Guilt-free brownies

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Gooey, chewy chocolate brownies are a sweet treat loved by all ages. These decadent desserts are at the top of the list with other American classics such as apple pie, hot-fudge sundaes and chocolate chip cookies.

Brownies, delicious as they may be, are not nutritious. Luckily, they can be made using healthy ingredients to substitute the original recipe that calls for a lot of butter and sugar. The star of this healthy alternative recipe is, believe it or not, black beans.

Black bean brownies are a good way to satisfy a chocolate craving without the guilt. They are also vegan and gluten-free, for those on a health kick with their New Year’s resolutions.

Ingredients: 3 cups black beans (equivalent to 2 cans), 2 cups pitted dates, 1/2 cup unsweetened cacao powder, 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter and water to help with consistency for the recipe.

Directions: Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain and rinse black beans, then mash with a potato masher. Pit and finely chop the dates. This will make the blending process easier. Combine beans, dates and cacao powder and blend on low speed. The mixture will be extremely thick, and this process can take a long time.

Stop and manually mix with a spoon often to help get an even blend. Add small amounts of water or non-dairy milk at any time to make the blending easier. Be cautious not to add too much liquid to avoid getting a runny batter. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Place batter in an oiled pan and bake for one hour. The brownie should have a crispy and cracked outer appearance. Stick a fork or toothpick into the center of the brownie: If it comes out clean, it is done. Let the pan cool completely before serving.

About Laura Quach

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