Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Black Bean Brownies with Ricotta Swirl


Sorry for the lack of posting recently, I just got back from a fabulous weekend visiting family in Texas. While there, I had the opportunity to work on developing this tasty brownie recipe. Made with black beans, agave nectar and ricotta, these brownies are a far healthier version of this traditional treat. The best part? They are so tasty and chewy, you can't even tell they are made with beans! These brownies passed the ultimate taste test. My 6 year old cousin Nick loved them and couldn't tell the difference. Don't let the beans scare you, this recipe is a wonderful way to enjoy a delicious treat filled with fiber and protein. Ricotta mixed with a bit of agave and vanilla extract is a lighter alternative to cream cheese. I used agave nectar, but feel free to try raw sugar, splenda, honey, or brown rice syrup. These are a work in progress, so let me know how you make your version!

Full recipe and photos after the jump!



Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes


Ingredients:


3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cocoa powder
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and pureed
1/4 water
3/4 cup + 1 tsp agave nectar, divided
1/2 cup part skim ricotta
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 tbsp + 1 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1 tsp baking powder

Step by Step Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Mix flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl, set aside

3. In a food processor of blender, puree beans and water until smooth

4. In a medium bowl, mix beans, vanilla, and agave

5. In a small bowl, microwave 1/2 cup chocolate chips until melted

6. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients

7. Mix thoroughly

8. Swirl melted chocolate into batter

9. Whisk ricotta, 1 tbsp of agave and 1 tsp of vanilla until smooth

10. In a greased 8x8 or 8x12 baking tray, pour 2/3 of batter and smooth with a spatula

11. Place dollops of ricotta mixture across pan

12. Pour in remaining 1/3 of mixture and swirl with a small spatula or knife to marbleize

13. Top with chocolate chips or nuts

14. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean



Nutrition Info: makes 12 brownies
1 brownie
185 Calories
4.5g Protein
6.5g Fiber

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