No beans were harmed in the making of these healthy brownies. Their secret ingredient gives them the perfect brownie texture while keeping them completely 21 Day Fix approved!
You’re about to love me. No really. I’ve come up with a super-healthy, delicious brownie that doesn’t include beans. Now I know that there are plenty of you out there that don’t mind black bean brownies (myself included) but lets be honest, they’re still not exactly brownies, are they? They may taste chocolatey, they may look like brownies, but the texture is… well… bean-y.
A while back, a reader requested that I work on a Fix-approved brownie. It took me a while to get around to it because I already had a bunch of things planned and then holiday recipes, etc. Anyway, once I was ready to start working on it, my first thought was a black bean brownie. I mean, isn’t’ that the first thing we all think of when we think “healthy brownie?” So I mention this to my notoriously picky little sister, who basically makes gagging noises at me, when it occurs to me that she may not be the only anti-beaner out there.
I wanted this brownie to have the traditional texture which in my eyes is sort of in the middle between cake-y and fudgy (though I know that this is a hotly debated topic and you may feel differently). I also wanted to use a vegetable if possible for counting purposes and I came up with these butternut squash & banana brownies. I know, it sounds kind of crazy, right? Ok, let me explain my thought process here (and why it works): butternut squash has a slight sweetness to it, but not a very strong flavor. You could probably also use canned pumpkin if you’d like, it would eliminate a step and make these super quick to put together, but I feel like it has a stronger flavor than butternut that you can taste in the brownie, it’s up to you. I decided to add the banana because I was trying to add some sweetness without adding more sugar. The sugar itself is only 2 teaspoons per brownie, which is where I like to keep it for a treat. Your average brownie recipe has anywhere around 8 teaspoons for each piece of the same size.
The only real issue that I had when making these was that in the first batch or two, you could taste the banana in them. Just a little bit, but I wanted these to be uber-chocolatey and I felt like the slight banana flavor was taking from that. To fix this problem, I added some instant coffee powder and it was just what the doctor ordered. That slight roast-y flavor in the background was exactly what the recipe needed to make these taste even more chocolatey.
Here’s a little tip about the butternut squash: if you have a crockpot, you have the easiest way to make butternut squash puree EVER. Put it in the crockpot (no water needed, I swear!), put it on high for 3 to 4 hours – I haven’t done it on low, but I would guess 6-7 hours for that – cut the thing in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard the seeds (or hey, roast ’em if ya got ’em), then scoop out the flesh. At this point, the squash is already basically puree. This is what I did and I didn’t puree it any further, I just whisked it up a bit to break up any lumps. This makes it crazy-easy to do this part ahead (the only time-consuming part of this recipe), then you can just whisk everything together, bake and voila! Healthy brownies, at your service.
If you’ve been missing your real-deal brownies (like me!) you should definitely try these out. These are brownies that I feel good about serving to my kids and they absolutely love them.
If you make this recipe be sure to snap a pic and tag me @thefoodieandthefix on Instagram so I can check it out! It makes me ridiculously happy to see what you guys are making 🙂