Natalie Timperio

Senior InsideOut Editor

 

Ingredients: Brownies

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup agave syrup

1/2 cup self-rising flour

1/2 cup egg whites

1/4 unsweetened cocoa

2 tbsp vanilla

1 tsp baking powder

6 tbsp semisweet mini chocolate chips

Ingredients: Icing

6 oz. fat-free cream cheese

1/4 cup agave syrup

2 tbsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp semisweet mini chocolate chips, melted

 

Directions: Brownies

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray (don’t grease) a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

3. In a processor, mix all brownie ingredients (except chips) together. If you don’t have a food processor then get out the ol’ muscle and manually mix.

4. Chop on high, until smooth.

5. Blend for another 20 seconds.

6. Add the chips and stir well. Spread onto baking dish.

7. Bake for 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

8. Let cool at room temperature. If you don’t, cleanly spreading the icing will be almost impossible.

 

Directions: Icing

1. With a whisk attachment on an electric beater, blend all ingredients until light and fluffy. Again, if you don’t have an electric beater then manually whisk.

2. Spread evenly over the top of the cooled brownies.

3. Using a spoon, swirl the 2 tbsp melted chocolate chips on top.

4. Allow it to set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

 

Nothing goes better with a glass of milk than a rich chocolate brownie. Of course, indulging in a dessert like this is perhaps not the best of choices for the calorie-conscious. So, how to enjoy a brownie without enduring its fat-inducing side effects? The answer: black beans. If you’re a frequent viewer of Dr. Oz or simply a health fanatic, then this ingredient will come as no surprise to you. If not, then note that black beans are the secret ingredient in making the healthy brownie – yes, these words can go together. 

Trust me; I too curled my lip at the initial thought of mixing a lunchtime/dinner food with a dessert. But allow me to describe what a black bean brownie tastes like: exactly like a regular brownie, but perhaps with a slightly drier texture and a less sugary taste. The point here is that you can’t taste the black beans (hallelujah!). I’d equate the taste to the low-fat substitute of any other of your favourite foods and desserts: perhaps not as delicious, but definitely not as calorific. So make a batch for your friends but keep ‘the secret ingredient’ quiet and see if they notice any sign of it – chances are, they won’t. Just tell them it’s a low-fat, calorie-wise recipe because, well, that’s exactly what it is.

This brownie recipe is made healthy by other ingredients as well. For example, agave syrup is used here as a replacement for corn syrup, which typically is very sugary. Another healthy substitute in this recipe is egg whites as an alternative to whole eggs, as egg yolks are typically high in cholesterol and fat. Though these ingredients may be a little more costly, it’s without a doubt worth it, particularly if you’re looking to lose or maintain weight while still enjoying a dessert favourite. 

These brownies and no more time consuming than your typical recipe, unless of course you include premade boxed brownie recipes. Just don’t shy away from what could be your new favourite dessert.

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