The Dessert Challenge {Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies}

Hi FLT Friends!

In my last post, I wrote about The Colors & Cups Challenge, daring you to not focus on dieting, but rather on eating more fruits and veggies.  There, I talked about eating fruit for dessert – for both lunch and supper.

Eating a piece of fresh fruit is awesome!  It’s healthy, sweet, and filling.  It gives you more cups of fruits & veggies per day and gives you more vitamins, antioxidants, and other health benefits.  If you are able to stick to doing that, GREAT!!!

But what about those of us who have a big sweet tooth and love things like chocolate?  What if a piece of fruit to end your meal just isn’t quite right?  What if you are used to eating dessert, such as a cookie or two?

I’m going to tell you my “dirty little secret“!

I eat one or two Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Nuggets with Almonds to end my lunches and suppers, after the piece of fruit.  I’m a dark-chocoholic!  I love the slight twist of bitterness, with the sweetness, with the punch of a cup of coffee!  For me, it’s the perfect ending to a meal!

Not only that, but there are some health benefits to dark chocolate that you might not know about.  The higher the percentage of cacao, the less sweet it is, meaning less sugar and less calories.  It also means more antioxidants and vitamins &  minerals.  Dark chocolate is good for your heart (lowering blood pressure), brain (reduces risk of stroke), mood, blood sugar (it has a low glycemic index & can protect against type-2 diabetes), and teeth (hardens tooth enamel).  Plus, dark chocolate actually has appetite suppressant properties!

Eating my little dark chocolate treats satisfies my sweet chocoholic tooth and is healthy.  It’s a win-win!

Even if you are not a dark chocolate fan, you can get milk chocolate candies and limit yourself to one or two after each meal.  It would be better than (less calories than) cookies, cake, or other baked goods.  It’s all about making better choices.

On the subject of chocolate and healthier choices, when we sometimes do need/want to make a sweet treat, try out some wonderful black bean brownies!  (I was skeptical…how could black beans in your brownies possibly taste good?  I like beans, but had never associated them with sweets.  These are scrumptious!  I can’t tell there are beans in them.)

Black Bean Brownies (naturally gluten-free)

1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup agave nectar (or 3/4 cup turbinado sugar)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly oil or coat an 8″x8″ baking pan with nonstick cooking spray & set aside.

2. Place all of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, into a blender or food processor.  Process until smooth and creamy.  Add 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and stir with a spoon.

3. Pour batter into pan, smoothing top with a spatula.  Sprinkle on the other 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.

4. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until edges start to pull away from the pan, and a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan and slice into 2″ squares.

These brownies are quick, easy, and more healthy than traditional ones…and just as good!

Here’s to your health!

We want to let you know about two exciting events going on at FabFitFun right now through January!

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