Monday, 8 January 2018

Black Bean Brownies with Walnuts

This vegan black bean brownie recipe is packed with flavour and is super fudgey just like a brownie should be.  Those you share them with will have no idea that these brownies are made with black beans.  It's incredibly easy to make with everyday ingredients.  As well as being suitable for vegans, this brownie recipe is also gluten free, free of refined sugar and low in saturated fats, but packed with flavour.
 
vegan black bean brownies with walnuts, are also naturally gluten free

This vegan brownie may sound a little unusual having been made largely with black beans, but I must encourage you to give this, or any of the numerous Black Bean Brownie recipes that can be found on the web, a try.  I'm sure you will be truly astounded just how delicious, moreish and satisfying a black bean brownie is.

I first came across the idea of using black beans as a replacement for flour in brownies over two years ago having been inspired to try them by Chocolate Covered Katie, and that resulted in me sharing this Blackberry and Black Bean Brownie recipe.  Since then I've made these brownies several times, and on each occasion those we've shared them with have had no idea what-so-ever that they include a significant quantity of pulses.  It really is amazing how thoroughly blending the ready to use beans and adding a few easily found ingredients to the bean pulp can result in such a delicious bake which is so beautifully chocolatey, fudgey and satisfyingly moreish.

black beans ready to use

Our vegan black bean brownies with walnuts are delicious and robust with a dark chocolate flavour.  And even though I'm not a huge fan of dark chocolate, these brownies were still a definite winner.  The flavours within the brownies meld together beautifully in the hours following the bake, and so for that reason I'd certainly recommend showing a little restraint and serve the brownies the day after they're made.  

How to make black bean brownies

Those who know me and my blog, Only Crumbs Remain, well will know that I enjoy my treats.  Perhaps, I must admit, a little too much at times.  I'm not naturally drawn to products which are labelled as low fat or low sugar for instance, preferring to enjoy a little of what I fancy.  But these vegan brownies are definitely an exception to that mind-set.  You really wouldn't know that they're low in saturated fats, packed with proteins and free of refined sugar.  It really is great to have that satisfaction of having a homemade treat which is undoubtedly healthier than its counterpart and yet still satisfies that need for something yummy. 

panela, an unrefined sugar

Even though this chocolate brownie recipe is vegan, gluten free and free of refined sugar there are no fancy ingredients which can be difficult to find.  All of the ingredients were easily found in our local supermarket, even the panela sugar, which I used recently in our fruit crumble with panela sugar, was logically located in the sugar section of our Sainsbury's supermarket.  Or you could consider buying jaggery instead which I believe is the same product just with a different name, from Asian stores or the Asian section of your local supermarket at a more purse friendly price. 


walnuts in their shells

The walnuts that we included in this easy vegan brownie recipe, added for a contrast in texture, could easily be substituted.  You could perhaps use pecans or may be almonds instead.  Or why not add a little fruit as we did with our blackberry and black bean brownies, which may be more accepting to children (and adults) who shy away from food with 'bits' in!  





So, here's how to make Black Bean Brownies with Walnuts.





print recipe

Black Bean Brownies with Walnuts (Vegan, GF, refined sugar free)
This vegan black bean brownie recipe is packed with flavour and is super fudgey just like a brownie should be.  Those you share them with will have no idea that these brownies are made with black beans.  It's incredibly easy to make with everyday ingredients.  As well as being suitable for vegans, this brownie recipe is also gluten free, free of refined sugar and low in saturated fats, but packed with flavour.

Details
Prep Time: Cook Time:     Yield: 1 tray producing 9 large slices, or 16 smaller pieces 

Specific Equipment
    1 x Brownie Tin measuring 20cm x 20cm

    Food Processor or Stick Blender
Ingredients
  • 330g Black Beans (drained weight from a can / carton) rinsed and well drained
  • 50g Oatmeal (if relevant, check the pack to ensure they're gluten free)
  • 60g Cocoa Powder
  • small pinch of Salt
  • 80ml Vegetable / Sunflower Oil + extra for preparing the brownie tin
  • 1.5 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 100g Panela Sugar (see note b below)
  • 30ml Maple Syrup (see note c below)
  • 50g Vegan Dark Chocolate (either from a block finely chopped, or choc chips)
  • 50g Walnuts, roughly chopped

