Red Velvet Black Bean Brownies

>> Wednesday, February 13, 2013

When you roast a whole 5.6 quart dutch oven full of beets, you are in for some kitchen gymnastics trying to use them all up. We did well -- Beet Burgers, smoothies, baby food, muffins, and even eating them plain out of the fridge.

After all those recipes, I still had a honking one leftover. So, I took a chance -- pureed it up with some black beans.

And . . .

This recipe sounds -- and is, at least in theory -- a lot healthier than it actually is in reality. However, I'm a big believer that adding the healthy stuff is better than not getting it in my diet at all.

vegan recipe

What you'll need . . .

  • 3/4 cup black bean/beet puree, instructions below
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
// To make the puree:

  • I drained/rinsed a can of black beans and placed them in my food processor.
  • I also chopped up a very large roasted beet (skinned and everything) and I estimate it was about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of beet. 
  • Ultimately, I feel the ratio in the puree is about 1:1, if that helps.
  • I also added 2 tablespoons of water. 
  • Then I pureed until there were no lumps + bumps. 
  • I had some leftover, about a half cup.
NOTE: I used a pie plate for this recipe because I cannot find my 8x8 baking dish -- but this brownie batter doesn't spill out like some others I've made, so I imagine if it fits in the dish with an inch of headroom, it will be fine.

Method . . .

  1. Grease a pie plate with Earth Balance or olive oil and set aside. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the puree, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract.
  3. Over very low heat, place the chocolate in a small pot on the stove -- stirring constantly until melted. Then scrape this into the bowl and whisk with the other wet ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and whisk together until just combined. The mixture will be very thick, almost frosting-like.
  5. Pour into your prepared dish and smooth out so it's evenly distributed. Refrigerate for half an hour.
  6. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. 
  7. Then bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the middle is set, but not dry.
  8. Let cool completely before serving.

V for Valentine's Day!

Errr. Actually, I tried carving the wedge into a heart and failed miserably. I love to cook + bake and NOT style food. It's definitely not my forte. It's definitely not something I enjoy because when I made things, the kitchen gets messy. The food tastes good. I don't like to pause, wipe up a mess, and fuss too much.

But I do enjoy pretty photos, so it's something I need to work on.

// Now, if you're wondering "is that 30 minute chill time really necessary, Ashley?"

Be sure to check out Tip #9 on Bon Appetit's 10 Ways to Make Better Brownies list. I cut the time in half for you -- and I definitely think it makes a difference. That being written out, I am sure you can get away without the added wait.

Have you made black bean brownies before? Or maybe sweet potato brownies?

How would you say they compare to your favorite brownie recipe? I was very pleased with this most recent experimentation. I think the beets added an earthy sweetness and the texture was fantastic compared to other vegan brownies I've made in the past.

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