Eating chocolate during the CLC – amazing black bean brownies

One of the things I was most nervous about after deciding to do my own version of Heather’s Cleaner Life Challenge, was going almost 30 days without chocolate and other sugary sweets. I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic and anyone who knows me (in both real and blog life) knows that even that is kind of an understatement. The challenge so far is going well. I’ve had some kind of chocolate tasting thing nearly every day, but that’s a huge improvement over what I was doing before. Better yet, these chocolate tasting treats were sugar free, and I’m not talking artificial sweeteners… I’m talking natural, unrefined sweeteners. Yeah, baby :)

So yeah, given my love for chocolate and an upcoming blogger potluck dinner, I went searching my favorite blogs and magazines for some inspiration. Most sugarless desserts sounded boring for this chocoholic… until I stumbled upon a recipe for amazing black bean brownies I’ve saved a long time ago. The recipe is originally from Baking with Agave Nectar by Ania Catalano, and after tasting these guys, I need to get my hands on this cookbook. Yes, need. The copy from my library mysteriously disappeared (I’m not even kidding, the records say “missing”) and honestly I can’t blame whomever took it.  Actually I can blame them (sneaky thieves!) but you know what I mean… :)

Aside from being white sugar and white flour free (yay for staying on top of the CLC), these were fantastic! The brownies have some instant coffee in the batter, and the coffee really intensified the chocolate flavor. The texture was fudge-like, like a creamy flourless chocolate cake. My mouth is watering just thinking about these brownies (alas, they’re all gone). I halved the recipe, and the only substitution I made was using almond slivers instead of walnuts (one of my party attending friends, Katy, is allergic to walnuts). I think walnuts would have been excellent in these. Next time. Oh and no, you can’t taste the black beans 😀

Progress pics galore…

All the ingredients:


Melt butter + unsweetened chocolate in the microwave



Do not taste this! Yup, I did… unsweetened choc + butter = gross


Pulse some almonds, black beans + a little bit of the choc mixture. If the batter is too dry, add a little more chocolate.



Combine choc mixture, remaining almonds (or walnuts) + ground coffee


Beat eggs


Add agave nectar



Combine the chocolate/coffee mixture with the black bean/almond mixture



Add eggs/agave mixture, saving a little (as per recipe), and mix well



Pour into the pan


Add some fluffy eggs on top (looks funny but it turned out great!)



Bake + cool (I refrigerated mine overnight)


Cut into squares or triangles. I cut mine into 12 triangles (that’s for the half recipe) but these are quite rich so I’d probably cut into smaller squares next time.




Closeups… mmm


My first brownie. I may have had one for breakfast 😳


The whole recipe is 5,012 calories (makes 24-45 brownies, depending on size).

Enjoy! This recipe is a winner!! :mrgreen:

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