I made these decadent Peppermint Infused Black Bean and Quinoa Brownies the other day for my Sexy Flexy class because I like to provide a healthy snack and if possible protein after a 2-hour full-body stretch class since it’s a pretty intense workout for the muscles. It also gives me an opportunity to try out new recipes, or at least experiment. This recipe is modified from the Black Bean Brownie recipe on doTERRA’s Blogt (August 2014) and I changed it to add some extra ingredients to add even more protein and to make it vegan. The blackbeans actually add a lot of texture to the brownies and are very mildly flavoured so it’s a fantastic replacement for flour. The are also full of fiber and protein. The quinoa I used was a dark organic blend and that also added extra iron, vitamin E and B, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and fibre and is one of the only complete plant protein that has all pernine essential amino acids. Oh and I added some chia seeds and ground flax, you know… just because I wanted some superfood power packed into my brownies too. With all these additional textures and flavours what I found useful was adding a little boost of flavour with essential oils such as Peppermint, Wild Orange, Cinnamon, or my new favourite, Cardamom.
This was a bit of a hit and miss, I made the brownie batch a bit too runny, I think using cocoa powder rather than bars of chocolate would help this but other options would be to use ground flax seed or even chia to add additional and essential nutrients (especially for the vegan diet) and I didn’t have any baking powder either, so I used two scoops of protein powder Usana Nutrimeal Free which is vegan and doesn’t have any weird plant-like taste and is also GMO and gluten-free. I can’t say that it helped the brownies set or even rise, but it did add to the nice subtle vanilla flavour, which is always nice. Also, to make the batter less runny you could use organic cane or coconut sugar, I used maple syrup which is a pretty runny liquid and almond milk so I feel that problem could be easily solved. That being said, my cook times were definitely extended. I encourage you to try to figure out how you would like to create a thicker consistency (possibly even more protein powder or quinoa) and please share how it turns out and your cooking times, etc and if you could, take a pic too! I’m going to give you the regular cooking times for brownies to use as a guide, but keep en eye on them in the oven and remove when you think they are done or you poke it with a toothpick (in the centre) and the toothpick comes out clean.
- 1 cup dry black beans (soak them and cook them separately according to directions)
- 12 oz vanilla almond milk
- 2 teaspoons ground flax
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1.2 cup maple syrup
- 2 scoops vanilla vegan protein powder (Nutrimeal free by Usana)
- 4 bakers chocolate
- 5 pieces dark chocolate bar (broken into chips.. 3 in the mix, 2 garnish for chips on top) You could use all Bakers chocolate but I ran out.
- 4 drops Peppermint essential oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place all ingredients, except for chocolate chunks, into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Pour batter into large bowl and stir in about 1/2 additional chocolate chunks.
- Pour into greased 8×8-inch pan and top with remaining chocolate chunks.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or whenever you insert a toothpick inserted in the middle and comes out clean. Let cool and cut into pieces. Store in refrigerator. ENJOY!!!!