Random Recipe: Black Bean Avocado Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies

Some of the oddest mixture of ingredients I have seen in a long time. Who ever thought that black beans and avocado could be put in brownies? I grew up with the cheapest brownie mix possible (do you remember Aldi?) I am always an advocate for a different kind of recipe. One that has little to no white sugar (this one does not fit that bill as it has dark brown sugar) but that also uses ingredients that are good for you, but you might not think about them going into a dessert. Chris made them last night, and they are not bad. His only complaint was that he cooked them too long. The recipe says to bake for 25-35 minutes, and he baked them for 25 minutes, and he felt they were too cakey and he should have baked for 20 minutes, so beware.

Only caveat: they are dark, almost black brownies. Most likely the black beans. Makes for an interesting conversation.

Black Bean Avocado Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies {gluten-free & low-fat}

  • 1 – 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 of a large extra ripe avocado
  • 1 teaspoon coconut or olive oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (important to use a VERY good quality powder!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips of choice, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. Place all ingredients besides chocolate chips into blender or food processor. Process or puree until ingredients form a smooth batter. If the batter is WAY too thick and won’t process then add in a teaspoon or two of water. This batter needs to be very thick in order to produce fudgy brownies. Add in 1/3 cup chocolate chips and fold into batter.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of remaining chocolate chips. You can also fold in nuts or swirl in peanut butter. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out somewhat clean and top of the brownies begin to crack.
  4. Cool pan completely on wire rack then cut into 12 delicious squares.
_Vegan version: Use vegan chocolate chip and sub a flax egg for the egg and egg whites.
_These brownies are best once they have cooled. Try them right out of the fridge.

Simple Pleasures

Recently I was making more homemade English Muffins, which takes a tablespoon of honey. I had poured the amount into the bowl and decided I wanted the taste of honey, so when I was done I licked the tablespoon. It started my mind wandering with a domino effect from one thought to the next. The first thing I thought was I have not had honey in a while, and it is such a simple pleasure. I started (mind you I did not have much sleep that weekend) to think about how honey is made, and the simplicity of the bees, flowers, and pollination, and that the reward is such a simple sweet pleasure.

The next thought that trickled into my brainwaves was how often we disregard simple pleasures, or maybe we just take them for granted. How often do we pile our plates with a plethora of flavors, overwhelm our senses, and forget that sometimes the simplest dish has the greatest impact. A fresh tomato, avocado, or strawberry just by itself, no extra sugar or sauce needed.

Oh, how honey has made me get nostalgic.

It seems that in the summer months when the days are longer and fresh fruit and vegetables are abundant that sampling local fresh goodies is easy. As the days get shorter and darker, it is often easier to stay inside, work more, and go the efficient route. We tend to stick to soups and stews, and heartier meals, yet that does not mean that we have to miss out on simple pleasures. Like pumpkin, squash, and other fall inspired pleasures that hit the spot.

What simple pleasures in fall do you crave?