It’s just silly how long I’ve waited to share this black bean brownie recipe with you. All due to complete vanity. Let’s be frank, black bean brownies on their own are not total lookers. I’ll eat them plain any day cause I know how good they taste. But show them to a non-plant based folk and they will start to really question what is in that green drink you sip on every morning. I’ve been mixing a cocoa powder, almond butter, and maple syrup frosting together to try on them from time to time but found it too heavy and thick. Then I was watching one of Andy’s stories on Instagram and she added plant milk to her recipe! Brilliant. She also used peanut butter instead of almond. Double brilliant. I blended it up the next day and said thank you Andy! out loud as I licked the spoon clean and smothered my brownies in this peanut-butter-cup-heaven. Go make these brownies. Go make this frosting. I’ll wait.
Oh you’re still here? The brownies are in the oven and the frosting is already whipped in the fridge? Perfect, lets hang and chat a little longer. First off, wasn’t that incredibly easy?! One of my favorite things about eating a whole plant foods diet is how my ingredients seem to overlap from one meal to the next. I mean, I just took my favorite burrito bowl ingredient and put it in my dessert. And it taste amazing. Things could be crazier, and this idea isn’t new under the plant-based-sun, but lets take a moment to realize how neat that is! Healthy starches and fiber and protein are now packed in this chocolatey treat, and something like peanut-butter-cup-frosting exists in four plant based ingredients. Hallelujah!
I started eating dessert before dinner a little over a month ago and have been really enjoying the new routine. I usually eat a snack between two and four in the afternoon, sometimes it’s sweet and other times it’s savory. So on the day I made these brownies I sat with a glass of almond milk and a few of these squares and enjoyed my afternoon snack/dessert immensely. I’ve come to love having my last meal of the day be a warm dinner that really fills me up for the evening. My energy and digestion feels better this way, plus I don’t have to wait all day to dig into something like these brownies, so I’m all for it ;).
Are the brownies out yet cooling? Perfect. I like to chill mine before slicing and frosting, but you’ll read all about that in the next paragraph of the recipe instructions so I’ll leave that decision to you. Other than heating up your oven in the middle of the day, is there anything else you’ve been especially enjoying this summer? I think if I had to pick one ingredient that has been the star of my plate this month it would have to be tomatoes. Corn and zucchini happen almost every day right now too, but the tomatoes from the local farmers this year have been unreal. I keep eating plain tomato sandwiches with a little homemade spread thinking there can’t be anything better! But then I remembered how much I missed baking, something I do seldom in the summer. This got me thinking and yearning for fall, and thus these brownies were churned out of my kitchen to help hold me over. Plus this frosting! Have you tasted a spoonful yet? What am I saying, of course you have, you’re probably on cloud nine right now hardly taking in a word I’m uttering. Go enjoy your brownies and throw a second batch in the oven to share (we all know where the first batch is going). Make sure to pop over and tell Andy thank you for that frosting too – xx.
BLACK BEAN BROWNIES W/ PEANUT BUTTER CUP FROSTING
Fills one 9×5 loaf pan, makes 8 brownies or 4 servings.
2 tablespoons ground flax
8 tablespoons filtered water
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed & drained
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
frosting (makes a double batch, see note)
Recipe based off of Andy’s.
1/2 cup creamy, natural peanut butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk (or almond milk)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Begin by combining the ground flax and water in a small bowl. Whisk and set aside to thicken for five minutes. In a large blender container, or food processor bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients for the brownies. Add the flax egg last, cover, and blend until silky smooth. You may need to stop and scrap down the sides of the food processor a few times, or insert the tamper if using a blender to help it keep going. Above all else, make sure it is smooth before proceeding.
Line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment. Pour/scoop the brownie batter into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes for set but still gooey brownies (my preferred method) or 30 minutes for less gooey brownies.
Pull the sides of parchment to release the brownies from the tin and set the parchment lined brownies on a wire rack to fully cool. For neater brownies, once cooled, transfer to an airtight container and place a paper towel inside to capture any moisture. Refrigerate for a few hours before slicing and frosting. Other wise proceed to making the frosting and eating straight off the cooling rack. (Any brownies leftover should be refrigerated in this same way.)
Make the frosting by combining all of the listed ingredients in a blender and turn on low, working your way up slowly as the frosting begins to thicken and turn creamy. Similarly, use a food processor and stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed until creamy. Use right away, or transfer to an airtight jar and keep in the fridge until ready.
Slice the brownies and frost individually when ready to eat. ENJOY!
NOTES: This frosting recipe makes twice the amount you need for the brownies. I found making a smaller amount tough to blend smooth in a machine. You could always half the recipe if desired and try whisking it smooth in a small bowl. Otherwise, keep the second half batch of frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for another batch of brownies later in the week ;). It should keep for 7 days, and is amazing spread on other things (like toast). Not a bad thing to have at the ready.
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