Yes it is too good to be true. I should have known.
I saw a ringing endorsement for this recipe on Peas and Thank You, a blog that I love. It was for vegan brownies with black beans in them. The claim was that you wouldn’t even realize that there were black beans in the brownies. I, of course, ignored Mama Pea’s advice on altering the recipe by adding several ingredients including chocolate chips. I should have listened to her, she is wise. Instead I foolishly went forward with the original recipe.
This was not an easy process for me. I gathered the ingredients, some more unique than others. And hauled out my mother’s food processor since I was at her house (I don’t have a food processor). I failed to remember, however, that my mother’s food processor is from a time in history long before I was born. Getting it off the shelf in the pantry and bringing it to the counter was a workout in itself.
Remember that scene in Zoolander when the two male models are trying to figure out how to get the files from the computer and they basically turn into primates dancing around the computer and hitting it? That’s what I was reminded of as I was trying to work this Cuisinart. After the initial struggle, I managed to get the ingredients blended together in a uniform fashion and poured the batter into the baking pan.
Even though I went into this with optimistic ideas about the recipe, this step was a red flag for me because as I swiped a sample of the batter, I doubted the magic of the oven would make significant improvements. But I gave it a go to see if the oven could prove me wrong.
It didn’t. I won’t say that the brownies were bad, but they weren’t good. They did not taste like brownies, you could certainly detect the black beans, and they weren’t sweet at all. That was partially my fault because I did not add the optional sugar, but I was going on good faith that I didn’t need it.
My main issue with the recipe was that if I’m indulging in a brownie, I would like it to taste indulgent. I am not interested in consuming frivolous calories that are not spectacular tasting, unless they have specific health benefits. I feel like these don’t serve either purpose, so these brownies were a miss for me. Try the recipe, and form your own opinion. I’m thinking Mama Pea’s version might be a good variation to try out in the future.
Low Fat Vegan Black Bean Brownies
From Happy Herbivore
Yields on 8×8 square pan
- 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 whole bananas
- ⅓ cup agave nectar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 Tbs cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup raw sugar (optional) (recommended, especially if your bananas aren’t brown)
- ¼ cup instant oats
- Preheat oven to 350, and prepare 8×8 square pan.
- Buzz together all ingredients in food processor, except for the oats.
- Fold in the oats. Pour batter into pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
Have you ever tried a “healthy” recipe with the best intentions, only to be let down?