by Associate Clinician Kate McNerney

brownies

The 4th of July is coming quickly upon us…and invitations to picnics and social events are coming along with it. Picnics are wonderful. It’s so exciting when the invitations come…and then you see the note at the bottom that says “Please feel free to bring a dessert or side dish”. If you’re anything like me, you begin racking your brain with all the different possibilities to make and bring – green salad, quinoa salad, veggie noodles, deviled eggs, or…DESSERT! Oh, the possibilities when it comes to dessert! That is one of my favorite things to bring when I go to a picnic, because I know I can enjoy the treat, and I feel better providing an option for others that won’t harm their bodies. I wanted to share with you one of the recipes I use and love: Black Bean Brownies with Homemade Whip Cream and Berries.

This recipe came about a few years back while working with a group of women who were looking to lose weight, yet wanted a good option to bring to parties and/or healthily feed their occasional sweet tooth cravings. I came across a foundationally promising recipe on allrecipes.com, and made some tweaks and swaps in order to make the recipe “Well of Life Approved”. Here is the winning recipe:

Black Bean Brownies
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
3 eggs (you can also use apple sauce or flax if you can’t eat eggs)
3 tablespoons safflower oil or melted coconut oil
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pinch sea salt
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract (I always throw a little more in for fun)
¾ cup coconut sugar or maple syrup
½ cup chocolate chips, optional (I like the Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish with coconut oil or safflower oil.

Add black beans, eggs, oil, and vanilla to a Vitamix or other blender. If you don’t have a blender, you can also use a food processor. Blend on high for a few seconds. Add cocoa powder, salt, and coconut sugar/maple syrup to the blender. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into baking dish. If you wanted to add chocolate chips to the top of the mixture, you can.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. You will see the edges start to pull of the sides of the pan. You can also double check using a toothpick – insert in the middle of the brownies; if the toothpick comes out clean, the brownies are done. Remove from the oven and cool.

While brownies are cooking, you can pour the contents of a small, organic, heavy cream carton in a mixing bowl. Mix on medium-high for several minutes, until cream turns whipped and fluffy.

Once brownies have cooled, cut and serve with a dollop of whip cream and a handful of fresh berries!

Most importantly, ENJOY!