Vegan Black Bean Brownie Bites
With a great excitement and honor, I present to you "The Truly Healthy Vegetarian Cookbook" - a labor of hard work and passion by my long-time friend Liz from I Heart Vegetables and forworded by yours truly. The baby is available for pre-order & the official launch date is May 1st. Just as the title suggests, the book is a collection of 100+ easy recipes that celebrates nourishing, plant-based recipes and throughout the book, Liz shares anecdotes, tips, and tricks to make plant-based lifestyle approachable to everyone. The book has 8 sections dedicated to breakfasts, substantial salads, roasted and baked dinners, soups and stews, wraps, sandwiches, and burgers, snacks and sides, noodles, rice, and pastas, and desserts, a section I naturally gravitate hence the recipe I am sharing today. Vegan Black Bean Brownie Bites (pg. 147) are fudgy with the right the amount of sweetness and despite being flourless (hello black beans!) - it's a perfect bite for your sweet tooth.
I thoroughly followed her recipe from the book but last minute, demolished these bites and turned them into truffle-like balls and rolled some into sprinkles because a launch of a book calls for a celebration with sprinkles + candles. If you are into plant-based eating or new to it - "The Truly Healthy Vegetarian Cookbook" is an excellent resource for plant-based inspiration and understanding how to incorporate nourishing ingredients into your life everyday.
As a home cook myself, I struggle with vegetarian dishes more often than you'd think. It's a lot more easier to bulk-up meals with meat and processed carbohydrates so it was certainly a breath of fresh-air to see plant-centric dishes that are straightforward yet exciting for everyday cooking. I am eying so many recipes to try in the next few months, like red lentil bolognese, oven roasted portabello fajitas, and everything from wraps and sandwich section.
Going back to these Vegan Black Bean Brownie Bites - it's made with basic pantry ingredients and uses just a blender or food processor to get lump-free, smooth batter for brownie bites. Love that this recipe that fits many lifestyles - vegan, gluten-free, low-carb, both dairy & soy-free and that's the beauty of this book as a whole. There is something for everyone and Liz provides lots of ingredient suggestions and pointers to make it flexible for a variety of lifestyles.
Within the last decade or so, plant-based eating has become more mainstream for health, environmental, and ethical reasons but I find that a of people are hesitant about trying vegetarian food thinking it's complicated, too bland, or expensive....or simply rely heavily on processed plant-based foods that offers very little to no nutrition. "The Truly Healthy Vegetarian Cookbook" breaks both the stigma and struggles on plant-based eating as Liz herself went through a phase thinking she was eating 'healthy' by replacing meat with crackers, mac n' cheese, and veggie pizza. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with these foods, for everyday eats - it is a lot more nourishing & wholesome when you can make ingredient swaps or try different cooking methods and yet enjoy your favorite dishes in a more plant-centric manner. Being a small part of the book myself, I am confident and sincerely hope that "The Truly Healthy Vegetarian Cookbook" will find it's way into your kitchen and get you excited about cooking with plants.
Vegan Black Bean Brownie Bites
makes 16-18 bites
- 1 - 15oz can black beans, low-sodium or no salt added (rinsed and drained)
- 1/2 cup honey (or use maple syrup agave for vegan)
- 1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dairy free, if vegan)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Combine all the ingredients except for chocolate chips in a food processor.
- Blend on high until the batter is smooth. Use a plastic spatula to scrape sides as needed.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick spray and scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin tin.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan just slightly. Do not over bake! **For truffle-balls, see note below.
- Let cool completely before removing them from the pan.
- Store in an airtight container.
**Note: If making truffle-balls, remove from the oven at around 15 minutes so it is still little gooey. Remove from the pan and break them into pieces and allow them to cool completely. Leave it in the fridge to chill faster than you can form into balls and roll into sprinkles or more cocoa powder. Leave it in the fridge for firmer texture.