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Black Bean Protein Brownies

March 28, 2011

I’ve had a lot of difficulty trying to perfect the texture and taste of the black bean brownie recipe I tried a long time ago, trying to eliminate as much of the bad stuff in the recipe as possible, while still trying to retain as much of the moistness and chocolate taste. This past weekend was the Arizona dragon boat tournament, and for that I was prepared to try extremely hard to perfect the recipe for my teammates.

The recipe included a full can of beans, but I cooked mine from scratch, weighing out about a quarter pound of black beans and soaking for 6 hours, then simmering on low heat for about an hour before dumping into the mixing bowl.

For my protein powder, I did use Gold Standard, which is one of the cheapest, best tasting chocolate flavored protein powders I’ve tried, thanks to Amazon. While there are artificial sweeteners within the powder, this is the best product in its category that I could find in terms of flavor and results, and preferred to use it in the recipe.

And I did finally get to use the stevia baking mix I won back then at Paige’s Runningaroundnormal blog.

I’ve used this baking mix in other recipes before, and I would heavily recommend for people to use a mix of sweeteners with the stevia, even in this product, because a lot of it can really affect the taste and texture of the final baked good for inexperienced bakers. In this case, there is not very much stevia in the batter, which makes less of a difference in terms of taste and texture.

And of course, with all the ingredients together, the batter looked like mud that smelled really good.

I did create a good enough brownie that appealed to some of the team, who are used to slightly sweetened Asian red bean soup and said that it tasted similarly, except also including the flavor of chocolate. For those who have a sweet tooth, I suggest to add more sweetener and cocoa in the ratio of 3:1 into the batter. Otherwise, the recipe is as follows.

1 can of black beans, drained well
1 egg
100g (3 scoops) of chocolate flavored protein powder
2 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
4 Tablespoons equivalent of sugar (I used the Stevia baking blend)
1 teaspoon coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon oil
1 pinch salt
chocolate chips and nuts, to taste

(1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×9 baking dish.
(2) Mash the beans and beat in the egg. Add the other ingredients except the chocolate chips and nuts and beat until soupy and thick. Alternatively, blend all the ingredients in a blender.
(3) Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
(4) Pour mixture into the baking dish. If the ingredients were beated, stick in the oven for 15 minutes, until the top layer of the brownies is still slightly wet. If blended, pop it in for 10 minutes, until the top layer of the brownies is slightly wet. Baking times will vary depending on how much moisture is left in the brownies.
(5) Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then cut into 16 squares.

Each piece yields 65 calories, 1.5g fat, 7g protein, 7g carbohydrates, 1.5g fiber, and lots of iron and calcium, so that they are pretty guilt-free. Hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as I have!

Dai Dai

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