, Condor, and Raven.
Black turtle beans are the most common and the most readily available in grocery stores in dried and canned forms.
Plenty Of Reasons For Using Black Beans
Brownies are dark brown. Using a black bean in your brownie will only darken the brownie, making it a somehow obvious choice. But why even consider putting these beans in your brownies?
Flour Free (or reduced flour) Brownies
First of all, people use black beans to take out the flour from the brownies to accommodate the recipe to someone with celiac disease. In that case, the starches from the black beans will help thicken the batter and make it creamy. However, if you are more into cakey brownies, you might be disappointed. Wheat flour helps create that lighter, airy structure. Both the gluten proteins and the starches help set the cake structure. Taking it out will make the brownies gooier. If you are more of a gooey brownies person, though, this works great.
Researchers have focused on using black beans in brownies to reduce the amount of fat and thus calorie content of the brownies. They replaced the shortening with black bean puree. Participants in a study couldn’t change the difference up to 30% substitution. After that, they did notice a difference, even though they still found the brownies acceptable.
Black beans, like more legumes, contain a good amount of fiber. We, humans, need sufficient fiber. Especially in the west, we often lack enough of it, thanks in part to fiber-less brownies! Adding some brownies in there may just help a little.
Why Black Beans Specifically?
So far, most reasons (apart from the color) are not specific to black beans. Other types of beans could have fulfilled those roles. And, in all honesty, probably a lot of them can. We’ve probably just not tried/published them! Some beans might have too strong a bean flavor (e.g., kidney beans). At the same time, others might be too light in color to give that intense dark color!
Garnishing Black Bean Brownie:
For now, we will be assuming, though, that you will be sticking to your black beans. If you plan to use them, a good understanding of both the recipe and ingredient is helpful.
Black beans contain a lot of starches and complex carbohydrates, barely any sugar or fat, but again a good amount of protein. Also, the carbohydrates in black beans have already absorbed a lot of moisture. Since black beans contain a lot of water, you should reduce the amount of moisture you’d normally add to your recipe. Where flour will still thicken liquids considerably during baking, black beans will not do that as much.
Using Black Bean Flour
Getting rid of high moisture content in black beans can be done by using dried, milled black beans with black bean flour. This is especially useful if you are not using any wheat flour! Black bean flour is not as commonly available. But if you decide to use it, you have a few more opportunities to balance the moisture content of your brownies if you still find them too wet.
Colour and Flavor
Black beans are black, of course. This is what makes them ideal for brownies, which are dark in color naturally. If you aim to develop a lighter-colored product, you could simply consider another type of legume! Most legumes have similar, though not identical, structural properties. Colors and flavors are very different, though, making them suitable for slightly different applications.
How Do The Beans Disappear Into The Brownies?
Baking with beans mostly means tasting beans. But it does not have to be that way always! Sometimes you can bake with beans and not taste them. Instead, you will just taste brownies.
First, rinse and drain a can of black beans. Be sure you rinse them still as you’ll while not losing any of the beans. They might break. Since we are going to blend them, it does not matter.
Then, you could use a food processor or a hand blender to make those beans into a puree. Generally, it is easier to get every last drop of puree out of the food processor. Therefore, it is better to use a food processor.
The only equipment you need is any blender or food processor. A blender will mean a smoother puree. But even if your puree isn’t 100% smooth, you still will not taste beans in the brownies.
The only ingredients are a can of black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla, a touch of baking soda, salt, and some brewed coffee. That’s all. They are tender as could be, plus rich and not-too-sweet.
Is There A Difference Between Canned Black Beans And Dried Black Beans?
Nutritionally, canned and dry beans are the same. The major difference is that canned beans contain more sodium compared to dried black beans.” Aim for under 140 mg of sodium or less per serving or rinse canned beans in a colander before using them.
While they take a longer time to prepare, dried beans have some benefits too. They’re lower in price and easier to buy in huge amounts.
Are Black Beans Better Than Other Beans?
All beans are excellent since they are nutrient-dense and super filling. However, black beans pack a little more fiber and magnesium than their counterparts, so they have got a leg-up on some other legumes.
Are Black Bean Brownies Good?
These brownies are not fudgy, but they are not cake-like in the traditional sense. They look cakey, but they are smooth in texture. They melt in your mouth and become almost pudding-like inconsistencies. Therefore, they are very healthy.
How About The Taste?
You do not taste the beans in these brownies. The vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and a bit of brewed coffee take care of that (no, you do not taste the coffee either—just the chocolate!).
And these brownies still give a lot of fiber without any downside. This also means you can make moist and rich gluten-free brownies—without any specialized flours or other ingredients.
Ingredients In Black Bean Brownie:
To make these brownies, here is what you need:
Black Beans –
One 15-ounce can is all you need. Make sure to drain and rinse them properly before using them.
Eggs help in keeping the brownies moist and rich. They also act as a leavening agent alongside the baking powder.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder –
Adds pure chocolate taste we all admire! Regular cocoa powder is often used, but you can use dark cocoa powder if you are a dark chocolate lover.
Granulated Sugar –
Helps in adding a touch of sweetness to the brownies since the cocoa powder has none.
Unsalted Butter –
Using a pinch of unsalted butter helps in keeping the brownies moist. You can also use vegetable oil instead of unsalted butter if you are keen on reducing fat content in your diet.
Ground Cinnamon –
A combination of cinnamon and chocolate tastes great! You can avoid using cinnamon if you do not want to disturb the pure chocolate flavor.
