Chocolate Chunk Brownies (gluten-free + grain-free + vegan)

I don't normally have the biggest sweet tooth.  As I've mentioned previously on the blog, I tend to crave things on the saltier side of the snack spectrum.

But pregnancy has shaken some things up - as it's known to do - and lately I've been finding myself on the lookout for baked goods midday or after dinner.

I have been very respectful of my body during these past 8+ months in regards to listening to and meeting its needs. Resting when tired, moving when I have more energy, eating when I'm hungry, stopping when full. (Pretty simple stuff, but often easier said than done.)

So when the desire for a sweet treat sets in, I listen. Keep in mind, though, that pregnant or not, I'm a Real Food Junkie. So I'm not reaching for Pop Tarts or Oreos or Fig Newtons.  Nope - I'm getting crafty in the kitchen, figuring out different ways to combine whole, real, nourishing foods and shape them into desserts that I feel good about eating. Admittedly, some of my experiments have been bombs. I use my husband as the true test: if he goes back for seconds (or even sixths, sometimes), then I know I've got a keeper.

This past weekend I made these guys, and within a day the entire pan was gone. I made them again last night. The ingredients may seem weird, but I encourage you to give them a try!

 

Chocolate Chunk Brownies

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well (or use 1.5 cups if you cook your own)

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup cacao powder

1/3 cup honey (can use maple syrup to make vegan)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 T almond milk, or other nondairy milk

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup high-quality dark chocolate chips

 

Combine first 9 ingredients (beans through salt) in a food processor fitted with an S blade. Mix until well incorporated - mixture will be thick and VERY sticky. Fold in chocolate chips. Using a spatula (again, batter is sticky!), transfer into a greased (with coconut oil) 9x9 baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let sit for 20 minutes before serving.

This recipe would also be yummy with chopped walnuts, or even dried coconut.

Full disclosure: these aren't the pretty brownies on the block (see below), but they taste insanely good. So try them out and enjoy!