When those chocolate-cravings hit, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as biting into a oozy-gooey, rich brownie. That is, until you start to feel that bubble of guilt grow inside of you and it seems like you hindered any fitness progress you’ve made. First off, if you do ever eat a real brownie when you are trying to eat healthy, please do not let this feeling of guilt last for more than a couple of minutes. Instead, forgive yourself, know that you have not completely ruined all progress, and just continue to eat on plan. One of the worst things you can do after indulging a little is let those feelings of failure take over the rest of your diet that day. You will have another opportunity to eat and to make a better choice at that meal. We are all human and sometimes an indulgence is necessary for, well, sanity reasons.
Okay, so enough with the hypothetical. I have come up with a brownie recipe that is decadent, moist but will not throw you off track. In fact, these brownies are actually filled with some amazing superfoods that will actually help you burn fat! Yes, you heard me correctly, food in a whole and natural form can help you actually lose inches. And, to settle your nerves, I promise you, you will NOT taste the beans!
Black beans are amazing fiber-packed legumes high in antioxidants that help with digestive health, keeps you fuller-longer, and may help protect you from heart-disease. These babies are also high in folic acid and magnesium and contain potassium and iron which helps in cell renewal, the production and distribution of energy within the body, and is important for nerve and muscle function. They are also one of the best carbs you can eat since they are also packed with protein keeping your energy levels sky high!
When it comes to health benefits of eggs, it’s hard to know where to start. These guys aren’t only packed with Vitamins, A, D, E, and K, Folate, B-Vitamins, Phsophorus, Selenium, Calcium, Zinc, and Omega-3s, they can also help increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels which fights against many cardiovascular diseases. They also contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin, two powerful antioxidants that help with eyesight. I’m not done! Eggs are also a vegetarian complete protein – meaning they contain all the essential amino acids. The protein in eggs has proven to help feelings of satiety and can even decrease overall hunger for up to 36 hours.
Coconut oil has recently lost it’s bad rap for being high in saturated fat because studies have now found that it actually can decrease bad cholesterol levels because it promotes it’s conversion to pregnenolone, a molecule that is a precursor to many of the hormones our bodies need, and because it helps restore normal thyroid function. The oil also contains special fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which can help boost your metabolism and increase your fat burning potential. Consuming coconut oil can also help decrease the amount of antioxidants our bodies need which, and here’s the best news, can keep us looking and feeling younger longer!
Yes, cocoa, the plant responsible for the most amazing food on the planet, chocolate, is actually good for you! When you omit the milk, sugar, and additives, this ingredient is filled with antioxidants which help keep you skin radiant, contains iron, magnesium, and trace minerals which increase energy levels, and has mood enhancing phytochemicals which give you a boost of feel good endorphins.
And, finally, drum roll please… Here is the life-changing recipe!
(Makes 9 individual brownies)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup all-natural semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp coconut oil ( or 2 tbsp coconut oil and 1.5 tbsp Earth Balance Soy Free buttery spread)
3 tbsp egg whites
3-5 generous drops of stevia extract (or stevia to taste)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Handful of walnuts for the top (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin baking sheet with muffin/cupcake baking cups. Spray the cups with coconut oil cooking spray.
2. In a food processor, blend black beans, chocolate chips, and coconut oil until combined. Add in eggs, stevia, cocoa, vanilla, and salt until smooth.
3. Spoon out batter into individual baking cups and bake for 12-16 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the brownies).
*Note: You can also bake these in a 9×9 baking pan for 20-25 minutes if you prefer sheet brownies.
4. Cool on tinfoil or a wire rack and enjoy!
Nutrition info: Calories: 180, Fat: 10g, Carbs 18g, Fiber 4g, Sugar 8g, Protein: 5g