Black beans are nutritional powerhouses containing solid macros of protein, carbs, fats, and fiber. The micro-nutritional levels pack a punch too with plenty of zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, folic acid, and vitamin A. Plus, they are high in anthocyanin, which is a potent antioxidant that benefits the whole body.
Black beans have high amounts of soluble fiber, shown to improve cholesterol levels and help move along digestion. It’s recommended that the daily intake of fiber should be around 30g, but the average American only consumes about half of that.
Along with fiber, black beans also pack a lot of protein with about 15grams of protein per 15oz. It’s the soluble type of fiber paired with the protein that makes black beans ever more beneficial. While the fiber is also about 15g per 15oz, black beans still contain a large amount of carbohydrates from starch. Usually, starches raise the glycemic index of foods that impact blood sugar levels, but black beans are known as a “resistant starch.” This type of carbohydrate functions like soluble fiber in that the starch isn’t digestible or fully absorbed in the small intestine, which would otherwise break the food down into sugar and potentially raises blood sugar levels. Instead, resistant starch makes its way to the large intestine where it is fermented and produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs.) Evidence of SCFA’s benefits includes increased nutrient circulation, absorption of minerals, inhibited growth of harmful bacteria, and stimulated blood flow to the colon. These resistant starches help us stay full without adding on extra pounds. Since the starch isn’t digested, we only extract 2 calories of energy per gram compared to 4 calories per gram from other starches. Plus, with the fiber and resistant starch, it helps to add bulk and water to the stool, helping with regular bowel movements.
Give this recipe a try and modify it to your liking. It’s nice to enjoy a brownie that is gluten-free, sugar-free (if needed), high fiber, and high protein - while being incredibly delicious.
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla 5 mL
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or carob)
⅔ cup sweetener (we like to use Swerve or xylitol)
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or carob chips)
Instant coffee powder (optional)
Chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
Puree black beans in a food processor. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla and mix until evenly combined.
Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, combine and stir together the cocoa powder, sweetener, baking powder, salt, and coffee powder (if desired). Add the wet ingredients to the dry until thoroughly mixed. Lastly, fold in chocolate (or carob) chips and chopped nuts (if desired.)
Bake: Grease a 9×9 inch pan. Pour in batter and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the edges are visibly cooked, and the center is toothpick-approved. Allow brownies to cool before cutting. Enjoy your healthy, protein-packed brownies and share with friends. They won’t be able to tell they are made with beans!