Friday, September 27, 2013

My Cooking Attempts: Black Bean and Avocado Brownies

I woke up earlier than usual this morning and I just couldn't go back to sleep. So what did I do? I baked some brownies! I tried a recipe for healthy brownies that I found through Pinterest. The pin originated from Bakeaholic Mama. This gluten free, protein filled, coffee-laced brownie will get you through your chocolate cravings without ruining your diet. Sounds too good to the true, right? I was a little skeptical as well, but I was won over as soon as I added the cocoa powder to the batter!

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 avocado
2 eggs
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Gather all your ingredients:

I forgot to photograph the eggs. Poor eggs! Leaving out an ingredient seems to be my M.O.
Note: I highly recommend Pernigotti cocoa powder. It's really made the difference in my chocolate baked goods. Also, I used crunchy peanut butter, since that's what I had on hand. I am sure creamy would be just as delicious, if a little less nutty. If you'd like you can also add a pinch of ground cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon). I did! It doesn't flavor the batter, so much as add an extra layer of "something special" to the brownies.Having tried these brownies before I also new to reduce the instant coffee from 1 tablespoon to 2 teaspoons.

I drained and rinsed the black beans and dropped them into the food processor with half an avocado. Make sure your canned black beans aren't flavored, otherwise your brownies will taste like garlic and onion. Puree until smooth.

Weird combination for brownies, right? Don't worry, it will get worse before it gets better. Hang in there, it will be worth it!
Transfer the pureed mixture from the food processor to a bowl. Mix in the eggs, honey and peanut butter.
Hint: spray a little non-stick into your measuring cup so that the honey and peanut butter slide right out. Otherwise it can get a little messy.

The original recipe did not specify if we should mix by hand or mixer so I used my mixer. This is what the mixture looks like after blending:

I know, not pretty. It has a horrible green/ brown color that looks good on no one and nothing! Add the cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, sugar, cinnamon, and coffee. It will immediately transform the batter!

Beat until smooth. Can you tell the difference? The cocoa powder and coffee really brought it to life!

Bakeaholic Mama recommends you transfer the mixture into a 8x8 greased pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. I decided to bake them as cupcakes or muffins. My goal was portion control! I filled the cupcake molds to the very top and baked them for 18 minutes. Remember every oven is different so your timing may vary. Adjust accordingly.

This is the final product. I saved the brownies for an after dinner surprise and served them with a scoop of my healthy banana ice cream. (I omitted the coffee from the ice cream recipe so I wouldn't have coffee overload with coffee flavored desserts.)

Looks delicious, right? It's cause they are! I couldn't even taste a hint of the avocado or beans. Instead I tasted mocha deliciousness! These healthy brownies are perfect for people who love a strong coffee flavor in their baked goods. If that's not your cup of tea, or in this case coffee, you may consider reducing the amount of coffee. If you are really watching your sugar intake you could probably get away with reducing the amount of sugar as well. Enjoy!

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