Method
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190c / Fan 170c / Gas 5.2. Prepare the brownie tin. Grease the tin with a little oil.  Fully line the brownie tin with greaseproof paper, ensuring there is excess paper beyond the edge of the tin to aid the removal of the brownie once cooked.3. Make the batter: To make with a food processor: Place all of the ingredients apart from the chocolate and walnuts into the food processor and blend until smooth and well combined. To make with a stick blender: a) Place the black beans into a bowl and pulverise with a stick blender. b) Add the oatmeal and blend aiming to breakdown the oatmeal a little further. Add the cocoa powder, salt, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, panela sugar and maple syrup and blitz again with the stick blender until well combined and as smooth as possible.4. Add the chocolate & walnuts. Add the finely chopped vegan chocolate (or vegan choc chips) and the roughly chopped walnuts to the mixture. Stir until well distributed. 5. Fill the brownie tin. Spoon the brownie batter into the prepared tin. Smooth it out with a spatula or the back of a spoon, ensuring it is level and sat in the corners well. 6. Bake. Place into the oven and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes until the brownie has a nice crust but is still very slightly soft when prodded. 7. Cool. Remove the brownie from the oven and set onto a cooling tray. Allow to cool fully in the tray. Use the excess greaseproof paper to lift the brownie from the tin and place it onto a board. Slice into pieces. Use a pallet knife to remove the pieces from the greaseproof paper.  Store in an airtight container. 8. Enjoy! 
Notes: a) Black Bean Brownies are best enjoyed the day after they are made to allow their flavours to meld together. b)  Consider replacing the panela with jaggery, an unrefined sugar made from sugar cane, which can be sourced from the Asian shops or the Asian section of supermarkets here in the UK. c) You could consider substituting the maple syrup for runny honey if not preparing these for a vegan.











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Black Bean Brownie recipe with walnuts, which is naturally gluten free, vegan and free of refined sugar.





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This post has been shared with:

 

 Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Corina at Searching for Spice

We Should Cocoa hosted by Chocolette over at Tin and Thyme


Only Crumbs Remain Link up your recipe of the week Hijacked By Twins



28 comments:

  1. I will have to try these Angela! I've wanted to make black bean brownies for ages and I love to try out healthier snacks on my kids, especially as Little Miss Spice is always desperate for an afternoon snack when I collect her from school! Thanks so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice x

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    Replies
    1. They're surprisingly good Corina. I must admit I would have over looked them when I first heard about them but so many people were raving about how good they were so we just had to try them. We definitely didn't regret trying them - nobody ever knows that there are beans in the mix Corina :-)
      Angela x

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  2. Gorgeous recipe - I love sneaking veggies into brownies! They look lovely and moist and adding nuts is always great for texture.

    Found you on Recipe Of The Week. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Aw thankyou so much Vicky, it's a lovely little trick isn't it especially when they're not detected and the nutrition is still there
      Angela x

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  3. What a fantastic idea - I wouldn't have thought of using black beans - wonder if I can fool the boys?

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    1. I strongly suspect that you could definitely fool your boys Louise! Even hubby & I, who clearly knew that the brownies contained black beans, couldn't detect them.
      Angela x

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  4. I really love this recipe and am so keen to try it too. We all love brownies in our house and have had many different varieties (as you do :)) over the years but never ones that look so naughty but are in fact not that naughty at all. Am so curious to try whether hubby and the boys will be able to tell that these are not their standard brownies. :) xx

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha, you've got to try all of those brownie varieties Jo :-D If you do give them a go I'd love to know if your family could tell what was in the mixture, if they're anythink like the people we've shared them with they wont have a clue :-D
      Angela x

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  5. These look so delicious - I love the idea of healthy(er) brownies...but I definitely would not have the restrain to wait until the next day!!! Thanks for linking them up to #CookBlogShare. Eb x

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    1. They're so tastey Eb, they're pretty good the day of the bake but somehow a whole lot better the day after - I find it fascinating when bakes improve over time :-)
      Angela x

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  6. These are so unusual!! I love the sound of them though and will certainly be experimenting with some sort of bean in the future! x

    http://www.jesseatsandtravels.com

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    1. It's surprising how amazing brownies made with beans are Jess - definitely one to play with :-)
      Angela x

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  7. Those brownies are so fudgy, I can't believe that they are made from black beans and have no flour and butter in them. And I loev to bake with jaggery! I didn't know panela sugar was a name for jaggery.. Now I can try the crumble and these brownies too!!

