Over-the-top, indulgent brownies are wonderful once in a while, but let’s face it – they don’t always leave you feeling so good. But this, this is a feel good brownie. There’s no wheat gluten, fatty dairy products or cups of sugar for your body to deal with, but it’s not just what these brownies lack that makes them awesome. It’s loaded with protein – a can of black beans’ worth – plus it has bananas, olive oil, and fresh orange juice which will leave you feeling refreshed and nourished. Plus, it has plenty of rich, dark chocolate flavor and a moist, fudgy texture that’ll keep you reaching for more. So when you want a delicious brownie to snack on, and want to feel good afterwards – this brownie’s for you.
Dark and Fudgy Feel-Good Brownies
vegan and gluten-free
1 15.5 oz. can black beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained
2 ripe bananas, well mashed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
the juice of an orange
1/4 cup Stevia In The Raw
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1-2 teaspoons instant coffee granules (used to intensify the chocolate flavor; use more if you want, none if you don’t happen to have it on hand)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper, then spray the parchment with nonstick cooking spray. These brownies really like to stick to the pan, so stack the deck in your favor.
Dump the rinsed and drained black beans into a blender, and pulse them until they’re a fairly smooth liquid with a minor scattering of lumps and bumps. Add the bananas, olive oil, vanilla and orange juice to the blender, and continue to pulse until everything’s well combined. Scrape the sides and stir as needed to make sure the wet ingredients blend well.
Combine all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, and use a whisk to stir them together until they’re well combined. Pour the contents of the blender over the dry ingredients, and stir them together thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top of the brownies looks dry and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Once the brownies are baked, let them cool completely, and then pop them into the fridge overnight. That might seem cruel and unusual, but believe me, it’s not. Without that refrigeration time, the brownies are difficult to cut cleanly and remove from the pan. They also taste way better if you let them age in the fridge a bit before digging in. Eat these straight out of the oven, and they’re a little dry and don’t have much flavor. Eat them after a day or two in the fridge, and they’re moist, fudgy and delicious. So make them, pop them in the fridge for a day or so, and then come back and enjoy one of the tastiest healthy brownies you’ll ever eat.
If you want to dress these brownies up a bit, in keeping with their feel-good nature, stir a handful of walnut pieces or dried cherries into the batter before baking. A teaspoon of almond extract might also be a very nice addition to their flavor profile.