1. In a pinch, when I'm pressed for time and need a dessert I buy a mix from the health food store or natural section of my supermarket (Simply Organic and Bob's Red Mill have gluten free versions as well as Betty Crocker.) Hodgson's Mill has a whole wheat mix with flax that's good too if wheat isn't an issue.
I just replace half of the oil in the recipe with a 15.5 oz. can of drained, rinsed black beans that I puree in the blender with the other half of the oil and/or water – whatever the mix calls for and add into the mix.
It really improves the texture to me and makes them cut easily and pop right out of the pan. They're delicious and no one has realized what my change was!
2. Then I found a recipe in a magazine for Katharine Hepburn's Brownie recipe. Well I altered it to make it healthier and this is what I came up with.
½ stick of butter
2 1-oz squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 -3/4 cup sweetener of your choice (I like either Lakanto or coconut palm sugar) depending on how sweet you want them
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup flour (I've used coconut or rice flour) if gluten isn't an issue you can use whole wheat or white or a gluten free blend
¼ tsp salt
1 l5 oz. can of drained, rinsed and pureed black beans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees – butter and flour an 8” square pan (I dust with organic cocoa powder)
Over low heat in pan melt butter and chocolate – remove from heat. Stir in sweetener, eggs, beans and vanilla – beat well. Stir in flour and salt.
Add in any extras you like (dark chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried cranberries, chopped frozen cherries)
Scrape into prepared pan and bake about 40 minutes. Cool and cut into 2” squares. Serves 16.
3. This is another new favorite way to make brownies that my family loves:
If you do half the recipe in an 8" pan they'll be thicker - doubling it and putting it in an 8x11 pan makes thinner brownies but more of them and so delicious:
1 banana or about a cup of cooked, pureed sweet potato
2 tsp. vanilla
1/8-1/4 cup Lakanto (or coconut palm sugar)
Process in a food processor until smooth. Add into processor:
1 15 oz. can of organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup chocolate protein powder (the one I use is Slender FX Meal Replacement Shake Chocolate Fudge)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup almond flour or meal
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp. aluminum free baking powder
Process until everything is well incorporated and smooth. Spray your baking dish with spray oil or rub with softened coconut oil and spread your brownie mixture out, flattening out the top.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Cool on a rack and then cut into squares.
My family likes to have these with whipped cream or whipped coconut "cream"! Delicious!!