It is Valentine’s Day on Friday so for my post this week I had to share something chocolate and just a little bit decadent. A real treat to be shared and enjoyed with the ones you love. But since I am a health coach who is focused on healthy eating, I also wanted it to be nutritious and good for you. Isn’t chocolate just that much better when you can enjoy it guilt-free?
And the truth is, chocolate in its raw, unprocessed form (raw cacao), truly is a health food. The problem with chocolate comes from the sugar and various other ingredients that usually accompany it, which are not good for you. So as long as you avoid adding the “not good for you” ingredients such as white sugar, white flour and unhealthy fats, as I did here, it isn’t too difficult to come up with a recipe featuring raw chocolate that has many health benefits.
These moist and delicious brownies are a perfect example and a family favorite. They have a deep, rich chocolate flavor without being too sweet and the fiber and protein from the black beans leaves you feeling satisfied without craving more. And if you have eaten black bean brownies before and found them not to your liking, or are a bit skeptical about the idea of black beans in a dessert, I strongly encourage you to give these brownies a try. You will never know they are made with black beans – my son didn’t!
The health benefits of chocolate stem from the antioxidant flavonoids and raw cacao is very high in flavonoids, sulfur and magnesium. Flavonoids are a type of antioxidant compound that stabilize and ultimately destroy free radicals in your cells and tissues that can accelerate aging, contribute to heart disease and raise your risk of cancer. In addition to removing free radicals, antioxidants also help decrease inflammation that can contribute to arthritis and other diseases. Raw cacao is also a rich source of magnesium, which is required by the body for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, and sulfur, which builds strong nails and hair and promotes beautiful skin. Last, but definitely not least, consuming chocolate stimulates the brain to release neurotransmitters which can boost mood and promote a positive outlook!
I hope you enjoy some chocolate this Valentine’s Day and make these brownies for someone you love. Happy Valentine’s Day.
- 1 15-ounce can of black beans (I use Eden Organic with the BPA-free liner)
- 1 cup of coconut oil, melted (plus a little extra for greasing the pan)
- 1 cup of dark chocolate chips, divided (I use Shiloh Farms)
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup raw cacao powder
- 1 cup maple sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ⅔ cup sprouted spelt flour (read this post for the benefits of sprouted flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 7 by 11 inch baking pan with coconut oil.
- Place the beans and coconut oil in a blender and blend on a low setting until combined.
- Melt half of the chocolate chips.
- Add the melted chocolate chips, eggs, cacao powder, maple sugar and vanilla to the blender.
- Blend on a medium-high setting until smooth.
- In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix together.
- Add the contents in the blender to the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Stir in the remaining chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.