Brownie Points!

My love affair with chocolate is not something I have ever hidden. In fact, I’ve always embraced it. Why hide such a wonderful thing that brings so much joy to others????

When I started making healthier changes to my life back in 2013, I knew that my relationship with chocolate needed to have some boundaries…..more like the occasional visitation. The one thing I think people are surprised to learn about me is how important balance is in my life. Yes, I love living healthy and making quality choices with what I put into my body, however, I believe very strongly that you should never cut things you love completely out of your diet…..I feel like that only leads to bingefests and bad decisions. Instead, I believe you should balance your choices. Do I eat pizza and chocolate every day? Absolutely not. But do I deprive myself of them? Nope. I’ve just learned that having a slice or two of pizza with some salad is a much better option than eating a whole pizza, and I’m ok with that.

Over time I’ve learned healthier adaptations for the foods I used to binge on. Some people may roll their eyes and think that there is no way cauliflower pizza crust is any good, but trust me. Some of the healthier recipes I have come across or created I actually prefer over the original. Yes, you heard right!

Back to my love affair with chocolate…..how amazing is the brownie? Of all the treats in the world, brownies (especially my mother’s) have always ranked in my top favorites. For a long time they were the one treat I had failed countless times in finding a healthy alternative.

That is no longer the case.

I’d like to enter into the discussion my old friend, the black bean. I’ve written about them previously and think they are one seriously underestimated item in your cabinet. Awhile back I stumbled across a brownie recipe where black beans were used. I was open minded to the taste, thinking the black beans would be noticeable but that they would still be okay.

My apologies to the recipe for thinking it would be just “okay.” These brownies were incredible! Here’s how you make them!

Before you begin making the brownies, you must follow the first rule of thumb for handling black bean. Rinse the heck out of them! You don’t want the bean slime to join you in cooking, and you want to make sure you get rid of any additional sodium lingering.

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After the beans have been rinsed, it’s time to break out your food processor and get to work. You’ll start with just the black beans and process until their are smooth, then add in the rest of the ingredients with the exception of half of the chocolate chips (the full recipe is posted below). 2016-02-19 22.00.24

Pour batter into a greased 8 by 8 pan and place into an oven set to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top. Looks just like a pan of regular brownies, right??

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As you can imagine, the excitement of trying a new brownie recipe didn’t just appeal to me. Murphy was extremely focused on the brownies….too bad chocolate isn’t for dogs, Murph.

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Once the brownies have baked for 30-35 minutes (depending on your oven or when the brownies start to separate from the edge of the pan), remove them and let cool before you decide to enjoy them.

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So what did I think of this recipe? BEST EVER. You can’t taste the black beans at all, and they have a great fudge-like texture. Overall, they were a huge hit, and a much healthier one at that! I opted for dark chocolate chips, but you can go with semi-sweet if you prefer.

You may be nervous to try them because you don’t like black beans as a side dish. Trust me….you want to try these and give them a chance. If I brought you a brownie and didn’t tell you what the ingredients were, you’d never know black beans were in it. Don’t knock them until you try them! You may just be pleasantly surprised!

Here’s the recipe so you know what all you need! Happy Baking!

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