Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cake of the Week: Black Bean Banana Brownies

As you may remember, I had a pretty busy weekend. BUT no weekend is to busy for baked goods! Due to a visiting friend’s moral/dietary complex, the project was less decadent-layer-cake and more vegan-exploration than normal, (I’m none to judge – I’m sure she thinks my weekly mileage is inhumanly insane –we all have our quirks!).
It’s not that I don’t love animals, or think the meat industry is disturbing, or recognize that the best way to “go green” is to stop eating red meat. The thing is, I just really love food, and the thought of limiting my eating possibilities is just too depressing. I’m happy to eat vegan and vegetarian food (and do so often), I just do not want to be limited by self-imposed dietary constraints.
Anywho, I was actually very pleased with the results of this vegan experience! Especially when eaten with ice cream, chocolate sauce, and a sprinkling of granola for crunch.
[Sidenote: get some rice-cream if you’re going for the pure-vegan, or check out this site forDIY vegan ice cream.]

The brownies did not taste like beans at all (let’s be real, beans don’t actually have that much flavor anyways). There was definitely a strong banana flavor going on – but that’s pretty yummy when combined with chocolate. They had a really legit-brownie fudgy texture too! We went for the extra ¼ cup of sugar, and the instant oats. We also added half a bag of chocolate chips, but skipped the walnuts – I think that both would have been a bit much.
And a final selling point – they’re ridiculously good for you in all ways possible: protein (beans), vitamins (banana), and really low-calorie (so you can eat like 3 of these brownies for every one regular brownie!!)
Makes 9 squares:

15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 bananas

1/3 cup agave nectar

1/4 cup cocoa

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract
or a few drops mint extract
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup quick/instant oats

*optional chocolate chips
chopped walnuts
** if you’re bananas are really ripe (browning) you probably won’t need the extra sugar; I suggest making the batter without it, then taste testing it to see if you need to add more sugar.

1. Preheat 350F

2. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender

3. Blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed

4. Stir in the oats

5. Pour into a greased 8×8 in pan

6. Bake approx 30 minutes, toothpick test

7. Allow to completely cool before slicing

** if you find these brownies are too soft or too fudgey, add another 1/4 cup oats or flour
Nutritional Info:
(without optional ingredients)
each: 85 calories, 1g fat, 16g carbs, 4g protein
(with additional 1/4 cup sugar)
each: 105 calories, 1g fat, 21g carbs, 4g protein

And if you liked this, you might what to try these: Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes.