Take running, for example. I’d really like to become a runner. It seems like a great idea! When it’s nice out, what could be better than to work the mind and the body outside, soaking in some glorious-but-sometimes-fleeting peace of mind with sunshine (perhaps the best cocktail there is.)?
But then I try to run, and forget that I am not, in fact, a runner. Every time I work up the gumption to run, the days thereafter are agony. By the time I can walk with only a slight limp, I have forgotten that I am not a runner, and the vicious cycle continues. Apparently, if your body isn’t used to something, you shouldn’t just take it on a long run “just because.” You’re supposed to engage in the frequency method–doing a few miles a few times a week until your body is ready to take it to the next stage. For some reason, I simply can’t believe that an ex-college swimmer can’t go for a 5 mile run. And so, alas, I’m still not a runner.
Where am I going with this? Well, I’ll tell you.
I love desserts. But, I really only love bites of them…and I really like to make them more than I like to eat them (Am I even allowed to say that?!? Don’t judge. Please, don’t judge.). My husband loves desserts. I love my husband. So, I wanted to help him walk the walk of eating healthfully while indulging in one of his favorite things (perhaps second to only yours truly: chocolate).
Enter the Black Bean Brownie. I know, I know. They sound absolutely disgusting and crazy, and border on the offensive. In reality, they’re a revelation. They maintain their chocolate goodness, sport an entire can of black beans (great fiber and protein!), and have minimal oil and sugar. They may even be better for you than a protein bar.
Okay, I made that up.
But, so what? They definitely taste better than a protein bar. Plus, it’s not even really that crazy to combine the two. Black beans and chocolate have been married before in culinary history, I’ll let you know.
Try my Black Bean Brownies. Just try them. You’ll still want that glass of milk to go along with the decadence of a brownie, but you’ll still feel good about yourself after having one… or even two.
I may have one myself after my run today…wish me luck!
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup agave nectar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup chocolate chips (mini if you have them)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 8 by 8 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Place beans in food processor; puree until smooth. Add remaining ingredients in the food processor, except for the chocolate chips. Blend until combined.
- Add ¼ cup chocolate chips, pulse. Add remaining chocolate chips.
- Transfer batter into prepared ban.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares. (I would recommend cooling them in the fridge.)