Yields: 12-16 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes (plus cooling)
These peppermint chocolate brownies are a decadent tasting treat with a nutritiously dense resume! Made with coconut oil and black beans, they are high in B vitamins, fiber and healthy fats.
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup good quality, unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup rice flour (chewier) or tapioca flour (fluffier)
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract or flavoring
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips, plus 3-4 tablespoons for topping after the brownies bake
1 -2 tablespoons naturally colored and flavored peppermint candy
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the black beans, coconut oil, sugar, eggs, cocoa, rice flour, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, baking soda, and salt (everything except the chocolate chips in a food processor, and pulse until combined (and beans are pureed), about 45 seconds – 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and pulse a few times to mix in and chop the chocolate chips.
3. Pour all of the mixture in a greased dish (I used a 7.5 by 10 inch pan). The larger the pan, the thinner the brownies (watch cooking time if you go larger than the above size). An 8 x 8 glass dish produces thicker brownies and needs a longer cooking time. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. The brownies won’t be “toothpick” clean, but should be pretty close. Cooling is crucial!
4. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on the top, and spread with a spatula. Sprinkle on crushed peppermint candy.
5. As I mentioned, above, it is very important to let cool completely before cutting. Brownies may be a bit crumbly, and are best kept in the refrigerator.
Food carries so much more than nutrients for me. I have memories stored in my cells that come rifling to the surface as soon as I smell pumpkin spice in the fall. And for the holiday season, peppermint and chocolate are the starring flavors. So, I bought some organic peppermint flavor determined to make some concoction involving it and chocolate. However, I wanted something that wasn’t loaded with sugar and fat, as the holidays seem to do that to us. So, I remembered my Black Bean and Avocado Brownies, and figured I could adapt that somehow into a peppermint version.
For this version, I did omit the avocados and instead replaced it with healthy fat containing coconut oil. I was able to use my newly purchased peppermint oil flavoring as well as some naturally colored and flavored crushed peppermint candy to top off these brownies. What a hit!
So, just to clarify how amazing these brownies are – being loaded with fiber and folic acid from the black beans. Plus, they gluten free and are virtually flour free, with just a 1/4 cup of rice flour.
I did seek out organic peppermint flavor that is the pure extract of peppermint mixed with some safflower oil. I have heard of people using the essential oil of peppermint. While that is definitely a pure choice, I prefer to stick with the peppermint flavoring that has already been diluted with oil and bottled for consumption purposes – especially when it involves my kids. I will say I used 1 1/2 teaspoons of the peppermint flavoring, and they are full of peppermint zing. Cutting back 1/2 teaspoon is always an option if you like peppermint and chocolate, but aren’t a die hard fan!
One more benefit that I feel rings true for me is that peppermint is known for its assistance for digestive ailments. Sometimes, black beans, being in the legume family, can cause some digestive issues, albeit often mild. However, with the pure peppermint oil (as part of the peppermint flavoring), you've got some soothing benefits right with your brownie. All the more reason to eat up!
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*This post was originally published on November 17, 2015. It has been updated October 2017.