Dear Leah Renee,
My husband and kids love when I bake, but I don’t like all the bad ingredients it takes to make them taste good!!! When I look at ‘healthier’ versions it seems like there’s tons of dates in there somewhere or skimp on taste. Do you have anything for us, that’s gluten free too? Thanks Leah! ~Danica B., Pittsburgh, PA
It is hard to not compromise flavor and texture when switching up ingredients to make for a healthier sweet treat! If you don’t have an earthy palate like many of us raw foodies or vegans, finding something the kids and husband will like (and you too!) can be difficult. I find that substitutions using avocado’s, applesauce, coconut oil, dates, honey, maple syrup, agar agar, flax seeds, and mashed banana’s are just some items that can really contribute to a family friendly dessert in both the health and taste categories.
One substitute I didn’t mention: black beans. Insert the black bean brownie. You can insert a YUM in there too–because these are really good! Adapted from My San Francisco Kitchen, the recipe below is simple to make and the only difficult part is allowing them to cool long enough so they don’t fall apart! If you can keep your hands off until then, you’re good. Then again, if these are for just you and the fam, who cares if they’re crumbly, right?! Dig in!
Here’s what you need:
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (15½ oz)
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil *I used coconut oil*
- ½ cup granulated sugar *I used brown sugar*
- ¼ cup and 1 tbsp cocoa powder *I used unsweetened*
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips for topping (optional) *I chopped up some 70% organic dark chocolate and used that as the topping*
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add all ingredients to a blender (or the hand blender like I used) and blend on low until all ingredients are well blended (there should not be any whole black beans in the batter–it should be smooth)
- Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish and pour batter inside (I spray coconut oil to grease).
- Top with chocolate chips or nuts if desired.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean after inserting in the center.
- Cool for 30 minutes before cutting and serving (otherwise they will fall apart).