GF Vegan Brownies

I had a wonderful few days with my sister and nephew visiting from Chicago. I have little experience (or opportunity) to feed a 6 year old, so I wanted to try out some kid-friendly cuisine; but it still needed to fit in with my gluten & dairy free lifestyle, and I’m not a big believer in “sugar-coating”children’s foods.

I found a great recipe for gluten free vegan brownies that I just had to try:

1 can (15.5 oz) black beans
2 bananas
1/2 cup of unsweetened coca
1/3 cup agave
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla (the recipe called for vanilla extract; but I used an organic powdered vanilla)
1 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8×8 in pan – I used coconut oil. Everything (except the optional chips) goes into the food processor. I have a mini-processor, so I did it in 2 batches. Fold in the chips and bake for 35 minutes.

Makes 9 servings with a mere 100 calories each – lots of fiber, very little fat and remarkably fudge-y. I can’t taste the black beans; but there is a distinct banana flavor. According to some online feedback, using unripe bananas will cut down on that flavor, but substituting a different type of fruit wouldn’t work (it’s a texture thing, I guess) I still want to something besides banana – I’m thinking pumpkin in the fall and maybe adding walnuts; but this June heat doesn’t make pumpkin sound appealing.

Great reviews from my sister, her friend, and my nephew!

I did consider icing them – and if I had ripe avocados on hand, I would have made a yummy chocolate icing out of avocado, cocoa powder and agave. So creamy, the same ingredients also make a great chocolate mousse (just use more avocado) – avocado is my favorite creamy/dairy substitute. It has a sweetness to it, but it’s neutral enough to be a good base for other flavors – especially chocolate, which has such a yummy, bold flavor.

I love the idea of baking my own special treats. After reading Micheal Pollan’s “Food Rules” {highly recommend it!}, I love the idea of only eating special occasion food that I make myself at home. Fried chicken is a huge PIA, so making it at home, rather than eating it out, ensures that I won’t eat it very often. The same goes for desserts. Of course the problem with desserts is that it’s hard to make just a single serving. If I bake cupcakes, there will be at least a dozen cupcakes in the house. For me, I need to bake for “company” – I made 9 brownies, but there were 4 of us, so there was a built-in portion control. Even good-for-you food becomes less good if you eat 3 servings at a time 🙂

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