Monday, January 23, 2012

Brownies!! - It's What the Doctor Ordered

A few months ago I sat in anticipation as I watched the Dr. Oz show.  I didn't dare miss the next segment since the topic was about a brownie I could eat without the guilt.   With pen and pencil in tow, I was ready to capture the recipe and try it or at least prove him wrong.

The chef with the "brownie brainstorm" was Rocco DiSpirito.  He's Italian, so I know anything baked by an Italian has to be good.  Right?  What he came up with was a brownie batter that was mostly BLACK BEANS!   You're kidding.  Now, I love black beans, but I had a hard time imagining them in a brownie.  Then I thought back to my childhood and some of the quirky, but tasty concoctions I had baked.  A mayonnaise cake and a cake with sauerkraut to give it texture plus moistness!  This might work!

Most brownie recipes are laden with about 2 sticks of butter to go with the 2 cups of sugar.  None of that, except 1 Tbsp of butter!  Pretty amazing.  Off to the kitchen I went to try these...


15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp espresso powder

3/4 cup liquid egg substitute

3 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour ( I used regular cake flour)

3/4 cup agave nectar (I used 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup of Kahlua)

1 Tbsp unsalted, melted butter

1 tsp vanilla

dash of cinnamon (my addition)

As you see, you can "play around" with this recipe by adding different flavors.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray.  In a food processor add the beans, cocoa, egg, espresso powder and flour and pulse until no lumps appear.  Add the vanilla, agave and butter and mix again.  Pour into the pan and bake for 20 minutes turning once, halfway through.  Then turn the temperature down to 300 degrees and continue to bake for about 5-8 minutes.  Toothpick should come out clean.  Cool the brownies completely and refrigerate.  I think the chilling makes them better. 

Very moist and chocolaty

All in all, I will make this again.  How bad can they be for you?  Hopefully, not too bad cause I practically ate the whole thing!  (not in one sitting I might add)  The texture is slightly non-cakey, more moist but you could add a bit of chocolate chips or nuts to alter that.  

NOTE:  There is another variation that Rocco makes that contains truvia instead of agave and sour cream with no flour, at all!  I'll try that one next!  Maybe I'll even get his book Now Eat This.   Anyone who can make a good tasting brownie for 50 something calories vs. 1500 a square deserves my attention!   


  1. The week before xmas, Dr. Oz and Alton Brown did a chocolate pie that looked great. It was made with silken tofu and everyone raved about it, but it was TV so who knows? It should be on the Dr. Oz web site, give it a try and let us know.

  2. BTW you are beyond brave using black beans in brownies and I love brownies AND black beans. Good job!

    1. Seriously, then you need to try these!