Share the Love (and a Brownie) on Valentine’s Day!

Tomorrow is the big <3 day and I like to make something special for the Valentines in my life.  This year, I am sharing my recipe for Black Bean Brownies, which I made and cut into heart shapes for each of the four boys that light up my life!  Love you guys!

 

If you are still looking for a special treat to share with your loved ones, this one is easy to whip up.  All of the ingredients get dumped into a food processor or blender and mixed together.  Just be sure to plan ahead because it needs to bake for an hour and a half, a bit longer than a usual brownie.  But it will be worth it, I promise!

 

February is also Heart Health Month.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.  That’s a scary statistic.  But what makes it less scary is that YOU CAN PREVENT IT by making healthy food choices.  And the biggest diet change that you can make to lower your risk of heart disease is to lower your cholesterol by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans.  This recipe for Black Bean Brownies is packed full of heart-healthy ingredients – black beans, nuts (in the form of almond butter), ground flax seeds, dried cherries, even the chocolate!  All of these will help your heart to keep on ticking.  And you can still feel like you are indulging in a well-deserved sweet.  You’re welcome 🙂

 

You could make this dessert even prettier by serving it with some fresh strawberries or raspberries or some homemade whipped cream on top.  My big Valentine is traveling for work this week and one of my little Valentines is home sick from school so we are keeping things simple around here.  No time for whipped cream!

 

But, as usual, I hope that you take the recipe and make it your own!  Be sure to share in the comments if you try out any fun variations!

 

 

Black Bean Brownies
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups canned black beans, drained
  2. 3/4 c pitted dates (about 12 dates)
  3. 2 tablespoons almond butter
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. ½ cup cocoa powder
  6. 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  7. 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  8. 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  9. ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder (less if you don’t like it too spicy)
  10. ½ cup dried cherries, chopped
  11. coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
  12. dark chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan with coconut oil and set aside.
  2. Blend the beans, dates, nut butter, and vanilla in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add the cocoa powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon, and cayenne and blend again. Add the dried cherries and pulse until combined.
  3. Transfer batter to prepared pan (batter will be very thick). Press down until evenly distributed. Sprinkle coarse sea salt on top of batter and press lightly so that the salt sinks into the batter. If desired, you can also sprinkle some dark chocolate chips on top and press these into the batter.
  4. Bake for 1 ½ hours. Cool completely before cutting into brownies. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. *Be sure to use canned black beans for this recipe. I usually like to use dried, soaked, and cooked black beans in my recipes but the brownies turned out too dry and crumbly when I used my dried beans.
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