13 January 2010

Beanie-Greenie Brownies

From January 2010 photos

Yep, this is another recipe for brownies with beans, but my newest version is extra-special. I've cut the bad fats dramatically by using whipped fresh avocado as the primary fat. Avocado does wonderful things for brownies (as well as your skin and heart). First, it makes brownies rich in the most wonderful way. Second, they are fudgy in exactly the way you would expect chocolate fudge brownies to be, except that they are carob. Best of all, avocados are so nutritionally dense, we should be eating them more often, and what better way than with a brownie! (If you ignored the above link, you might re-think it and visit the California Avocado Commission for more info.)

From January 2010 photos

See? Super-fudgy.

These special brownies are another work of mine that Dave Grotto published within his 101 Optimal Life Foods.

While my brownies are carob, you could easily make these chocolate. Admittedly, I couldn't resist tinkering. Even though this recipe is well-tested by both me and Dave's test kitchens, I still had to tinker with it. I used 1/2 cup less agave nectar than I used originally and still found the brownies to be sweet enough for me. Your mileage may vary.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the format of the recipe as printed in Dave's new book is different than that of my Altered Plates postings (down to the use of the term agave syrup instead of agave nectar). However, I respect integrity, so below is the recipe straight from 101 Optimal Life Foods by David Grotto, RD, LDN Copyright © 2009 by David Grotto. The recipe is excerpted from the original book by permission of Bantam, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

To indicate any alterations I made, I'll include them in bolded font.

Greenie-Beanie Brownies
Servings: 48


1 1/2 cups unsweetened carob chips
3 tablespoons Earth Balance buttery spread, plus more for the pan
1/4 cup tahini
1 cup whipped avocado (easily done in a blender or with an immersion blender)
3/4 cup pureed cooked beans (I used cannelini because they have such a creamy flavor.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup oat flour (or coconut flour)
1 cup carob powder
2 cups agave syrup (I used 1 1/2 cups agave nectar.)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. (I waited until the batter was in the baking dish prior to preheating the oven.) Using Earth Balance buttery spread, generously grease a 13 x 9-inch pan.
     Mix together the carob chips, Earth Balance, and tahini in a large heatproof bowl. Bring a medium saucepan filled halfway with water to a boil. Turn off the heat and place the bowl with the carob mixture over the hot water. Whisk the melting carob mixture until smooth.
     Transfer the carob mixture to a stand-mixture bowl, and whisk in the avocado until incorporated. Whisk in the pureed beans until incorporated.
     In a separate bowl or very large measuring cup, sift together the dry ingredients; mix thoroughly with a fork until all the dry ingredients are combined.
     In a large measuring cup, combine the agave syrup with the vanilla.
     On the mixer, switch to the paddle attachment. Alternate adding 1/2 cup at a time of the dry and agave mixtures to the batter. When the batter has been mixed well, fold in the walnuts. Let the batter rest until the oven has reached temperature.
     When the oven has reached temperature, spread the batter into the prepared pan, making sure to get it in all the corners. It will be pretty thick. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a tester reveals a few moist crumbs. Let the brownies cool completely on a rack (at least 2 hours) before cutting into 48 pieces.

Nutritional Profile
110 calories, 4 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 20 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein.

From January 2010 photos


Anonymous said...

Yum--I love fudgy brownies :-) How much avocado did you need to use to equal 1 cup pureed/whipped? A whole one or a half?


plasticcalifornia said...

New reader here, found you via twitter. Do you think you can replace the agave w/ maple syrup as I am adverse to the agave syrup. Love the idea of the avocado, reminds me of Heidi's peanut butter cookies w/ olive oil.

Deb Schiff said...

Hi Courtney,
Your mileage may vary because the size of the pit affects the amount of "meat" within the shell, but I used two small organic Haas avocados. Make sure they are nice and ripe.
Hope that helps!

Deb Schiff said...

Hi Plastic,
I'd bet you could substitute maple syrup for agave nectar. BTW, I also use olive oil quite a bit as a substitute for butter. It works very well.
Thanks for checking in!

Lara said...

Hi, just wondering, how well do these freeze? Looking forward to trying them.

Deb Schiff said...

Hi Lara,
I have not yet frozen these, but I can tell you from previous experience freezing baked goods that it is all in the wrapping. Chill your leftover goodies prior to removing them from their containers to wrap. Wrap very tightly in plastic wrap, then stick your wrapped goods into a ziplock freezer bag. They should be alright for a month. Wrap smaller portions for treats now and then. I'd also venture that they would make great ice cream add-ins. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi I was looking for carob powder and only saw dark roast and light roast. I didn't know which to buy but I went with light. Will that work?