Last week my mom made brownies when my girls were at her house. They LOVED them. I can’t remember the last time I made brownies – seriously it could be years ago. But I do like to make a good homemade treat for them every once in a while because they just love it so much. I think they almost like the actual making of it more than they like eating the treat.
This is the story behind this recipe. My 4 year old has suddenly become extremely picky. A picky child’s ‘pickiness’ is not a fun behavior to deal with. We have lots of parents who write to us asking for advice for their picky child. There are many philosophies, tips and tricks for dealing with a picky child. In general, I believe that parents shouldn’t hide healthy food from their kids disguised by things that they like. I think it is important for kids to learn to eat and like different healthy foods. But I do believe in ‘amping’ up the nutrition in foods they are going to eat anyway. So for a St. Patrick’s day inspired treat we made these brownies and frosted them with an avocado based frosting – all natural green color with the bonus of added nutrition. I was really interested to see how my girls would like the brownies – as soon as they saw me making them they were super excited to lick the batter bowl. Let’s just say that acceptance was high – they literally both needed a bath after they were done licking the spatula and bowl. I should have taken a picture.
I was kind of worried about how the two recipes would go with each other, but my husband came home and tried a brownie with frosting and said they balance each other perfectly. In fact, he had no clue there was avocado or black beans in either of them until I told him.
To start your brownies, you will need one 15.5 oz can of black beans – rinsed thoroughly. You can actually remove a lot of the sodium by rinsing your beans. If you want to cook your own, then you will need about 2 cups of black beans.
Place all the beans, and the rest of your ingredients in a high powdered blender (see below for recipe). A couple of notes here. If you want a more fudge-like brownie, leave the baking powder out. If you like a more cake-like brownie, include the baking powder. If you are going to frost your brownie, then you can use the lower amount of sweetener. If you are going to eat your brownies plain, you may want to add the higher amount of sweetener. Make sense??
Once it is blended and smooth, pour into a sprayed 8×8 baking pan.
Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes. If you exclude the baking powder, you may need closer to the 30 minutes. I baked mine for 26 minutes and they were perfect.
Slice them up and you can enjoy some chocolaty, warm brownies. And did I mention they are gluten free? No flour! They can definitely stand alone………but if you like a little frosting with your brownie then read on.
Personally, I like my chocolate baked goods served with a tall glass of ice cold milk. We have a friend that will only eat his cake ‘Milk-cake’ style – or maybe it is ‘Cake-milk’ style. Hmmm – can’t remember the exact title, but basically he takes a bowl, puts his slice of cake in it, and then covers it in milk and waits a few minutes to eat it until the cake has soaked up the milk. I just like my milk on the side Have I mentioned ALL of my siblings are lactose intolerant? I’m holding out – or I guess I should say I’m holding onto my lactase for dear life. I’m so sorry for those of you with a milk allergy or lactose intolerance.
To make the frosting, take a ripe avocado and beat it until it is very smooth. This could take a few minutes.
To that add your softened butter, vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy. If it seems to runny, you can add a bit more powdered sugar. Then frost your brownie (or cake, or cupcake) to your heart’s desire. I would say this frosting would go best with something chocolaty.
I thought about adding a little peppermint to it and making a Mint Brownie. But it remained a thought. So if any of you get brave and try it, let me know.
Black Bean Brownies and Dye-free Green Frosting
Black Bean Brownies
No-Dye Avocado Frosting