From Kathreen: What’s cooking {black bean brownies}

by kath_red on 13/06/2011

in Food

I have started up two new regular columns here at whipup – to replace my previous newsletter. My new newsletter will be available via email only and will contain lots of news and crafty links and special offers – so you should sign up (yes it is still free for those who asked) (sign up at the bottom of this post).

To replace my previous newsletter which was available here and via email I am adding a ‘Crafty news and links’ column and a ‘From Kathreen’ column. The Crafty news and links will include lots of tutorials, crafty news, special offers, competitions and all the other bits and pieces that come through my inbox and that I found on my travels through the web. The ‘From Kathreen’ column will be more personal stuff from me – what I am up, my craft, cooking, and kids adventures.

So here is my first in this series – What’s cooking.

Over on my other blog – that I share with my brother – I post the occasional recipe – this weeks it’s Chocolate bean brownies. I know totally weird – but strangely delicious and addictive. I have been researching no-wheat and no-sugar cooking as we are trying to be healthier and eat cleaner. This is part of cutting out all processed foods and getting back to basics with our cooking and eating.

I found the original recipe at 101 cookbooks – a really great cooking blog. I tweaked the recipe quite a bit and my final version is posted here. This is a great recipe for those trying to cut out wheat or who are gluten intolerant. It is a moist dark chocolate brownie made with fiber-and-protein-rich black beans – and it’s wheat-free. Also great if you are trying to cut out sugar! They make an excellent healthy treat for kids too.

But of course being the blog hound that I am – I had to find out a bit more about using black beans in cakes and sweets. Not sure really where this recipe originates – maybe adapted from the Asian use of red bean paste in sweets. And I came upon quite a few other recipes and ideas …

  • This recipe also includes a banana and used agave nectar as the sweetener.
  • This brownie recipe adds choc chips and peppermint essence.
  • This recipe adds apple sauce and muscovada sugar as the sweetener.
  • Here is another flourless and sugarless version – using dried fruits as a sweetener. With a good explanation of the whole no-sugar thing.
  • And here is another one – with the addition of cinnamon.
  • This recipe uses a little kahlua and coconut oil
  • This one has added peanut butter. mmmm.
  • This one is a bit different – with Carob, banana and agave syrup – looks pretty good.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 joanie June 13, 2011 at 6:45 am

Fantastic! Can’t wait to follow all these links, as we are already big fans of black beans I know these recipes will be an easy sell to my family. Thanks


2 amy June 13, 2011 at 7:56 am

I have celiac, so treats without wheat flour are always welcome! Thanks.


3 SusanM June 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm

I gave up sugar and dairy 5 years ago for health reasons. Desserts and baked goods are the hardest to make without either ingredient, so I have a limted repetoire of DF/SF recipes. Nice to find new recipes – this looks like a good option for birthday cakes and special occasions – will experiment to replace the butter.


4 kath_red June 14, 2011 at 2:16 am

I think you could possibly even leave out the butter, there is only a little in there – or use a mild flavoured olive oil instead.


5 Bronwyn June 14, 2011 at 12:24 am

I raced out to my supermarket to find no black beans! My 2 local Woolworths in Melbourne suburbs don’t stock them – can you tell me where you get yours from? I did use 2 tins of red kidney beans,but…not sure it has turned out super good. I have tried Stevia tablets before and they are super bitter, which is so weird when they are meant to be sweet! Do you find the powder bitter at all?

Thanks for the inspiration for a more healthier sweet – just got to convince the family now!


6 kath_red June 14, 2011 at 2:13 am

Hi Bronwyn
I get tinned black beans from an organic shop, but I have seen dried ones at the local IGA supermarket. If using dried beans you need to soak them overnight first then boil them till soft for about 30 mins before blending them.

Also I have used the stevia powder here – it does have a slight aniseed flavour which not everyone is in love with – which is why I suggest using vanilla essence – as it sort of counteracts the stevia.

Good luck


7 kath_red June 14, 2011 at 2:15 am

Just one extra note – I think black beans have a much milder flavour than kidney beans – if you are going to substitute any other bean I suggest plain white beans (cannellini beans) as they have a similar mild flavour and mushy texture.


8 Bronwyn June 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Thanks Kathreen – slice did not go down too well – one daughter picked up on the ‘Bean’ factor instantly and won’t go near it with a ten-foot pole! Kidney beans were difficult to get perfectly ‘mushie’ so will try again with cannellini – I used 1/4 cup of honey 1/4 cup of maple syrup – but not sweet enough – so will try again!


9 kath_red June 14, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Yeah – I never like kidney beans much – save them for chilli
Good luck with the next batch.
Ps – they are not super sweet and that might take kids a bit of getting used to – as they are tuned in to eating really sweet things – it takes a while to get your taste buds used to eating less sugar.
Also don’t be tempted to use artificial sweeteners in place of natural sweeteners


10 Amy June 16, 2011 at 10:29 pm

thanks for featuring my recipe!! :)


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