Black bean and applesauce flourless brownies

I know, what a long title, and such crazy things to put into brownies. I’ve always wanted to try a black bean brownie ever since I heard about them, especially since they’re made flourless.

I have nothing against flour or gluten, mind you, all I wanted was ways to incorporate more healthy stuff into our diet, and we eat plenty of regular wheat flour from bread. However, we don’t eat much beans or lentils.

And the applesauce? Well… I made way too much applesauce yesterday, so I figured I may as well put it to good use. Also, it is a common way to not only increase your fruit intake, but also decrease the calories and fat in your baked products. Note no oil or butter is used, but it is not “fat-free” due to the egg, chocolate and nuts used.

Black Bean and Applesauce Flourless Brownies
Makes: 9in square pan
Ingredients:
340g cooked black beans
100g plain cooking chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
120g unsweetened applesauce
1 medium egg
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup or agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
A handful of chopped pecan nuts (optional)
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Grease or line a 9-inch square brownie or cake tray.
  2. Using a food processor, pulse the black beans and chopped chocolate until mixed. Add in cocoa powder, applesauce, egg, honey or maple syrup or agave nectar, vanilla paste, and salt. Mix again until a batter forms. Scrape the sides of the food processor and pulse some more just to ensure evenness.
  3. Pour the batter into your prepared baking tray and smooth over with a spatula. If using, scatter chopped pecans over the top and gently push the pecan bits into the batter.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 35 minutes. Remove from oven when baked and let cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from tray onto a cooling rack.
  5. Slice into your preferred serving size when cool.

When it first comes out of the oven, there will be a slight spring when you touch the top, almost sponge-like, but this will shrink on itself as it cools to give a dense, fudge-y texture.

Black bean and applesauce flourless brownie.
Black bean and applesauce flourless brownie.

The taste is of dark chocolate, but that’s not surprising given that I’ve used plain chocolate. If you don’t like dark chocolate, feel free to change it over, the colour and taste will be different. This is not very sweet. It does crumble easily (you can see where there are cracks on the surface).

Dense, fudge-y texture when you cut into it.
Dense, fudge-y texture when you cut into it.

It’s not a bad healthy substitute for brownies, and it’s great for those who are trying to avoid refined sugar but not wanting to give up on treats, but I think I’d still take the real thing with alllllll the sugar if I’m really treating myself.

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