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Hidden Nutrients (brownie recipe included)

"Do you have a dessert recipe that is healthy?"

I would be one rich lady if someone would give me a dollar for every time I am asked that question. As a Registered Dietitian, 90% of the time, I want food to be nutrient rich. Desserts usually provide nutrient poor food: all of the calories with few of the nutrients.

One day, while waiting in my doctor’s office for my yearly check-up, I noticed a recipe for Black Bean Brownies in a magazine. However, when I tried it, the texture was poor, and I did not like the taste. A couple of months ago, while doing some fall clean-up, I found the recipe again. This time I made some adjustments to it, and it passed the taste test with my family, friends, and co-workers.

Recalling my previous posts concerning using better fats and soluble fiber to help reduce cholesterol, this recipe uses liquid canola oil for the better fats and black beans for the soluble fiber. There is some saturated fat in the recipe, from the chocolate chips, but it is two grams per serving which is low for a dessert. If you are counting carbohydrate, it is one serving of a carbohydrate. And without flour, it's gluten free.

Many of the taste testers said that it was “rich” tasting.  Because of that they could eat only one piece, something unusual but a good thing for a brownie. Remember, it does contain beans, so be mindful. The naturally occurring bacteria in your digestive tract may still be transitioning to higher fiber intake.

Remember if this food “talks” to you, you may want to prepare it for a special occasion or potluck. Then it will not be around the house to “talk” to you.

If you prepare it, let me know the results of your taste test!

Black Bean Brownies

  • 1 (15 oz.) can Bush’s reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using vegetable cooking spray, lightly spray an 8” x 8” square baking pan. In a blender, combine the drained and rinsed black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the baking pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. The top will be dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven and place pan on rack to cool. When cool, cut into 16 squares. Serve.

Makes 16 servings.
Serving size: 1 square

Nutritional Content:
Calories: 113
Carbohydrate: 16 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Fat: 5 grams
Saturated fat: 2 grams
Trans fat: 0
Protein: 3 grams
Sodium: 92 milligrams
CHI Health Food and Nutrition Services Team
CHI Health Food and Nutrition Services Team

These blogs are written by members of the CHI Health Nutrition Services team.

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