Black bean brownies with salted caramel and toasted coconut {guilt-free and low-fat}

 

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I hate beans.

I think it stems back to when I was little. I remember going to a Mexican restaurant with my dad and (at the time) stepsister and stepmother. The next thing I remember is my stepsister throwing up refriend beans later that night all over the carpet in her bedroom. That image has since been engraved in my head… for the past 13 years. I have even convinced myself that every time I eat beans I’m going to throw them up too. That being said, I’m now about to contradict that statement because I have found a guilt-free brownie recipe that’s high in fiber, protein, antioxidants and is absolutely delicious! And– the catch? It’s made with black beans!

 

photo (36)The past month and a half I have been working my butt off…literally. I am going to Vegas this coming weekend and I’ve been trying really hard to watch what I eat and push myself harder than I ever have at the gym. And my hard work has finally paid off! I am down 10 pounds since March and am in the best shape of my life. The one thing that has been a struggle though is cutting out the sweets. I LOVE pancakes (as you know), baked breads, cupcakes, cookies, brownies. You name it, chances are I love it. But this past week I decided I needed some sugar back in my life. So I researched and researched and found healthier alternatives you can use in baking…for example…instead of butter, applesauce. Instead of flour, ground oats. Instead of cake batter, black beans. So I figured I may as well give it a shot! And I ended up creating a recipe that was so good, my roommate and I ate the whole batch in one day! You would never be able to tell they’re made with black beans because they’re so fudgey and chocolatey. And stick some caramel in there and sprinkle sea salt on top? DONE! That’s why you too need to make this recipe. NOW!

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Black bean brownies with salted caramel and toasted coconut {guilt-free and low-fat}

– 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

– 3 Tbsp coconut oil or olive oil (I prefer coconut)

-1/4 tsp salt

-1/3 cup reduced fat maple syrup (can use regular maple syrup if you prefer the real deal)

-1 can black beans (drained and rinced well)

-2 packets stevia

-1/2 tsp baking powder

-2 tsp vanilla extract

– 1/2 cup oats (I used rolled)

-5 caramel squares, each square cut into four

– 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

-sea salt for sprinkling on finished brownies

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Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips, caramel, sea salt and coconut in a food processor and blend until smooth.  A blender or ninja can work too. The batter will be thick but not to worry! Stir in the chips and caramel slices, then pour into a greased loaf pan. Cook 18 minutes then sprinkle coconut flakes on top and stick back in the oven for an additional 2 minutes or until coconut flakes are slightly golden. You’ll want to watch the coconut carefully so the flakes don’t burn or turn too golden. Sprinkle sea salt on top and cool 15 minutes before cutting.

 

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