Wait! Before you skip over this recipe . . . it’s good! When I first read the title, I thought to myself, “No way!” (Plus, read on ~ Dr. Ferreri made a delicious Chocolate Cherry Pie using it for the crust.)
Since Valentine’s Day is just eleven days away, and chocolate and valentines go hand-in-hand, I decided to give the recipe a try to see if it would be worth making as a special treat for my family. I didn’t mention that beans were in it, and they liked them. However, I highly recommend keeping the black beans a secret ingredient!
I have a son with type I diabetes that requires accurate insulin coverage, so I calculated approximately 30 grams of carbs per brownie if the recipe is cut into 12, even pieces. Because of the beans, they didn’t affect his blood sugars in a negative way.
Black Bean Brownies
½ cup dark cocoa powder
2 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 (15 oz.) can of salt-free black beans (drain liquid)
1 large handful of sunflower seeds or 1 T. ground flaxseed
1 ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups pitted dates (chopped)
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup walnuts
Put the first six ingredients in a food processor. Turn it on and then gradually add the 2 cups of chopped dates, a few at a time until blended. Add the flour and continue to mix until everything is well blended. Turn off the machine, remove the blade, and stir in the nuts. Spread into a 13” x 9” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Note: I doubled the recipe, put the batter into the 13” x 9” stoneware pan, and increased the baking time to 55 minutes. It made 24, chewy brownies. I thought they were plenty sweet, but next time I’ll slightly reduce the applesauce, and add one or two ripe, mashed bananas to make them a tad bit sweeter for my family's tastebuds.
Dr. Ferreri made and taste-tested the following recipe. She and her friends gave it a “thumbs up!”
Chocolate Cherry Pie
Crust = ½ recipe of the black bean brownies
Spray a pie plate with olive oil, and spread the brownie batter into the bottom and sides. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
2 - 16 oz bags of frozen cherries, thawed
1 cup dates
1 Tbsp arrowroot
Drain the cherries and reserve the juice. Set aside ½ cup of cherries, and place the rest in a bowl.
Blend in Vitamix or blender: cherry juice, ½ cup cherries, dates, arrowroot
Stir the juice/date mixture in with the cherries, spoon into the crust. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
Enjoy! These recipes make delicious, health promoting treats. Please let us know how yours turn out!
image credits: hearts, cabotblog.com; brownie batter, Emily Boller