Sunday, March 15, 2015

Black Bean Mint Brownies (gluten, dairy, egg free)

Black Bean Mint Brownies (gluten, egg and dairy free)

We don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Germany, but it's fun to make things green and minty.
Specifically the minty part. I love the combination of chocolate and mint, and just today I happened to have some left over chopped pistachios for green decoration.
Actually the first time I heard of St. Patrick's Day was from my mom, back when I was a kid. I loved her stories about her college time in the 1950s, and she told me that once she visited a friend in Berlin who dated a US officer stationed there. So she had the unique occasion to spend St. Patrick's Day in an American Officer's Club. Evidently, they had the time of their life. I tried to imagine the picture, based on 1950 movies which I'd seen, and since then I was totally fond of "St. Patrick's Day".
It also happens to be the day my MIL has her name's day, too. No, not Patrick - her name is Gertrud. And the next day is DH's birthday! So, in some way we do celebrate - I think we could include good old St. Patrick, too.

These brownies turn out to be the moistest, most gooey brownies I've ever made. I know, I know, black bean brownies are starting to get old, but I'm fond of bean cakes and keep creating different versions all the time. After all, they are healthy. They're gluten free, low carb, rich in good protein and antioxidants from the beans and chocolate, no added sugar if you stick to erythritol or xylitol or stevia or a combination. My chocolate chips are sweetened with xylitol, too.
Good fat from the coconut oil and milk and a lot of fibre from the beans and the bran.
The bran which I use is ultra-fine gluten free oat bran with practically no carbs, just fibre which soak up a lot of liquid. Consequently, I had to increase the liquid from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup, but I'd recommend that you start with the 1/4 cup and then go ahead if necessary.
Oh, and not to forget that they're dairy free if you use 70% chocolate chips. I'm not vegan, so I could have used eggs, but then my diet already contains a good amount of eggs, and I don't think it's too good to put them in everything you eat.
Actually I prefer eating eggs in the form of egg dishes.
Kale frittata, anybody?
Um, okay, we're talking brownies right now.
Here you go.

Ingredients for one 8x8 inch dish (I cut them into 9 big squares)
  • 15 oz. black beans, cooked (about 1 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (or other plant milk)
  • 1/8 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter (or other nut or seed butter)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup erythritol or xylitol or sugar of choice (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 1/8 cup almond meal
  • 1/8 cup gluten free oat or rice bran
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • depending on the bran up to an additional 1/4 cup coconut milk (or other plant milk)
  • chopped pistachios, for decoration

  • Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C.
  • Grease an 8x8 pan or line with parchment paper.
  • Melt 1/8 cup chocolate chips with 2 tbsp. coconut oil and 1/4 cup coconut milk.
  • Combine black beans, cashew butter, vanilla, erythritol, xylitol or sugar and blend with an immersion blender (I didn't succeed in using a regular bender or food processor, but you might try). The mixture should be as smooth as possible.
  • In another bowl combine bran, almond meal, cocoa powder and baking powder.
  • Pour wet mixture into dry and stir well to combine. You want it to be a stiff paste. If it's too tough, add some more coconut milk, until it's a stiff but smooth paste.
  • Add peppermint extract and 1/3 cup chocolate chips, mix well.
  • Pour the batter into the pan, smooth top and sprinkle with chopped pistachios, if desired.
  • Bake at 350°F / 180°C for 30 minutes.
  • Let cool before slicing and enjoy!

What's your favourite St. Patrick's Day dish?

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