Baking Powder –
This acts as a leavening agent and helps in giving the brownies a little rise, so they’re not completely flat.
Vanilla Extract –
Helps the chocolate flavor pop.
A pinch of salt helps to balance out the sweetness in these black bean brownies.
Chocolate Chips –
You can top your brownies with these right before baking for an extra chocolate flavor.
How To Make Black Bean Brownies
The best part about these black bean brownies is that no hand stirring is required. You do not need to use any bowls, let alone two separate bowls for wet and dry ingredients. All you need is just a hand blender. Just put all of the ingredients into your blender (except for the chocolate chips) and blend until it gets smooth.
Pour the batter into a baking dish, top with your favorite chocolate chips, and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes.
When they are done, you should get something that looks fudgy, Chocolatey, Irresistible.
Nutritional Information of a Black Bean Brownie:
- Serving: 1 black bean brownie
- Calories: 117kcal (6%)
- Carbohydrates: 16g (5%)
- Protein: 3g (6%)
- Fat: 5.3g (8%)
- Saturated Fat: 1.5g (9%)
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 31mg (10%)
- Sodium: 49mg (2%)
- Potassium: 92mg (3%)
- Fibre: 1.4g (6%)
- Sugar: 11.4g (13%)
- Vitamin A: 50IU (1%)
- Vitamin C: 0mg
- Calcium: 20mg (2%)
- Iron: 0.7mg (4%) Click here to know more
Black Bean Brownie Recipes:
Fudgy Black Bean Brownie:
These Black Bean Brownies are easy to prepare, healthy, and completely flourless. All you need is a can of black beans and a blender with a few simple ingredients.
- 1 can of black beans rinsed and drained
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons flavorless oil, like canola or sunflower (45 mL)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla (5 mL)
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder( 30 g)
- ⅔ cup sugar(120 g)
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp finely ground or instant coffee optional
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips 60 g
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line an 8-inch square cooking pan with parchment paper. Grease the paper with cooking oil and set the pan aside.
- Place the beans, eggs, oil, vanilla, and coffee in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Place the cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and whisk to combine well in a large bowl.
- Create a well in the center of the cocoa powder mixture and add the bean mixture. Mix until well-combined. Add at least half of the (optional) chocolate chips to the batter and mix to combine. The mixture will be thickly pourable.
- Pour the obtained mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread it into an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly on top of the batter, and press down gently to help the chips stick to it.
- Place the baking pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the top part springs back when pressed gently with a finger. Remove the pan from the oven, place it on a wire rack (still in the pan) and allow it to cool.
- Remove from the pan and cut them into the shape of a square.
- For cleaner slicing, cover and chill the bars in the pan for about 30 minutes before removing them from the pan and slicing.
Recipe Tips and Variations:
- A lot of the brownie batter can get left behind in the blender after stirring. Use a spatula to get as much of the batter out as possible and into the baking pan.
- Looking to cut out some of the fat? Substitute applesauce for the butter in the recipe.
- Not a fan of white sugar? Use maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar instead.
- To add a hint of peanut butter, use half chocolate chips and half peanut butter chips.
- For gooey brownies, remove brownies when the center still jiggles some. For firmer brownies, cook till the toothpick comes out virtually clean.
- For really thick brownies, the recipe and add 15 extra minutes to the cooking time.
Some Practical Concerns
When you are looking at using black beans, the first aspect to consider is storage capacity. If you are making brownies at home, you can pull open a can of black beans and use them. However, if you are planning on making these on a larger scale, that becomes more problematic. You will need to transfer to larger packaging formats or even cook the black beans on site.
There are a few potential substitutions that you could use:
- Melted butter or ghee can be used in place of coconut oil if you are not a fan of coconut oil.
- Any granulated sugar works in place of coconut sugar. So, you could use any!
- You could use maple syrup in place of honey if desired.
- Half peanut butter chips can be used instead of half chocolate chips.
How To Serve These Brownies?
These brownies taste great, and however, unlike most brownies, these are even better when served cold. They are very delicate when warm and do not have any gluten to hold them together. So you will want to cool these, in the baking pan, in the fridge until they are totally cold. Then you can lift them out and cut them. They taste best just out of the fridge, so you will want to make them ahead of time for a special occasion and pull them out of the fridge only just before serving.
Vegan Peppermint Black Bean Brownie:
- 1 can unsalted black beans (thoroughly rinsed and drained )
- 2 eggs
- 3 tsp coconut oil (melted)
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 heaping cup raw sugar
- 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (non-dairy, gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons finely crushed candy canes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and gently grease a quick bread pan.
- Prepare a flax egg by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor. Stir a couple of times, and then let rest for a few minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix until it turns smooth.
- Add 1-2 tsp water or almond milk if the batter appears too thick, and stir again. It should be slightly less thick than chocolate frosting.
- Add in peppermint extract a little at a time. Then stir in chocolate chips.
- Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin and smooth the tops with a spoon.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops get dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides.
- Remove from oven and let cool for twenty minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so remove gently with a butter knife. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so do not be concerned if they seem too moist – that’s the point. Plus, they are vegan, so it does not matter anyway.
- Dust with crushed candy cane and serve immediately. Topping them with coconut whipped cream makes them ultra decadent and pairs perfectly with the chocolate-mint flavor.
- Store them in a container for up to a few days. Refrigerate them to keep longer.
That’s it! Your vegan peppermint black bean brownies are ready.
Black beans can be easily used for desserts. The taste might be different as compared to the original dessert recipes. Black beans are surely a healthier switch for those high-carb desserts.
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