Superfood Brownies: The Perfect Valentine

Black beans are the base of this rich, satisfying, and oh-so-healthy way to show how special someone is to you
February 12, 2015 6:00 am Last Updated: February 12, 2015 10:46 pm

Black beans in a brownie? Oh yes. You and your special someone(s) can indulge in a rich, chocolate brownie experience while getting your fill of superfoods and protein. Swap out the generic Valentine’s Day chocolate box for this antioxidant rich treat. It will satisfy your chocolate desires and help you embody wellness.

These brownies are jam-packed with blueberries, chia and flax seeds, cacao, cinnamon, and coconut oil, making them nutritional powerhouses. And they are also vegan, gluten-free, and have no refined sugar.

In a blind taste test, our families (kids included) were shocked after they learned the secret ingredient: black beans. These brownies are that good.

Black Bean Superfood Protein Brownies

Makes around 15 mini-muffin brownies

Use organic and local when possible
• 1 1/2 cups organic black beans, soaked overnight and cooked or 1 can (15 ounces), drained and rinsed
• 1/2 cup quick-cooking gluten free oats
• 3 tablespoons cacao powder
• 1 tablespoon cinnamon
• 2 tablespoons chia seeds
• 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
• 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
• 1/2 tablespoon ground Himalayan sea salt
• 2 tablespoons almond or coconut milk
• 1 handful of blueberries (use more if you like!)
• 1/2 to 2/3 cup of dark chocolate chips, use vegan if desired (dark chocolate chips amp up the antioxidant boost. Save a few to sprinkle on top of brownies).
• Optional: 2 tablespoons of vegan chocolate protein powder
• Optional: Add chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If you are using canned beans, rinse them well until the water runs nearly clear. Combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips and nuts, in a powerful food processor (liquids first if using a blender) and blend until smooth and creamy. You may need to add in more almond or coconut milk to the mixture to blend well.

Fold in the chips and walnuts (if using) and pour into a greased cupcake or brownie pan. One little tip: Use a mini-muffin pan for adult portion control or for perfect kid-size servings. For a Valentine’s Day twist, explore using heart-shaped environmentally friendly mini-muffin or cupcake pans.

For an extra chocolaty bite and a lovely presentation, sprinkle a few extra chips (and nuts) on each brownie. Cook for 17–20 minutes. They are ready when a fork or toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10–15 minutes before enjoying.

Christine Beal Dunst and Stephanie Rapp are the co-founders of Embody Wellness Company, specializing in creating customizable holistic wellness and nutrition programs targeted at life’s most important milestones: marriage, children, and career. For more information: EmbodyWellnessCompany.com