Greetings Belly Bootcampers! I’m popping in from (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean to share what might just be the healthiest chocolate treat ever invented. Fudgy brownie bars made with the goodness of sweet potatoes and black beans. Which I realize sounds like a massive chocolate compromise. But one taste of these fudge bars and you may never go the butter/flour/white sugar route again.
Now wait just a sec before you go all “why ruin chocolate with vegetables and beans” on me. I totally get it and am inclined to agree that as a general rule, chocolate and vegetables do not belong together. BUT, no one will ever guess that there are sweet potatoes and beans hiding inside these dense, soft, creamy fudgy brownie bars.
These bars look and taste like a much more decadent chocolate treat, but they are (1) flourless and totally wheat free, (2) vegan, and (3) sweetened only with sweet potatoes and a bit of maple syrup. The ultimate healthy, flavourful, no-compromise chocolate treat. And when I watched my three year old polish one off in record time and then ask for seconds, I knew this was a winner.
Serve these on their own or—if you really want to take them up a notch—with a dollop of real whipped cream or whipped coconut cream and a few fresh raspberries.
- 1-14 ounce/398 ml can unsalted black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup roasted mashed sweet potato
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ⅓ cup virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup natural unprocessed unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup dark bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a 8×8 inch square baking pan with a criss-cross of parchment paper (i.e. you want to create a sling with the parchment paper).
- Add all the ingredients except the chocolate chips to the bowl of a food processor, and whirl it up until the mixture is very smooth (this will take at least a couple of minutes).
- Use a small spatula to stir in the chocolate chips, if you are using them.
- Spoon the batter into the parchment-lined pan and smooth it out as best you can.
- Pop the pan into the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the surface is starting to crack and the edges have pulled away from the parchment paper.
- Let the bars cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then carefully and quickly (so as not to split the bars down the middle) lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper, and onto a cooling rack.
- Once the bars are room temperature, transfer them to a flat surface (I like a cookie sheet) and into the fridge overnight, or for a few hours at least. When they are nice and cold, cut into bars and serve. Store any uneaten bars in the fridge.
- The best way to prepare the sweet potato for this recipe is to roast a whole potato in the oven. This will caramelize the sugars and leave you with a super sweet super delicious cup of potato flesh. To prepare the sweet potato: scrub one medium-large sweet potato and pierce it with a fork in a few places. Put it on a baking sheet and pop it into a 375 degree oven for about an hour or until it is very very soft. Let it cool completely, then remove the skin and mash the flesh.
Sarah Huggins is a lawyer, home chef, and Belly Bootcamp mommy of two. For quick and healthy family meal ideas and recipes, you can follow her award winning blog, Kiwi & Bean, on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.