This recipe is a good example of mind over matter. I think that a lot of times, how things taste to us is only partly influenced by the actual food we’re eating. The rest is affected by what we think about what we’re eating. I think that a cool experiment would be to bring diners to an upscale, super-expensive restaurant and serve them generic, run-of-the-mill food presented in a fancy arrangement. Then you could give the same food, served with a less inviting presentation, to people in a cheap, low-quality fast-food joint and observe the two groups’ reactions. I’d bet anything that the people in the expensive restaurant would think their food tasted a whole lot better than that of the people in the cheap restaurant. It would all be in their heads! This thought-interfence is why it’s often said that food tastes better when someone else prepares it, and why parents are often successful in finding creative ways to sneak vegetables or other unsavory items into their children’s meals. It’s not only the actual taste of spinach (for example) that makes kids cringe; it’s the knowledge that their food contains it!
These brownies have a secret ingredient in them, and I think they’re much more enjoyable when eaten with an open mind or just plain ignorance. Since I was the one who made the brownies, I could taste the secret ingredient, but the rest of my family, who had no idea what it was, simply tasted a moist, chocolatey brownie. I won’t lie, these are brownies that have been bumped up several notches on the healthiness scale, and they really do taste different than your usual homemade, boxed, or store-bought chocolate brownie. But they taste different in a good way, and are still sweet, dense, and fudgey. Make these for your unsuspecting friends and family and do a little experiment yourself…don’t tell them about the
black beans secret ingredient, and watch what happens. You just might be surprised!
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 1 Tbs coconut sugar*
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8″ x 8″ pan and set aside.
Place the black beans, olive oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large blender or food processor. Blend or pulse until smooth. Add in the coconut sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder and blend again until smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Let brownies cool in the pan before cutting. Yield: 12-16 brownies.
*Coconut sugar is great in this recipe because of its not-overly-sweet taste and low glycemic value, which makes it healthier than cane sugar. However, if you can’t find coconut sugar in your store and don’t want to order it online, the same amount of regular granulated sugar is an easy substitute.