Monthly Archives: April 2017

Easy Flourless Black Bean Brownies

Warning: Rave ahead. As in I can’t stop raving about these easy flourless black bean brownies that are also gluten-free!

Black bean brownie topped with raspberries and melted chocolate on a white plate.

The health benefits of beans

This might come as a surprise: beans are vegetables and they are bursting with nutrition. Beans supply several nutrients including protein and potassium, and they contain phytonutrients, which are plant compounds that protect your cells against damage.

Black beans, and other legumes, also contribute fiber to your eating plan. Fiber feeds the beneficial gut bacteria that support your immune system and help prevent you from getting sick from a virus or bacteria.


Fruits and vegetables can make indulgences like brownies, bars, and cookies better for you, even when the baked goods contain added sugar.


Why beans are a good ingredient substitute for baking

You can use beans to replace some of the fat and flour when baking, and enhance the texture of baked goods, like these brownies. I have nothing against fat or flour, however. I just like to bake with beans sometimes!

I love desserts that have more to offer more than calories, and these brownies are one of them. The black beans and the raspberries pump up the fiber content to 10 grams per serving, which is more than 25% of your daily fiber needs! Along with the eggs, beans also contribute protein, so that a serving has 7 grams, which, along with fiber, helps you to feel satisfied.

I top my brownies with raspberries because they are delicious, beautiful, and nutritious. Raspberries supply vitamin C, fiber, phytonutrients, and so much more. And, raspberries provide natural sweetness so you can use less added sugar in baked goods.

Flourless black bean brownies topped with raspberries and melted dark chocolate on a wire rack.


These easy flourless black bean brownies take less than 40 minutes to prepare from start to finish. While they look special enough for a celebration, they’re also easy enough to make any time.


Easy Flourless Black Bean Brownies

Delicious, easy, flourless black brownies topped with fresh raspberries.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: blackbeanbrownies, flourlessbrownies, glutenfreebrownies
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 3 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips*
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, washed and dried

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  • Place the beans and 3 tablespoons of oil in a food processor. Process on high until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.  
  • Add the eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract and blend well.  
  • Add the baking powder and salt and blend for 10 seconds more. 
  • Stir in 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips.
  • Pour the batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Remove the brownies and allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
  • Top the brownies with the raspberries, forming a single layer.
  • Combine the remaining teaspoon of canola oil and the remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave until chips are melted, about 20 to 30 seconds, stopping to stir once.  
  • Immediately drizzle the chocolate mixture on top of the raspberries. Allow the chocolate to harden for at least 10 minutes before cutting into 8 equal pieces.
    * You can also use white chocolate chips for the topping, if desired.

Notes

Per serving (1/8 of recipe): 
319 calories; 15 grams fat (5 grams saturated fat); 48 milligrams cholesterol; 324 milligrams sodium; 46 grams carbohydrate; 10 grams fiber; 8 grams protein

Flourless black bean brownies topped with raspberries and melted white chocolate

You can also substitute white chocolate chips for dark, if you like. Here’s a post about using the ingredients you have on hand.

Two black bean brownies topped with fresh raspberries on white plates on a gray background.

 

 

 

No Added Sugar Banana Raisin Oatmeal Muffin Cups

No added sugar banana raisin oatmeal muffin cups

No Added Sugar Banana Raisin Oatmeal Muffin Cups get their sweetness from fruit.

 

I love muffins, but I avoid the huge, high-calorie coffee shop and supermarket versions because they offer little in the way of nutrition and they are too sweet for me (and I LOVE sweets!). Save money and get a nutrition boost when you bake a batch of these simple, no added sugar banana raisin oatmeal muffin cups on the weekend to have for breakfast and snacks all week long. 



Want to eat less added sugar? Read this for easy tips. 


No added sugar banana raisin oatmeal muffin cups are healthy

Why are these muffins a better choice than most others?

For some reason, muffins have a health halo. People often think muffins are a healthy choice, but most are loaded with ingredients you just don’t need, such as added sugar and fat. Both contribute calories that you probably want to avoid. 

Consider this comparison. At about 380 calories, a bakery blueberry muffin has more than 100 calories than a chocolate frosted donut sold at a national chain coffee shop.  The blueberry muffin contains 38 grams of added sugar (about 9 teaspoons) while the donut has about 13 grams of added sugar (about 3 teaspoons)! 

This recipe has no added sugar, and doesn’t need any. Bananas and raisins supply natural sweetness, as well as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. My muffins are made with oatmeal and no refined flour, which means they are 100% whole grain. That’s also different from many commercial muffins which contain only refined white flour. 

Walnuts add crunch, heart-healthy fat, fiber, and protein, too. You could leave out the walnuts if you or anyone in your household has a tree nut allergy, but don’t eliminate them for the calories. Each one of these muffins has just 149 calories, a far cry from commercial types. 


Use gluten-free oatmeal to be sure these muffin cups don’t contain gluten.


Why I choose dairy milk 

The recipe for No Added Sugar Banana Raisin Oatmeal Muffin Cups calls for dairy milk, and that is one of the reasons why the protein content is relatively high. Muffins are not known for their protein, but each one of these supplies 4 grams, which is remarkable considering their smaller size. In addition, each muffin provides 80 milligrams of calcium, almost as much as one-third glass of milk. 

no added sugar banana raisin oatmeal cup batter in muffin pan

Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to fill each muffin cup.

If you’d like to replace the milk with a non-dairy alternative, I recommend unsweetened soy beverage. The protein, and calcium, content are comparable. Almond milk and other plant milks tend to be lower in protein, and may not contain added calcium and other nutrients, such as vitamin D. 

No Added Sugar Banana Raisin Oatmeal Muffin Cups

Ripe bananas and raisins provide the sweetness in these delicious, moist, and gluten-free muffin cups! 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time18 mins
5 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bananarecipe, glutenfree, muffins, no added sugar, wholegrain
Servings: 18
Calories: 149kcal
Author: ewardrd

Ingredients

  • 3 cups oats, uncooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. (I find this works better than lining the pan with paper liners because the muffins tend to stick to the paper.)
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined. Whisk in the milk.
  • Pour the banana mixture into the oats mixture. Add the raisins. Stir well to combine. The batter has a lot of liquid in it, so it will be soupy.
  • Fill the muffin cups nearly to the top with batter (a scant 1/4-cup full).
  • Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack for 5 minutes, with the muffins still in the pan. Remove the muffins from the pan and allow them to cool on the wire rack. 
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes

Per serving: Calories: 149, Carbohydrate: 21 grams, Fiber: 2 grams, Protein: 4 grams, Fat: 6 grams, Saturated fat: 1 gram, Cholesterol: 23 milligrams, Sodium: 142 milligrams, Calcium: 81 milligrams.

 

No added sugar banana raisin oatmeal cups

 

 

 

 

 

 
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