These densely succulent morsels of beaniness (yep, that’s a new word!) come after many requests for ideas for healthy, chocolately sweet treats. You all said it couldn’t be done – but here it is – a healthy brownie! And trust me, even my doubter of a husband who loves proper brownies with all their fatty goodness, said they were delish. You get all that yumminess, plus it is high in fibre and allergy friendly too! This also comes at a great time as the school year is almost ready to start again (wow, where did the school holidays go…bet the parents out there don’t quite agree with me there). Great for a low sugar treat for everybody but see the hint down the bottom if you want a little more sweetness to start with. ENJOY!
These brownie are DAIRY FREE, EGG FREE, VEGAN, LOW GI, SUGAR FREE & HIGH FIBRE. Could be GLUTEN FREE if the flour is substituted for a good quality gluten free flour like White Wing’s plain flour. Could be NUT FREE if nuts are left out.
What you need…
- 2 cup/250 g dates
- 1 small beetroot, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup/180 g unsweetened applesauce (IXL brand has no added sugar) … OR make your own in your Thermomix by blitzing cored apples with a few tablespoons of water for 10 seconds at speed 8, then cooking at 90º for 8 minutes at speed 4 with the measuring cup off, then blitzing on speed 8 for another 10 seconds)
- 2 tablespoons/15 g ground flaxseed/linseed (grind prior in Thermomix or food processor)
- 400 g cooked or canned beans (equiv to 2 x 400g cans, drained) – any variety is fine but I used 1 can of butter beans and 1 can of red kidney beans)
- 2 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup/30 g cacao powder
- 3/4 cup/100 g flour (could use gluten free flour)
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 1 cup/110 g walnuts or macadamias (optional)
How the magic happens…
Doing it the traditional way:
- Preheat oven to 180*C
- In a food processor, roughly chop nuts, then set aside.
- Chop the dates into small pieces (either by hand or in food processor).
- Combine black beans, beetroot, dates and applesauce in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add cacao, ground flaxseed and vanilla. Blend again.
- Fold through the flour and bicarb soda. If mixture is too dry, add another few tablespoons of apple sauce.
- Gently stir through nuts (leave some aside to put on top)
- Spoon the mixture into a 30 cm x 25 cm slice tin. Top with extra nuts if desired.
- Bake at 180º for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Slice while still warm. Best when chilled before eating.
- Roughly chop the nuts for 3 seconds at speed 4, then set aside.
- Blend dates with peeled, halved beetroot for 30 seconds at speed 10.
- Scrape down the bowl and lid, then add applesauce, flaxseed, beans, vanilla and cacao. Blend for 30 seconds at speed 8, using the spatula to scrape the bowl while processing. Remove the lid and scrape it and the bowl again, then blend for another 20 seconds at speed 8. Mixture should be thoroughly homogenised.
- Add the flour and baking soda, and mix on Reverse at speed 3 for 20 seconds, using the spatula to push the mixture down into the blades. Remove the lid and scrape it and the bowl again, then mix for another 10 seconds at speed 3. Repeat as necessary until all the flour is mixed in.
- Add the chopped nuts and mix for 10 seconds on Reverse at speed 3.
- Spoon the mixture into a 30 cm x 25 cm slice tin and bake at 180º for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Slice while still warm. Best when chilled before eating.
Hint: If you’re weaning your children (or yourself) off sweet foodS, you may want to substitute 1 cup of a relatively unprocessed sweetener such as coconut sugar or rapadura for 1 cup of the dates.