Rich chocolate flavor in a healthy brownie made with lentils. Lower in sugar and higher in protein and fiber than regular brownies. JUMP TO RECIPE
If I hadn’t already known that one could make delicious tasting brownies with foods like black beans, sweet potatoes, and avocados, I might have been skeptical when I first heard about lentil brownies. After all, lentils are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Who would ever think you could use them to make rich and decadent desserts? But now that I’ve been a food blogger for a few years, I’m quite familiar with how healthy foods can be disguised in baked goods and the magic that happens when, in combination with other nutritious ingredients, they’re transformed into delicious treats – ones far better for us than their classic counterparts. If you don’t believe me, try this little experiment. Whip up a batch of Dark Chocolate Lentil Brownies and serve them to your friends, family, or guests, without disclosing that they’re made with lentils. Once you’ve watched everyone gobble them up, ask if anyone can guess what the secret ingredient is. Get ready to see some very surprised looking faces when you tell them the answer!
Lentils are super nutritious (read more here about why lentils are so good for us) and very versatile. You can use them in salads, dips (see Sun-Dried Tomato Red Lentil Hummus), and in baked good such as these Dark Chocolate Lentil Brownies, and Red Lentil Lobster Crackers. But what exactly are lentils? I used to think lentils were a type of bean, but I was wrong. Lentils are lentils! More broadly, they’re a type of legume known as pulses, which are the dried edible seeds of plants. Some of the more common pulses include lentils, chickpeas, dried beans, and dried peas. Here’s the important thing to remember about pulses – only legumes that are harvested solely for the dry seed are pulses. So, although dried beans and dried peas are pulses, fresh green beans and fresh green peas are not because they are harvested green. It’s a little confusing. If you’d like to read a more detailed explanation of the various types of legumes check out my Lentil Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette post.
A regular 1½ ounce brownie has around 1g of fiber or less and a couple of grams of protein (source: nutritionix – serving size 45g). Compare that to the same size Dark Chocolate Lentil Brownie which has 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. No empty calories here!
One can never have too many brownie recipes, right? If you agree then check out Dark Chocolate Avocado Banana Brownies, Paleo Tahini Swirl Brownies, and Spicy Cinnamon Sweet Potato Brownies.
If you make Dark Chocolate Lentil Brownies don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me over on Instagram @QueenofMyKitchen. I’d love to see your creation!
- Olive oil cooking spray
- ½ cup brown lentils
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup gluten-free oat flour
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup strong brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (5½ ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar (optional garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with olive oil cooking spray.
- Bring the lentils and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender and all the water has evaporated, about 15-20 minutes. Let the lentils cool to room temperature.
- Dump the lentils into the work bowl of a food processor along with the remaining ingredients (except chocolate chips and powdered sugar) and process until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
- Pour batter into the pan and bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 25 minutes. Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
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