Black bean and plum brownies (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free)

This is going to be one of those rare once in a few months or even once a year posts. I’m not going back to sharing recipes, but this one turned out so well, I just needed to share. Hope you enjoy.

So I have this rule that I must have something sweet in the house almost at all times. You just never know when you want to have some sweet treat with your tea or coffee or after dinner. But, of course, these desserts have to be as healthy as possible. I want to satisfy my sweet tooth and also nourish my body. And if my son, Alex, wants to eat dessert instead of something healthier, I don’t have to feel like I’m indulging him while not providing him with the nourishment he needs.

Plus I get to be that great mom that allows dessert almost any time her child wants it. Luckily, I have a son who is a great eater who only rarely eats dessert instead of something better for him. Kids given healthy options will eat healthy.

I’ve been working part time at a local vegan restaurant, where I make several desserts every time I work. This means I haven’t really been in the mood to make desserts at home. I want my son’s childhood to be filled with good eating memories and so I knew I needed to change that. Brownies have been on my mind recently, and I really wanted to make them using black beans. I had made a really delicious batch about a year ago, but I never wrote down the recipe, so I used this brownie recipe as a guide.

My son is allergic to cocoa as well as apples. Luckily I have tons of baked plums that we canned. I knew it would just work. Chocolate and plums go hand in hand. The results really are delicious. And these brownies really can be eaten instead of a meal. An added bonus is that these have very few ingredients (you probably have most if not all of them at home) and are so simple to make.

brownie

ingredients:
3 cups black beans (cooked or canned – rinse)
1 flax egg (1 tbsp. ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp. warm water)
1 cup baked plums or sugar-free plum jam
1 cup carob or ½ cup cocoa/cacao
4 tbsp. coconut oil
3 tbsp. carob molasses or your favorite vegan liquid sweetener (if you prefer sweeter desserts, add more)
½ tsp. salt
Optional: nuts to add in or sprinkle on top (I add cashews in the middle and almond slices on top)

Combine all ingredients and blend until fairly smooth and uniform. Spread into a silicone square baking dish. At this point, you can mix in walnuts or some other nuts. Bake at 175°C (350°F) for about 35-40 min.

Note: If you use cocoa instead of carob, you may have to add more sweetener. Taste the dough before you bake it to make sure it is adequately sweet for your tastes.

You can make carob or chocolate frosting to add once it is baked. I just spread some carob molasses and sprinkled the top with almond slivers.

Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Make them this weekend and let me know how they turn out.

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