I have a confession to make… For Christmas I stuffed two different bars of specialty chocolate in Roark’s stocking. I managed to make it through all of December without pulling them back out and indulging in a little bite. But when Christmas came and went, and three days later the bars still sat on our counter uneaten, taunting me, I honestly couldn’t help myself. I might have eaten the entire milk chocolate and pretzel bar and the remainder of the dark chocolate, almond, and sea salt one over the course of three days. Roark didn’t even notice the chocolate was gone until another three days passed since he is not as addicted to sweets as I am.
It’s a problem, a real problem. It seems like almost every week now a new study comes out showing that sugar is harmful to our health linking it to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. And while I come nowhere close to eating the 130 pounds a year of sugar that the average American does, during the holidays my intake spikes, and January’s always a rough month for me while I try to kick the sugar habit.
I learned that for me, eating regular meals filled with whole foods containing protein and fats helps. I also take a supplement of the amino acid, Glutamine, if my cravings are really bad, which helps because it serves as a source of energy to our cells so they in turn don’t crave sugar for quick fuel. So even with all my indulging over the holidays, thankfully, I can say that I am back in a good place where I’m not shoveling chocolate into my mouth like a junkie anymore. Now my body and mind are back in sync understanding that sugar is a treat, not something I need everyday or even every week.
However, I really needed to make it up to Roark. Seriously, who buys someone a Christmas treat and then eats it all for themselves?! An addict who needed their next sugar fix, that’s who! So this week I made him some brownies, some Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies to be exact, as a way to apologize.
While these Brownies do contain sugar, I’ve cut it down to a ¾ cup, plus some maple syrup. The great part is that they are made with whole-wheat flour and black beans, so you are getting some good fiber, protein, and fat, plus some serious antioxidants from the chocolate with each bite you take. While these are still considered a treat in my house, they are a healthier version that you can feel good about indulging in once in a while.
I have discovered that if stored in the refrigerator, they take on a nice, thick, fudgy constancy. But if kept out on the counter, their texture is more like cake. I haven’t tried freezing them since the refrigerator stores them well enough until they are all gone. But, I have a feeling they would freeze and defrost nicely.
I hope you enjoy these as much as Roark and I did. I was so good that I saved him the last one; and that’s conquering your sugar addiction if I’ve ever seen it!
- Olive Oil Cooking Spray
- ¼ Cup of Butter
- ¼ Cup of Black Beans, drained, rinsed, and pureed until smooth
- 3 ounces of Semi Sweet Chocolate
- 2 ounces of Unsweetened Chocolate
- ¾ Cup of Torbinado Sugar
- ½ Cup of Maple Syrup
- 2 Eggs, plus 1 Egg White
- 1 ½ teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour
- ¼ Cup of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- ½ teaspoon of Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon of Salt
- Powdered Sugar, optional for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Use the Olive Oil Cooking Spray to coat a 9-inch square baking pan and line it with parchment paper leaving an overhang on all of the sides.
- Place the Butter, Black Beans, and Chocolate in a medium-sized microwave safe bowl. Heat it in the microwave for 30-second increments until all the chocolate has melted, stirring in between blasts. Add in the Sugar, Eggs, Egg White, and Vanilla, and whisk everything together until it is smooth and set aside.
- Into a small bowl, sift the Flour, Cocoa Powder, Baking Powder, and Salt. Stir in the chocolate mixture until everything is moist and combined. Pour the batter into the lined baking pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. The edges will be done but the center will still look moist, which will set as it cools. Let it cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Using the parchment paper, lift the brownies out of the pan, dust with Powdered Sugar, and cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature for a cake-like brownie or in the refrigerator for a fudge-like brownie.