Dark Chocolate {Black Bean} Brownie Bites.

On this chilly spring Monday, I have a new {healthier} dessert recipe to share that comes at a perfect time. Perfect because today is my birthday – what better way to celebrate than to share mini dark chocolate brownie bites with you?

These brownies have a secret healthy ingredient, because they contain an entire can of black beans. Pureed black beans work well as a flour and butter substitute – and I swear you can’t taste the beans! I also included a few Tablespoons of coconut oil to add healthy fats to this dessert. Most ‘regular’ brownie recipes call for at least one cup of white sugar. I added only 1/3 cup of brown sugar by using cherries for natural sweetening. You can’t taste the cherry flavor, but it adds extra moisture and sweetness to the brownies.

These brownies also include two new {to me} ingredients – Droste cocoa powder and Just Cashew Meal from Trader Joe’s. Droste was founded in the late 1800’s as a confectionary in Holland. I wanted to use a higher quality cocoa powder for this recipe, and I found Droste at my regular grocery store. However, any pure/raw cocoa powder will work! You can also use any type of nut meal for these brownies. The cashew meal I used helped the finished brownies bind together with a delicious nutty flavor.

I made this batch in a mini muffin tin to create small, bite-sized brownies. These brownies freeze well in a covered container – they are also delicious microwaved for just a few seconds and topped with almond butter!

Dark Chocolate {Black Bean} Brownie Bites

Makes 24 mini brownies.

15 oz. can black beans {rinsed and drained}
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 eggs
1 cup frozen dark cherries
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cashew meal
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

How to~
*Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
*Rinse and drain the beans.
*Defrost the cherries for ~3 minutes in the microwave. Drain the excess liquid.
*Add beans and coconut oil to a food processor; process for ~20 seconds.  Add defrosted cherries. Process until blended.
*Add the pureed mixture to a stand mixer. Mix in the eggs, brown sugar, cocoa powder, almond extract, baking powder and salt. 
*Use a medium cookie scoop to add brownie batter to a well-greased mini muffin tin.
*Bake for ~22 minutes. 

{Adapted from recipes by Taste of Home and Minimalist Baker}

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