“Rain, rain, go away…” I remember singing over and over again when I was younger and stuck inside during a rainy summer day. After waiting all year long for summer to come along, the last thing I wanted was to be stuck inside because of the rain. Luckily, the great indoors has so much to offer, too. Why not use the day to make some tasty (and healthy) treats that you and the kids will both love?
We all know how important it is to establish healthy eating habits in children in order to help them develop into well-nourished adults. Few of us realize that teaching them to like healthy foods is far more important that teaching them to eat healthy. It’s natural for kids (and adults, too) to like foods that are sweet, salty and savory, but healthy foods can be all of these things. I know, I know, it seems like a joke, but yes, even sweets can be healthy.
As much as I try to eat healthy and stay away from things that aren’t good for me, I can’t stay away from chocolate. Seriously, I think my body actually needs chocolate regularly just to survive, so I needed to find a healthy way to satisfy that without hiding a candy bar in the freezer.
One of my favorite guilt-free pleasures is black bean brownie. It sounds weird, I know. I’ve tried a few of the avocado-based brownie recipes that are out there, but they just taste like avocado with cacao powder to me. The black beans have a much more malleable flavor and adapt a lot better to the sweets, if you ask me. Want to know something even better? This recipe, created by Minimalist Baker, is totally doable with kids, and is best made in cupcake pans so serving them is almost too easy. With a fudgy, moist inside, you’d never guess there’s only 140 calories per serving in them.
Another benefit of this recipe is that it’s vegan and gluten-free, but doesn’t compromise any of the taste, making it perfect for households with gluten sensitivities or vegans diets. But even without the dietary restrictions, these brownies are delish, and why not try out a new recipe with the kids? As we all know, they are the toughest critics in the kitchen. Try serving them up with a scoop of frozen yogurt or sorbet and watch the smiles grow.
Black Bean Brownies
1– 15 oz. can (~1 ¾ cups) black beans, well rinsed and drained
2 large flax eggs (2.5 Tbs. flaxseed meal + 6 T water) (using 2 egg whites or 1 whole egg works well, too)
3 Tbs coconut oil, melted (can substitute other oil of choice)
¾ cup cocoa powder (the higher quality, the better)
¼ tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ heaping cup of raw sugar, slightly ground using a coffee grinder or food processor
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Optional toppings: walnuts, pecans, semisweet chocolate chips, etc.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly grease a 12-slot standard muffin pan. Make sure the beans have been thoroughly rinsed and drained at this point.
- Prepare flax eggs by combining flax and water in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple times, and let rest for a few minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients (except optional toppings) and puree in food processor for about 3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. (You want the mixture to be pretty smooth so there are no big black beans in the brownie.)
- If the batter seems too thick, add 1-2 Tbs of water and pulse again. The batter should be slightly thinner than chocolate frosting but nowhere near runny.
- Evenly distribute the batter into the 12 muffin slots, and smooth over the top with a spoon.
- Optional: sprinkle your toppings of choice on the brownies.
- Bake for 20-26 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start pulling away from the pan.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes (this is the hard part.) They’re tender, so carefully remove from pan with a fork. The inside is meant to be really fudgy, so don’t worry if they seem too moist!
- Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Refrigerate or freeze to keep longer.
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