Everyone loves a good brownie, right? Whether you're a crispy edge person or a gooey middle brownie person these fudgy whole foods brownies are a nice way to enjoy a chocolatey treat without added sugar.
Disclaimer: because there is no sugar in these brownies (aside from the optional toppings) they are not all that sweet - dates and bananas only go so far! The sweetness is subtle while the cocoa is somewhat intense and further enhanced by the addition of brewed coffee. If you'd like to add a bit of sweetness and control the amount, consider adding chocolate chips or a drizzle of icing.
We're not eating added sugar for a few weeks while I lead folks through a 21-day Feel Good Food nutrition challenge with the goals of balancing energy levels, decreasing sugar cravings, and replacing nutrient poor foods with more bang-for-your-bite nutritious foods. However, I created these brownies to be served as a treat after dinner with friends, and I wanted the kids (and adults!) to be excited about black beans being what makes them so fudge-like. Thus, I thought a tiny bit of sweetness/sugar on top would be worth their surprise and excitement about the beans on the inside! I couldn't risk the kids rejecting them!
My husband was super excited that I left some of the batch un-glazed and declared that the brownie it self is indeed delicious. I hope you think the same!
What you need:
15-20 small (deglet) dates
2 ripe medium bananas
1 14 oz. can or nearly 2 c. black beans, rinsed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp brewed coffee (optional)
½ c cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ c chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, or cacao nibs (optional mix-ins or toppers)
Icing (for a smidge of sweet!): 2-3 tbsp powdered/icing sugar + just enough water or milk (seriously, drizzle this in) to make a glaze-like icing (optional)
What to do:
Preheat oven to 180/350. I HIGHLY recommend lining an 8x8 baking dish with parchment to avoid a sticky pan situation. Also makes clean up no problem!
Place dates in small pot and cover just barely with water. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 min.
Place dates, bananas, and eggs in food processor and blend until smooth. Pulse beans in to batter eventually blending until well incorporated. Add vanilla and coffee if using.
In separate bowl mix cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Scrape down sides of food processor and slowly begin to add in cocoa mixture taking care not to blend too hastily, as this will cause the powder to POOF everywhere, and you will not be psyched about having to clean it up!
If adding mix-ins now is the time to fold them in or pulse in food processor without over blending.
Pour batter into parchment-lined pan and pop into oven for 25-30 min. If topping with nuts or chocolate chips, do so at the 20 min baking mark.
Check doneness by inserting knife into centre of brownies. If it comes out clean you're good to go; if knife is gooey, pop back into oven for a few minutes, but don't go far!
Here's the hard part! Allow brownies to cool thoroughly before slicing. *Note: if icing, do so after somewhat cooled. Using a spoon, drizzle icing back and forth over brownies, do not douse brownies! The icing is super sweet, so you only need a teeny bit!
Store brownies in fridge or freezer for later eats!