by | February 13, 2013 · 3:16 pm

I am a huge fan of Chocolate Covered Katie.  And who wouldn’t be?  This girl takes our favourite sugary, fat-laden treats and transforms them into healthy desserts.  Katie’s a vegan, so all her desserts are dairy and egg free, and most are gluten free and free of refined sugar.

What I find really amazing is that Katie’s healthy versions of classic treats often taste far better than the original.  And they definitely leave you feeling better inside.  No stomach aches, no sugar hangover, and no guilt!

One of my all-time favourite CCK recipes is her No Flour Black Bean Brownie.  I love the idea of adding healthful ingredients such as beans into desserts, but when you have children around, it’s important that said ingredients can’t be detected.  I can assure you that even the fussiest of kids will be unable to detect the goodness that lies in these brownies.  So let’s keep the beans a secret okay ;)

Black Bean Brownie - Vegan & Wheat Free - 500

I’ve been making and eating A LOT of these brownies in the past couple of weeks.  I’ve made them for coffee mornings with friends, lunch box treats for M and Lil’ L, and for my Tuesday night study group.  I’ve also made a batch for Valentine’s Day ♥ ;)

Valentines Chocolate Black Bean Brownie with Almonds & Gojis - 500

My current favourite way of serving these brownies is with a topping of dark chocolate, flaked almonds and gojis.  It adds another dimension to the texture and flavour, as well as adding even more goodness and nutrition.  They also look pretty, don’t you think?

Black Bean Brownie 3 - Vegan & Wheat Free - 500

Since I’ve eaten one of these brownies every day so far this week, it seems fitting to dedicate today’s WIAW post in their honour.  Thank you, as always, to the lovely Jenn over at Peas and Crayons for hosting this fabulous food fest.

Katie’s original Black Bean Brownie post and recipe can be found here.  Do check it out as her pictures of the brownies are stunning!  Katie gives a few ingredient options in her post.  Here’s how I make them …

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Makes: 9-12 brownies
Hands-on time: 8 minutes    Cooking time: 18 minutes

Ingredients
1 x 400g / 14oz can black beans, rinsed and drained well
2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
50g / 1¾ oz / ½ cup rolled oats
58ml / 2 fl oz / ¼ cup canola (rapeseed) oil
112ml / 40z / 1/3 cup maple syrup or agave syrup (I use Clark’s Original Maple Syrup or organic light agave syrup)
2 tbsp sugar (I use unrefined caster sugar or coconut palm sugar)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
100g / 3½ oz / ½ cup choc chips

Optional topping:
50g / 1¾ oz / ½ bar dark chocolate
flaked almonds
goji berries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 350 F (I have a fan oven and still keep it at 180C). Grease a 20cm / 8″ square pan and line the bottom with non stick baking paper.
  2. Place all the ingredients (except the choc chips) in a food processor and blend for a few minutes until completely smooth, stopping now and then to scrape down the bowl.  (Katie says that a blender can work, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.)
  3. Stir in the choc chips, then pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Gently spread the mixture using a spatula or knife until it reaches the edges.
  4. Bake for 18 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before cutting.  (When you remove the brownie from the oven it will feel soft, but it firms up as it cools).
  5. Optional topping: Melt the chocolate in a bain marie or microwave.  Spread it on the brownie and sprinkle the almonds and gojis on top.  Lightly press down so that the nuts and berries stick to the chocolate.  When set, cut the brownie into squares, or use a shaped cookie cutter (hearts are good!)
  6. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freezer for a few weeks.

Black Bean Brownie 2 - Vegan & Wheat Free - 500

Have you tried any of Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipes?  If so, which are your favourites? 
Next on my list to try is her Lil’ Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins.  Lil’ L loves this combo so this could be a great lunch box treat for him :)

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