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Black bean carob brownies save a desperate woman

When desperation hit, I riffed off an internet recipe and created these brownies that fit the bill for everyone in the house -- no chocolate, no gluten, no white sugar ... but still a tasty and appreciated treat.

As I was dumping the ingredients for these brownies into my food processor, making this recipe for the first time, I was thinking to myself, “This may be the grossest dessert I have ever attempted. OK, maybe not the grossest. That would have to be the carob avocado banana pudding, which actually isn’t half bad.

People, I have hit rock bottom. This recipe doesn’t come from a place of healthy love for all foods good for you — I am desperate. Keith and I have given up caffeine, chocolate and white sugar for a couple of months to cleanse and I’m flippin’ hungry. Sure, I’ve lost five pounds and quite frankly look fabulous in my summer clothes, but I’m not sure the trade-off is worth it … I’m wasting away, I tell you!

I jest a little because I honestly don’t miss my nightly dose of chocolate as much as I thought I would, though I do wish I could have the occasional special treat. Enter these black bean brownies. Now, I’ve been making a recipe similar to these black bean brownies for years, but this recipe was a little bit different. It caught my eye because there were bananas in it, which cut back the amount of sweetener by over a cup from my other recipe.

I had to change things up a bit, but there was no time like the present to try, since Owen is going to a birthday party tomorrow and he can’t eat the cake with all his food allergies. Believe it or not (I’m still in awe), what I came up with works. It really works. I’m not feeling like I’m eating a second-rate dessert (the cinnamon is brilliant!) and they just looked so pretty when I took them out of the oven that I almost don’t care that they don’t stay together very well after you cut them.

Black Bean Carob Brownies

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  • 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 whole bananas
  • 1/4 scant cup of agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup carob powder (or cocoa powder if you’re not cleansing….)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (brilliant, I say!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup carob chips (any other day I’d use grain-sweetened chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8×8″ pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients except the carob chips in a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping sides as needed. Stir in carob chips. Pour batter into the pan. Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing. (This is very important. If you try to slice them too soon, they don’t hold together.)

A few notes:

  • Store them in the refrigerator after cooling, and cut them when chilled if you don’t want them falling apart on you. They still taste good, but tricky to bring to a party.
  • They are mushy, so the chips are a great addition and I’d even throw in some roasted, chopped almonds next time.
  • The cinnamon is brilliant — have I mentioned that yet?
  • A dollop of coconut milk ice cream sprinkled with granola would top these brownies perfectly.
  • The taste is a huge hit with the men in the house, and anyone who likes banana desserts will adore these.

Let me be clear — this is not my favorite dessert in the world, but it satisfied my craving and was pretty yummy. Not perfect, but just what we needed.

UPDATE: My men will not stop going to the refrigerator and snitching from the pan of these brownies. They obviously like them better than I do, or I am not the desperate woman I thought I was….

Photo Credit: Debbie McDuffee

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