Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Smooth Move Black Bean Brownies

As I disclosed yesterday, I am continually experimenting with recipes that are high in fiber and appealing to kids.  The Fruit Paste and Natural Laxative Mixture recipes that were given to me by my daughters GI doc are good on their own as a substitute for jam, but are especially useful when hidden in recipes, such as the Black Bean Brownies that I make to include in my daughters lunch box for school.

I began experimenting with Black Bean Brownies over a year ago and have tried out several different recipes.  There were aspects of each recipe that I liked, but I wound up creating a hybrid of 2 recipes.  The base recipe that I began with was one that I found at Allrecipes.  Their Black Bean Brownies Recipe was good, but lacked a bit of lightness for my taste.  The addition of instant coffee is brillian, however, as it does help to mask a bit of the bean taste.

The second recipe I tried was from the Minimalist Baker Blog.  This Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownie recipe is great if you need to avoid eggs and/or gluten, and it introduced me to the concept of a Flax Egg, but mine turned out exactly as pictured on the blog, dense.

My experimentation has continued over the past year, and has led me to the following iteration of a Black Bean Brownie.  I find that they work best if cooked in a mini-muffin pan.  They cook more completely and are a bit less dense than when baked in an 8x8 pan, or standard size muffin tin.  I have problems with anything larger than a mini-muffin not holding together completely.

Smooth Move Black Bean Brownies

1 15.5 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 eggs
4 ounces prune butter, fruit paste, or natural laxative mixture
1/4 cup cocoa
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Add all ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, to blender.  Blend until smooth, making sure to scrape blender pitcher occasionally to ensure that all ingredients are mixed thoroughly and completely smooth.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Place by heaping tablespoon into mini-muffin pan.  Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, or until dry in appearance and springy in the middle.

Note - as I indicated in my entry regarding the preparation of the fruit paste and natural laxative mixture, I burned out my blender.  I tried preparing this using my Food Grinder this week and it worked great.  I ground the black beans through the food grinder and then mixed in the remaining ingredients using my Stand Mixer .  There is always more than one way to skin a cat!

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