Lean Bean Brownie Dream
A surprisingly healthy brownie recipe
After posting my last recipe, I didn’t need long to come up with a new recipe. It was my husband’s birthday, and of course I wanted to make something delicious but healthy for him. He chose brownies, and although I know there are many healthy brownie recipes out there, I wanted to create a recipe that was more delicious and more nutritious than the others. I think I have achieved that with this healthy brownie recipe.
This healthy brownie recipe makes for a little fudgy brownies, just the way I like them. They are also very chocolaty, just sweet enough, and have a surprising form of protein!
Let’s find out what ingredients are in my healthy brownie recipe and why:
- In my opinion, brownies need real chocolate. Naturally, I chose dark chocolate (75% or more). Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, and iron. It also contains some caffeine. The glycemic index is low, meaning it won’t cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.
- Next, I just needed to add butter. The butter is needed for the consistency, but it is also not as bad as you think. In fact, it is good for you! I have written about butter before in my Power Pumpkin Breakfast Muffins recipe, and I will keep on writing about it, because I think it is a shame that so many people are so against it. Yes, butter is high in fat, but (good) fats are an essential part of nutrition; the body and brain needs (the good kind of) fat. Butter is packed with these healthy fats. And because it is a natural product, your body recognizes these fats and knows how to digest them. Butter will nourish your body and brain, makes you feel satisfied, it is a great source of energy, and can even help with fat burning. Do make sure you only buy high quality butter from grass-fed animals to gain all health benefits.
- Eggs are such a great ingredient in baking, I love them! In this recipe, they make the brownies more moist and tender. Because I don’t want these brownies to be cakey, I beat them only until they are mixed, and no further. Eggs provide protein and omega 9, -6, and -3 fatty acids. Always try to buy eggs from pasture-fed chickens because those are higher in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Maybe you have heard of Black Bean Brownies before, maybe you have not. Either way, I promise you an even more healthy surprise in this recipe! I can assure you that you won’t taste the beans, so let’s focus on the health benefits. Although all beans are healthy, black beans are one of the best choices you can make. They have more antioxidant activity than all other common legumes and they are high in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is great for your heart and bowels, helps keeping blood sugar spikes under control, and keeps you feeling full. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), black beans are considered warming. Perfect for winter!
And here comes the surprise: When beans and grains are combined, they form a complete protein in the same high quality as meat, eggs, or dairy! Perfect for this healthy brownie recipe.
- That is the reason I added spelt flour. Being a grain, it complements the black beans to form that complete protein. I used spelt instead of Wheat because Spelt is more nutritious and easier to digest. It is also an ancient grain that is not as cultivated as Wheat. Spelt is high in Amino acids, which help build muscle.
The taste of hazelnut meal can be quite dominant in baking. In this recipe, I considered that as a plus because chocolate and hazelnuts are a match made in heaven. The hazelnut meal also makes the bite a little chewier. Hazelnuts contain Chromium, which regulates blood sugar and helps with carb cravings. If you can’t find hazelnut meal, you can just grind them in a food processor.
- A little bit of Celtic sea salt will intensify sweetness and can also counteract the bitter flavors of the dark chocolate. I like using it because it is unrefined and it contains important trace minerals. I also think it tastes better than refined salt, Celtic sea salt has a much softer taste. Take a look at my energy bites recipe for more information on why I like to use Celtic sea salt.
- To sweeten, I used liquid stevia extract. I love using Stevia because it is a natural product that tastes sweet, it contains no calories and does not influence blood sugar. I use liquid stevia extract in this recipe because some powdered stevia extracts can have a slight aftertaste. This liquid version does not! Read more about how to choose your stevia in my Power Pumpkin Breakfast Muffins recipe.
- I added some coconut sugar because it has such a rich taste to complement the stevia. Coconut sugar is unrefined and contains vitamins and minerals that help your body to break down the sugar. It has low influence at the blood sugar level.
- Finally, I use vanilla extract whenever I can because it is a natural ingredient that gives about anything a richer taste that also deepens the sweetness of this healthy brownie recipe.
Now you know the secret of the healthy brownie recipe that makes a Lean Bean Brownie dream! Make them for a party and they will give you the energy to dance the night away, or have them for breakfast or as a post-workout snack. You can eat them any time of the day, and because I wanted to be sure about this advice, we were happy to try this out for you 😉 Please enjoy and share the secret!
Lean Bean Brownie Dream
- 3.5 oz 200 gr Dark Chocolate, 75% or more
- 3.5 oz 200 gr Butter, or about 10% less if you want them a little less fudgy
- 1 cup black beans rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup hazelnut meal
- ½ cup spelt flour
- ¼ tsp coarse celtic sea salt
- 1 tsp stevia extract
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
Preheat the oven to 350.
Line a cake pan with parchment paper or grease with coconut oil or butter.
Start with melting the chocolate and butter on the stove.
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, mix and set aside. (If you don’t have hazelnut meal, start with grinding the hazelnuts in the food processor for a few minutes. If it won’t grind well, you can add the spelt flour to increase the volume).
put the rinsed and drained black beans in the food processor and add the almond milk (or substitute with another kind of milk or even water), to puree the beans.
Add the butter-chocolate mixture to make a smooth mixture.
Beat the eggs with the vanilla extract and stevia extract (when you use liquid stevia) until they are mixed and add to the bean-butter-chocolate mix.
Mix wet and dry ingredients until you until you have an even consistency in your batter.
Scoop batter into cake pan.
Put cake pan into oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
Optionally you can add 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts for some additional crunch!