Bean brownies had their time in the sun about 10 years ago. At least, that was the time that I first made them from a random recipe on the internet. Completely healthy, moist, dense, chocolate-like but not exactly brownie-like. I made the mistake of telling my family prior to eating them that the main ingredient was… wait for it… beans! Disastrous results ensued. They were not well-liked by my father or husband. The moment went down in history as “Shauna’s baking fail.”
Fast forward many years and I’ve tried out more versions of these brownies though, have not shared them with the aforementioned people. I’ve tried going completely refined sugar free (no dice). I’ve used coconut oil and it felt to lack taste. Salt free, no way. I think the recipe below strikes a balance between being a healthier option (consider that most brownie recipes have 3 to 4 times the refined sugar added to them) and still satisfying the brownie craving. They’re gluten-free as well. The addition of walnuts adds a nutritional punch and crunch (ahem…). I like to think that dark chocolate also adds nutrition or at least happiness.
Ultimately, I did add a little refined sugar. Refined sugar gives them the chewy texture that forms the basis for this baked good to be called a ‘brownie’ (otherwise, the name hockey puck or protein bar might be given to these). Following the same line of thought, Sarah Kieffer (@sarahkieffer) of The Vanilla Bean Baking Blog aptly tweeted “It always confuses me when people get upset at baking books for having butter and sugar in them.” I agree with Sarah on this one. So, I did not create a “healthy” brownie as it is still a treat. I created a gluten free brownie in hopes of adding more diversity to the diet. In the end, healthier, yes. Guilt-free, no.
Oh, and my husband didn’t even notice this time… until my face turned bright red.Read More