Monday, March 22, 2010

I jumped on the bean-wagon

Similar to the Green Monster craze, there is a phenomenon sweeping across the interwebz (ok, at least some message boards I frequent) that involves hiding awesome vegetables in an unlikely recipe, one that ultimately masks the veggies' flavors (or lack thereof) and makes the eater incredulous that s/he could possibly be eating THAT, in THIS. Confused? I'm talking about black bean brownies, folks. Seriously. With avocado. Awww, yeah.

I first came across this recipe on branny's blog, but missed the fact that Cara was the mastermind behind this version until today. I think this is one of the very few recipes I made (almost) as written, with no ad-libbing apart from my sugar switch.

I used a bag of black beans that I'd frozen the last time I made a big batch in the slow cooker. If you want to prepare beans this way, 1 2/3 cup beans (no liquid) is equivalent to a 15.5 oz can. I rinsed and drained, as I would have with a can, once they were thawed.

Both bloggers list the weight of the avocado, which I found helpful since Branny's recipe calls for one small avocado, and Cara's recipe states "1/2 of a ripe avocado." Half of mine more than met the weight requirement, so I left it at that.

The one substitution I made was to use Sucanat in place of the white sugar called for--again, I went by weight, just as I did for the cocoa powder and avocado.

I love my food scale!

Here is the batter, ready to go in the oven. I am not very good at parchment-lining.

And, done!

I pulled these out of the pan and cut off the cracked edges for us to eat tonight, frosted with a little homemade (not clean) buttercream, and will save the rest for tomorrow. I hear these are even better the next day, if they last that long, and I would love to know just *how* that is going to be possible.

Small, but a rich and satisfying end to a midweek meal. The H tasted a piece before they were frosted, told me it was good, then asked where the other half of the avocado (he saw the pit-half sitting on the counter) had gone. I asked if he really wanted to know. His reply? "Is it in the brownies? You can tell me. I already said I liked them." I appreciated his enthusiasm and lack of shock.

Black Bean Brownies with Avocado
serves 12

1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup egg whites or egg substitute
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 of a ripe avocado (60gm)
6 Tbsp cocoa powder (30gm)
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 Tbsp white sugar (75gm) (I used Sucanat)
2 teaspoons instant espresso (omitted because I didn't have any)

1. Preheat oven to 350* and line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.

2. Combine beans, egg whites, agave, and avocado in food processor and blend until completely smooth. Add remaining ingredients and continue blending. Scrape down the sides of the processor once or twice.

3. Spread batter into parchment-lined pan and bake in preheated oven 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Nutrition information:
Calories: 98
Total fat: 1.2g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 134.6mg
Total carbs: 19.5g
Fiber: 2.7g
Protein: 4.2g


  1. YUM! I too have seen these all over but have yet to make them. Maybe someday =)

  2. I want to make these!!! :-)
    Also... I have the same food scale and I love it!

  3. Tasha, I think you'd like them--is there a liquid vegan egg substitute?