Wednesday, June 15, 2011

All Aboard

I decided today was a good day to, finally, get on the Black Bean Brownie Bandwagon. It was a post by Balanced Bean in April that first introduced me to the idea and I definitely wanted to try them. I searched around for a bit, found different recipes and in the end this is what I ended up putting in:

1. 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder because I wanted them to be more nutritionally dense, especially if I'm not really eating a brownie! 
2. 1/2 cup of agave nectar (1/8 cup), honey (1/8 cup) and raw sugar (1/4 cup)to balance the cocoa powder
3. 2 eggs
4. 1/2 cup flour
5. 1.5 teaspoons vanilla
6. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
7. And of course, the can of black beans! 

I rinsed the beans in the strainer and then dumped it all into the food processor.

The batter did not smell particularly appetizing, and I was hesitant to taste the batter. I did, and it was meh. I realize now that I had not added any salt and the rinsing process removes a fair amount from the beans. I know this did not help the brownies. 

They cooked for 18 minutes in a greased 8x8 pan with the oven at 350 degrees; they smelled good.

Max didn't seem to care about the brownie experiment, but Izzy was waiting to see if she could try any of the batter or the finished product! 

 They looked ok, but did not have the normal glisten of brownies. After letting them cool, I tried one. They definitely needed the salt I forgot. The flavor was mild, and the beans were undetectable. I entered them into My Food Diary, for these stats:

Nutrition Facts
12 brownies
Black Bean Brownies 6.15.11
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat1.2g
      Saturated Fat0.3g
      Trans Fat0g
      Dietary Fiber3g
Vitamin A 1%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium    1%Iron 7%

8.3 grams of protein is decent for 115 calories, but I would like them to have more fiber and more iron etc overall. I don't think these are on their way to becoming a dessert in my house, but they might be the basis for a protein bar. There are 3 main reasons that I want to make my own protein bars:

1. Cost - I don't have the numbers, but I know that making them is going to be a lot cheaper than buying them.

2. Control - Whether it be sugar, flavor or just the overall pronoune-ability of the ingredients, I want to know what is going into my body. I also like that I can play with them to get the flavor/nutrition/portion combination that I want.

3. Convenience - I like having my protein powder with soy or almond milk, but the convenience of a protein bar can't be beat.

Oh, I almost forgot that even though I didn't run this weekend I did get in a great walk. I carried my 3 year old niece about 1.5 miles, mostly up hill and then continued another 0.5 miles or so with the dogs. My heart was racing and my arms were hurting during and for the next few days!

Tonight I did 30 minutes, with a focus on endurance. I alternated between 2 minutes of running at 4.0 and 1 minute of running at 5.0. Near the end I was too hot to keep at that so I slowed my speed to 3.6 and upped the incline to 7%. I rounded out the short workout with pushups and some core work before stretching. 

Back to work tomorrow for a short week before the weekend! 


  1. I keep thinking about making those, I have all the ingredients and I love brownies! I will have to remember the salt!

  2. i"ve been so curious to try them too! nice job on the run, that definitely sounds like a killer!

  3. interesting! this is the first i've heard of adding black beans to brownies.

  4. I really think the salt would have made a big difference and using all sugar instead of the sugar, honey and agave nectar. Annnnd, adding the little bit of hot fudge to the top of my 3rd (I guess they can't be that bad eh) really made all the difference.

  5. I've heard of a few different versions of black bean brownies... the simplest was just adding the beans to boxed brownie mix instead of the eggs, oil, and water. I think I may try it that way first, then try coming up with my own, less processed version.

  6. Huh, I've never heard of black bean brownies. I might have to give those a try, just for fun. I'm a fan of beet brownies, which have a sightly earthy flavor and are a delicate shade of purpley red. I can send you that recipe if you like! :)

  7. I think I had the beet brownies at Antioch one time that someone brought in for their snack (oh, Friday afternoons with Libby seem like so long ago). I'd love for you to send me the recipe. Thanks!

    I will try the beans in the mix. I think I saw that one listed somewhere too. Good idea!