This Plant-Based Black Bean Brownies Recipe Makes a Deliciously Protein-Packed Dessert

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When you think of getting your protein throughout the day, you probably focus on things like adding lentils into your dinner. But there's another, sweeter way you haven't considered: saving it for dessert with black bean brownies.

Beans and brownies aren't the most likely pairing, but trust me—it works. When chefs Jenny Dorsey and Mia Rigden were put to the test in an episode of Well+Good's Alt-Baking Bootcamp, they came up with a mouth-watering black bean brownies recipe that you'll want to make again and again. "They're super fudgy, not bean-y—you literally can't taste the black beans," says Rigden.

"They're super fudgy, not bean-y—you literally can't taste the black beans." —Mia Rigden

So, how do you make bean brownies that don't taste like beans? Dorsey's secret is soaking them in coconut milk before you bake. "It pulls a little of that bean-y flavor out so you don't really notice it. There's not much of a coconut flavor either," she says. Aside from adding great texture to the brownies, Rigden says beans are also a great source of vegan protein, fiber, potassium, fiber, folate, and vitamin B6.

The next time you want to make something sweet, grab a can of beans from your pantry and whip up these healthy brownies.

Plant-based black bean brownies

Yield: 12 1.5" mini brownies

1 15.5oz can black beans, drained, rinsed well
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
6 Tbsp cold water
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup vegan dark chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling

1. Combine black beans with coconut milk and place in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
2. Strain black beans from coconut milk and rinse.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
4. Mix together flaxseed and cold water in small cup and let sit 10 minutes to gel together as a flax "egg."
5. Combine black beans with flax "egg" and coconut sugar in food processor. Pulse until smooth.
6. Add cacao powder, baking powder, and salt. Pulse until smooth.
7. Add dark chocolate chips and pulse 2 to 3 times until chips have been broken up slightly, but not completely.
8. Transfer brownie mix to brownie molds or a baking dish, and tap sheet tray on the table to flatten the tops of the brownie mix.
9. Sprinkle 3 to 4 dark chocolate chips on each brownie.
10. Bake at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is firm, but the insides are still soft.
11. Garnish with sea salt to your taste!

Here's how you can use avocados to make your favorite desserts so much healthier. Then try the low-glycemic desserts that will help you enjoy a sweeter sleep tonight.

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