For a long time I’ve heard of a very different gluten-free brownie. However, I was never really motivated to prepare it. The main reason was that one of the ingredients seems to have nothing to do with the list of ingredients of a cake. And it’s hard to believe that it can be tasty. But that’s until you prepare this brownie, take the first bite and fall in love, because it’s all chocolate-good!!
Well, what’s the secret ingredient? Black bean! Yes, beans. The interesting thing is that you would never guess that this brownie is made of beans when tasting it. A tip: prepare it and offer it to relatives or friends and do not tell of what it is made of. Let them taste it, receive the compliments for the yummy brownie and then tell them the secret behind all the goodies. You can’t taste the beans at all. And the brownie feels very soft and moist. It´s perfect, I assure you!
As I said, this brownie is gluten-free. I did not use wheat flour in my recipe. But I would like to emphasize that I particularly have no issues in consuming gluten. In fact, I rarely have cakes, bread and biscuits or any other processed food, which usually contain gluten. However, I’m super curious to try and learn about new ingredients, and since gluten-free flours have become more popular and affordable I’ve used a variety of them whenever I prepare cake, bread, pizza or cookies.
Well, you must be thinking: but eliminating gluten from the diet is the secret to lose weight and to stay healthy? In my honest opinion, with the exception of those of you suffering from gluten intolerance, I do not believe that there is any need to avoid gluten if you seek a healthier body or want to get rid of those extra pounds. What often happens is that many people do indeed lose weight when eliminating foods that contain gluten. However, this happens simply because they end up eating less junk food and less bread, cakes and cookies. All these things are fully packed with bad calories – a combination of sugar, fat and flour – all super-processed and with no or little fiber. For example, when I posted the recipe of zucchini spaghetti, I mentioned that I love this spaghetti because I do not need to use wheat pasta. However that is not because I avoid pasta with gluten, but only because I try to include more fiber in my meals, making them larger, yet with fewer calories.
The gluten-free food industry is booming, and of course the more people believe that the problem of poor health and the “inability” to lose weight is due to gluten, the more they will profit. But this is not always the case. Therefore, if you want to lose weight, and stay healthy, then a easier way is to always prioritize food in its most natural form– i.e. whole-food and plant-based diet. Eat cakes and cookies only on special occasions and weekends. Fill your plate with many colors, coming from vegetables, grains, seeds and fruits.
And speaking of weekend, how about trying this brownie ;).
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- - 1 ½ cup (360 ml) or 1 can of drained and well rinsed unsalted black beans
- - 6 tablespoons of water
- - 2 tablespoon of grounded flaxseed (soak with 4 tablespoons of water for five minutes)
- - 3 tablespoons of corn starch - if you have no problem in consuming gluten, you can use oatmeal or wheat flour.
- - 1/3 cup of vegetable fat (I already tried with melted coconut oil and sunflower oil and both worked fine)
- - ½ cup of sugar, or molasses or maple syrup. If you use sugar, add 2 tablespoons of hot water and stir well
- - 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- - 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- -1/4 teaspoon of salt
- - 4 tablespoon of cocoa powder
- - Optional, but highly recommended: vegan chocolate chips (I didn't have chocolate chips, so use a bar of dark vegan chocolate).
- - Preheat oven to 170°C.
- - Blend the beans with the 6 tablespoons of water until you get a puree and set aside.
- - In a bowl, add cacao, corn starch, flax seeds, baking powder, vegetable oil (if using margarine, or coconut oil melt it first), sugar, vanilla extract, salt and the beans puree. Mix everything very well. Place into a baking dish (20 cm x 20 cm) and spread the mix evenly with a spoon.
- - Top with the chocolate chips and bake for 25-30 minutes at 170°C. Do not let them over bake; otherwise they will end up too dry.
- - Very important: wait at least 60 min before cutting them, this prevents them from breaking.
- - Render 8 pieces!
- I didn't have chocolate chips, so I melted 50 grams of vegan chocolate with 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil and drizzle over the brownie.