Monday, 27 July 2015

Black Bean, Pistachio and Raspberry Brownies

On a Sunday afternoon, with a nagging hangover, I often find I need to do something to distract myself from feeling downright awful (I can't deal with hangovers in my old age!). This particular Sunday seemed a perfect opportunity to finally try out a recipe I discovered a while ago. I'm going to call it my own due to the tweaks made by adding pistachios and increasing the quantity of raspberries, but the use of black beans as a foundation for brownies is actually becoming more and more common. They get rid of the need for flour (great news for those with a gluten intolerance) but also makes what would usually be a guilty pleasure, a pretty healthy treat! Black beans are PACKED with fibre which is vital for healthy digestion. Not only this, but dietary fibre is brilliant for satiety so that one little brownie will go a long way. My old favourites - chia seeds and coconut oil - are also in these brownies meaning you get a good dose of protein and other essential nutrients.

You Will Need:
-4 tbsp chia seeds
-5 tbsp water
-170g maple syrup
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1.5 cans black beans, 
 drained and rinsed
-3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
-100g cocoa powder
-2 pinches sea salt
-1.5 punnets fresh raspberries
-1 handful pistachios, shelled

First off, preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a brownie tin with greaseproof paper. Mix the chia seeds, water, maple syrup and vanilla in a bowl and set aside. 

Once you have drained and rinsed the black beans, place them in a food processor along with the coconut oil, cocoa and salt. Blend until just combined. Add the chia mixture to the black beans and pulse to incorporate. You should have a quite a liquidy mixture but it should still hold together and have a few lumps and bumps in it. It may look a bit questionable but just trust me on this!

Now you can remove the blade from the processor and gently fold in the raspberries. It may be easier to transfer the mixture to a bowl before doing this. Pour this mixture into the lined brownie tin. Bake for 30 minutes. The tops should be dry and the edges are pulling away. If you find that the middle is still too raw, cover the tin with foil to avoid the top burning but continue to bake for another 10 minutes, checking at regular intervals. Crush some pistachios over the top and press into the top whilst it is still warm. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before serving. 

These brownies are meant to be gooey so don't be too cautious and over-bake them. With no added sugar, the raspberries are what will supply the sweetness and the stickiness whilst the addition of pistachios provide a much needed crunch. Give them a go and see what you think!


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