Vermont Bean Brownies
This recipe was submitted by Anna Mays in our 2015 We ♥ Local Beans Recipe Contest. Anna says, “Who would guess that beans are the secret to the fudgy, gooey, chocolatey goodness of these decadent brownies? Rather than use a lot of saturated fats, processed sugar and dairy to create richness, this recipe uses beans, the natural sweetness of oats, and maple-sweetened cocoa to create a healthy and super easy dessert. Packed with fiber from the beans, oats (see Notes) and flax, these brownies are healthy, tasty, simple to make and can be enjoyed by those following gluten-free and vegan diets. Also neat to see that the beans, oats, flax and sweetener can all be sourced from Vermont. Don’t mention the secret ingredient and people will never guess!”
Cooking the Beans
Soak the ½ cup of dry beans in 4 cups of cold water in a large bowl or container overnight; at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Put soaked beans, 5 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda in an oven-proof pot and bring to a gentle boil on stovetop. Once boiling, cover and transfer to oven. Cook until beans are tender, 20-40 minutes. Rinse well in cold water and drain.
Baking Soda Tip: Adding baking soda to the pot of boiling beans creates an alkaline environment which makes the pectin in the beans break down quickly, resulting in more tender beans in significantly less time.
Making the Brownies
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil an 8 x 8-inch baking pan and set aside.
Combine oats and flax (if using) in a food processor, blender or spice grinder and process into a smooth powder.
In the food processor or blender, or using a hand mixer, add all the other dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips, and combine with the oats and process until smooth. Then add the beans, maple syrup, vanilla or apple cider syrup, and oil and process until smooth and creamy. Stir in ½ cup of the chocolate chips, then pour the batter into the greased 8 x 8-inch pan. Sprinkle the remaining chips on top of the brownies. Cook the brownies 18-25 minutes, until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out smooth. Let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.
Enjoy! And if you don't tell anyone there are beans in this recipe, they will never know!
Any combination of beans works well. King of the Early, Tiger’s Eye and Marfax are great choices for this recipe, but play around and find what works for you!
Since these brownies will disappear quickly and since it’s nice to cook dry beans in large batches, we often double the recipe. Batter stores well in the freezer and can be thawed for a quick batch of brownies any night of the week.
Oats are gluten-free, however if you get oats from our Bulk Department, please note that we cannot guarantee that cross-contamination with something containing gluten has not occurred between bins.