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    Replies
    1. Believe it Deepika, they're packed with beans and as you say have no flour, butter or eggs in the mix! I totally agree though, it really is amazing how gd they look (even hough I do say so myself|) having been made largely from pulses. I only found out recently too Deepika that Panela is another name for jaggery. I hunted out some jaggery in our local supermarket after I my blogging friend Nico told me but they just sold it as a block and not as a ground down powder / granulations sadly. Do let me know how you get on if you give them a go Deepika,
      Angela x

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  8. This is such a great way to hide healthy things with chocolate! I bet these brownies are super moist and gooey!

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    Replies
    1. Thankyou Kat, they really were lovely and fudgey :-)
      Angela x

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  9. Oh wow, another stunning bake. These are definitely on my must bake list. Commenting as BritMums Baking Round-up Editor. :)

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    1. Aw thankyou Julie, I hope you enjoy them as much as we have :-)
      Angela x

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  10. Ha! You're definitely on a brownie-roll! Not just any old brownies either! So inventive x

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    1. Hahaha, I know - I'll look like a brownie if i carry on at this rate ;-D
      Angela x

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  11. Ooh Angela, these brownies look absolutely splendid. To have something so decadent that is almost good for you sounds too good to be true. I've made black bean brownies before. They were good, but I needed this reminder to try them again :D Thanks for sharing with #WeShouldCocoa

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    1. It really is almost too good to be true isn't it - but as you know already black beans are so amazing used as a brownie batter!
      Angela x

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  12. Could I use brown sugar? Hard to get hold of panela.
    :-)
    Anja

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anja, yes a brown sugar would work well in these. I usually use a light muscovado when not using panela, but I would think most brown sugars would be good in it.
      Angela

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  13. I am so making these - in fact, I've just put a packet of black beans into soak, and I'll cook them overnight in my Crockpot so I can make your brownies tomorrow. I've made brownies with chickpeas but not black beans, so I'm looking forward to making these. And I won't even need to change any of the ingredients. Huzzah!

    By the way, you can grind jaggery in a food processor or blender - makes life easier! Also, some jaggery comes from palms (several varieties, including coconut). My current go-to one, which comes in 500g balls, wrapped in palm leaves and string, is kithul jaggery from Sri Lanka. It's so delicious - it has an almost smoky flavour!

    Thirdly, when we were chatting about jaggery the other week, I forgot to mention that it's actually a whole food; unlike Western sugar, which has all the nutrients removed during the refinement process (and then sold as molasses!), jaggery keeps it all. It has a goodly amount of vitamins, and according to a research paper from the Journal of Food Processing and Technology, 100g of jaggery contains around 13mg of iron (enough to cover the daily recommended intake for adults). The same research paper says that 100g jaggery has...

    Calcium-40-100 mg,
    Magnesium-70-90 mg,
    Potassium-1056 mg,
    Phosphorus-20-90 mg,
    Sodium-19-30 mg,
    Iron-10-13 mg,
    Manganese-0.2-0.5 mg,
    Zinc-0.2-0.4 mg,
    Copper-0.1-0.9 mg
    Chloride-5.3 mg

    Vitamin A-3.8 mg,
    Vitamin B1-0.01 mg,
    Vitamin B2-
    0.06 mg, Vitamin B5-0.01 mg,
    Vitamin B6-0.01 mg,
    Vitamin C-7.00
    Vitamin D2-6.50 mg,
    Vitamin E-111.30 mg,
    Vitamin PP-7.00
    mg)
    protein-280 mg

    Of course, we're not going to eat a hundred grams each day (even K's sweet tooth isn't that sweet!) but it's easy to use that much in baking, right!

    Anyway, I thought you might be interested in that bit of info! xx

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    Replies
    1. Ooh that's so good to hear Nico, I hope you enjoy them as much as we have :-) Ooh I love the osund of the jaggery balls wrapped in palm leaves - sounds so much more xciting than it wrapped in plastic!!! Sadly we've not got a food processor or blender (we used a stick blender for this recipe) so for the moment we wouldn't be able to work the jaggery. It's amazing to hear many nutrients are in jaggery (though as you say we wouldn't be eating 100g in one day), but so sad when you realise that regular sugar is so refined leaving nothing in it other than the 'simple carbs'!
      Angela x

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  14. Oh, I meant to ask - where did that fantastic grey-blue bowl come from? Did you make it? I love it! xx

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    Replies
    1. Aw thankyou Nico, I did make it :-). I've been learning to throw clay on the potter's wheel - it's such a great craft and now I have a few extra homemade props too :-D
      Angela x

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