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I’ve heard several rumors circulating the internet about “healthy” brownies. Several sources that I discovered claim that you can buy a standard brownie mix from the store, ignore the required ingredients (oil, eggs, etc..) and simply add a can of pureed black beans. Everyone seems to say they cannot tell the difference and apparently even children who are clueless to the contents love them. Either way, store-bought brownie mix contains heavily processed flour and sugar which certainly aren’t good for you, although I will have to try this at some point (perhaps with the No Pudge brownie mix).

The brownies before your eyes are a different kind of experiment. Back when I was looking up peanut butter cookie recipes and making my Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies, I discovered an obscure comment from “Anonymous” who claimed that the simple addition of an extra egg, mashed banana and cocoa powder would yield delicious brownies. I was intrigued, but the exact quantities were a little vague. I followed them as best I could and lo and behold, a form of flourless brownies was born.

Now, these brownies are a bit different and definitely need fixing. I decided to post my results and see if anyone has suggestions for my next batch or wants to experiment on their own. I see great potential here but I am not an experienced baker and don’t feel like wasting 47 bananas and 28 jars of peanut butter to figure these out =).

Here’s what I did:

Ingredients:Print

Test Recipe (Changes Needed):

1 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 very ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1t vanilla

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix peanut butter, honey, banana, eggs and vanilla in a bowl. Add cocoa powder and mix well.

2. Pour batter into an ungreased 9×9 baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Results:

1. The brownies came out too “eggy” and had a sponge-like texture
2. The flavor of chocolate was not very pronounced.
3. They were sweet enough.
4. The brownies got better with time. After letting them sit in a tupperware for a few hours, they got very moist and the egg flavor/sponge texture started to disappear. They were even better the next day (but still not wonderful).

I think the 2 eggs were necessary for rising and baking, but other additions are needed. From my limited baking experience, I suggest the following:

Increase cocoa powder to 1/2 cup.
Add a second mashed banana.
Add 1/2 cup light yogurt.

Maybe these additions well keep the brownie dense to begin with while keeping it moist? Perhaps I need some flour (1/3 – 1/2 cup)? Any thoughts/suggestions?

Filed in Dessert, Gluten Free, Peanut Butter, Vegetarian

14 Responses / Leave a comment »

  1. Jessy and her dog Winnie says:

    Hmm I’m not sure what you would have to do. I’m glad you didn’t made brownies with beans, that just sounds completely nasty lol.

  2. Jessica "Su Good Sweets" says:

    I made white bean brownies, and they’re good!

  3. fitfool says:

    I’m not a baking expert either so I don’t know how to help the recipe. But I had wandered to this blog after reading your comment on the banana cookies and how you were intending to make them with peanut butter replacing the butter. Did you try this? Did it work? I want to make them and didn’t want to waste my time if it didn’t come out that well. :)

  4. Nick says:

    I have yet to try those cookies with peanut butter for two reasons. I can’t seem to keep bananas around long enough to get them to the mash-able/bake-able stage. Also, my roomies haven’t been around enough to help eat an entire batch of cookies if I were to make them because otherwise it becomes a dangerous situation if I’m left alone with a batch of fresh cookies.

    Maybe this week I’ll have some time to try a small batch of those cookies and these peanut butter brownies.

  5. fitfool says:

    Please do let me know whenever you try out that recipe. I’m curious to know how it would turn out and too lazy to do my own research :)

  6. Rosiecat says:

    Hey Peanut Butter Boy!

    I don’t know about this “healthy brownie” business. That seems like an oxymoron to me. Why not just eat a brownie and call it dessert?

    If you are willing to concede that brownies (even healthier brownies) are dessert, Mollie Katzen has an excellent Peanut Butter Brownie recipe in her book, Vegetable Heaven. They’re not health-foody at all, and they are fantastic.

  7. Anonymous says:

    try adding instant coffee, maybe a few tablespoons to increase the richness of the chocolate flavor. Also, I think you need to add vanilla and it wouldn’t hurt to whip the eggs up quite a bit to get a better texture. May also want to use some oil to mix with the chocolate powder! Brownies made with beans are very good actually! I just tried them last night.

  8. Anne says:

    3 things could help these brownies:

    1) increasing cocoa powder to 1/2 cup
    2) adding some dark chocolate (something like 94% cocoa, melted, could be awesome)
    3) adding 1/4c to 1/3c apple sauce

  9. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn’t add applesauce since it will only result in a cakey texture to which the banana already contributes. I would definitely add 1/4 cup melted dark chocolate and 1 tsp instant coffee. These are the key ingredients to my low fat brownies. Good luck!

  10. Cindy says:

    I’ve made a couple different brownie recipes recently that included black beans and coffee grounds and they were terrible. I’m starting to think beans do not have a place in baked goods. I was trying to do some lentil muffins for a while too and they were sawdust-like.
    I’m tempted to fiddle with this recipe. I think it could use some fat. We’ll see.

  11. Erin from Long Island says:

    When I see this recipe I wonder….where’s the salt?! a pinch or two is all you need, but without it the flavors will be flat and sad

    • Nick says:

      Hmm, that’s true. Salt would definitely help, but I still think something else is missing….apple sauce and melted chocolate might do the trick.

      • Erin from Long Island says:

        haha, doesn’t that fix everything? Seriously though, I think more banana and less egg might work. I’ve never tried baking experimentally with yogurt so idk about that. I also think a little coconut oil would make these brownies sing!

  12. Rachelle says:

    Yummy! That looks excellent! And I’m loving the ingredient list!

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