Black Bean Cherry Brownies

Chocolate alert! Chocolate alert!

It should come as no shock that I am a chocolate person (and a dessert person, in general).  However, I recently found out that dark chocolate has fibre (mind blown) – 11 g fibre per 100 g dark chocolate, to be exact. How did I get through five years of nutrition training and two years of nutrition research without hearing this? Shouldn’t that be discussed on day one?

Just a note - only dark (75% cocoa or more) and unsweetened chocolate have notable amounts of fibre. Unfortunately Aero bars and Cadbury milk chocolate don't count. :(

Most Canadians do not get enough fibre in their diets. A high fibre diet has been associated with decreased risk of cancer, and fibre rich foods offer many health benefits like extra vitamins, better control of blood sugars, and increased satiety.

If you’re looking to add fibre AND chocolate to your diet, then search no further. The addition of black beans to these brownies increases the fibre content without compromising the flavour. It’s cherry season here in BC, and on a whim I decided to throw in some of the fresh, dark, sweet cherries that have been a staple in my kitchen for the past two weeks. The combination of dense, fudgy, chocolate brownie with juicy, crimson cherries will have you swooning, and you’ll completely forget that you’re eating beans.

Black Bean Cherry Brownies

Ingredients

1 cup black beans (white beans work too), rinsed and dried (canned or cooked from dried)

1/4 cup butter

3 oz unsweetened chocolate

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

12-16 cherries, pitted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, or lightly coat it with butter or cooking spray.

Spread the beans evenly on a clean dish towel and blot to dry thoroughly. You want to remove as much moisture as possible.

In a small saucepan over low heat, or in a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently. Once completely melted, immediately remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

While chocolate mixture is cooling, combine flour and salt in a medium bowl.

Place beans and slightly-cooled chocolate mixture in a food processor and blend well until completely smooth. For me this took about 60 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the food processor,add vanilla, sugar, and eggs, and pulse until completely combined.

Fold egg and chocolate mixture into the flour until just combined. Pour the batter into your prepared 8-inch square pan, and spread out evenly. Then, plop the cherries into the batter, keeping them evenly spaced and submerged in the batter about 3/4 of the way. You can do this in neat rows or just arrange them not-so-neatly.

Bake 25-30 minutes, until the brownies are just set (they can still be a bit jiggly in the middle. Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack. If you used a parchment-lined pan, allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, and then lift out to cool on the wire rack.

Cut into squares when cool enough to handle. These will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week, and freeze well.