Food Break Tuesdays: Black Bean Brownies

So I’ve noticed that many of the posts on here are very serious and contemplative, which is nice to an extent. Therefore every Tuesday shall be a “Food Break” from all the seriousness and fancy words. Disclaimer: I am not a fancy cook nor do I claim to be an experienced cook. Just an experimenter who loves to make things for her family. Additionally, I am a vegan by choice, but I will attempt to accommodate for omnivores because people have different views of what is “healthy,” and I do not want to discriminate against those who choose to eat things opposite me. Or I hope that omnivores choose the vegan choices at least sometimes!

I’ll start off with a recipe that is relatively healthy that both my omnivore family and I, the sole vegan, really enjoy: Black Bean Brownies. Fairly easy to put together as all one needs is a medium/large bowl and an 8 by 8 pan. At first I was wary because I believed all I would taste would be black beans; however, after trying my friend’s version, I was enamored at how fudgey and delicious the brownies were. I believe this recipe has been around since the 1980’s or so. Correct me if I am wrong! Anyway, on to the brownies!

Morgan Porter

Black Bean Brownies with Toasted Coconut
adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie and Minimalist Baker

> one 15oz can of black beans (or 1 1/2 cup cooked black beans)
> 2.5 tbsp flax meal mixed with 6 tbsp warm water (or 1 whole egg and 1 egg white)
> 3 tbsp coconut oil
> 3/4 cup cocoa powder (I used a mixture of dark cocoa powder and “regular” dutch process)
> pinch salt
> 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
> 2 tsp cinnamon
> 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp muscovado sugar or sucanat (or a liquid sweetener)
> 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
> 1/4 cup rolled oats ground until it becomes a flour (leave out if you want truly fudgey brownies)
> 3 tbsp unsweetened coconut
> optional: walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, peanut butter or other nut butter to swirl on top (leave out coconut if you choose that!), etc.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grab a medium sized bowl and mush the beans with a fork until they are evenly mashed. Pour all the other ingredients except for the flax meal, coconut oil, and unsweetened coconut into the bowl with the mashed beans. Now, get a small pot and pour the 6 tbsp of water and flax meal in it. Heat it over low/medium heat, stirring until it becomes the consistency of eggs. Once that occurs, pull off the heat and put the coconut oil in the mixture so it melts.
After the coconut oil melts, pour the flax-coconut oil mixture into the bowl containing all the ingredients. Now stir until the ingredients come together. The batter will be thicker than most. Stir in optional ingredients. Pour the batter into an 8 by 8 greased pan. As for the toasted coconut part, pour the unsweetened coconut into a skillet over medium heat, stirring until it becomes a nice light brown color. Pour the toasted coconut on top of the brownies, mushing it down a little (The toasted coconut will be a little loose after baking, so feel free to mix it into the batter).
Put the brownies in the oven for approximately 15 to 18 minutes. Pull out of the oven and let cool. Then place in the fridge for around one hour. They become more delicious the longer they sit! If you plan to let them sit in the fridge over night, make sure to pull them out around 15 minutes prior to serving them.

Morgan Porter

Overall, I really enjoy these brownies, especially if you put the chocolate chips in them! Sometimes I like to get fancy and swirl melted nut butter on top, but whatever suits your fancy, or dietary restrictions.