Growing up, brownies were not something we had often or even at all. We grew up with traditional Italian sweets, typically made with eggs, white flour and sugar. As tasty as they are, having them regularly isn’t always the best choice. Nowadays, we enjoy these treats on special occasions or when we visit grandma.
When incorporating more plant-based meals into our diet, I made it a mission to ensure it included nutritional benefits, rather than omitting flour and refined sugar. Not always an easy feat and just because something is vegan, does not necessarily make it healthy and that is an important concept to acknowledge when talking about different diets. When baking plant-based, your using whole foods to create the recipe and rely less on processed foods, such as white flour and sugar. Brownies and muffins are great to pack in some good nutrients without actually compromising the integrity of the dessert.
These flourless, dairy-less brownies are decadent, without so much guilt. I like these because they are rich in flavour and texture, but not super dense like a traditional brownie.
When playing around with this recipe I made a batch that was too liquid and to be honest I didn’t mind it, it came off like a molten lava brownie. Since all of the ingredients are cooked through, technically it is not raw batter. So if you want a more molten lava effect, I’ll give you a few notes at the bottom of the recipe.
I was slightly concerned because the batter would jiggle almost right to the end of the baking process. I did bake these for about 45 minutes and then decided to take them out. When baking your brownies you’re looking for a nice crack to show that they are done.
An integral piece to this baking process, is letting the brownies cool completely. Do not skip this step.
Black Bean Brownies
- 1 can of black beans (rinsed or drained) OR about 2 cups of cooked black beans
- 1/2 cup plant-based milk
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 date, pitted
- 3 tbsp avocado oil (or any neutral oil)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 flaxseed egg or 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (reserve some for the top or add extra)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Take a 8×8 square pan and line it with parchment paper
- In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients except chocolate chips. Blend well. The batter should be thick, but not too thick. It should coat the back of the spoon without it all sliding off.
- Add chocolate chips and combine until mixed into batter.
- Pour batter evenly into the pan, you made need a spatula to smooth it out.
- Add extra chocolate chips or chopped nuts on the top.
- Bake for about 30 minutes (some ovens that don’t maintain their heat well may need to bake for up to 40 minutes)
- Let the brownies cool for about 10 minutes and remove from the pan and cool for at least 5-10 minutes more.
- Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or as is.
*If you want a more molten lavva effect, add 3/4 cup milk and bake it for 40 minutes.
*Another option is to swap some of the sugar with a liquid sweetener, such as maple syrup. The point is get more liquid in the batter to give it the lava effect.