I found a new fix for my chocolate cravings in the form of Raspberry Chia Black Bean Brownie Cups. These blissful little bites of chocolate goodness have rich, deep flavor. A layer of sweet, tart raspberry jam is nestled inside of a dark chocolate, fudge-like brownie, creating a decadent treat sure to satisfy any chocoholic. The fact that Raspberry Chia Black Bean Brownies Cups contain healthy ingredients is a bonus because there is no sacrifice in taste whatsoever. The recipe on which Raspberry Chia Black Bean Brownie Cups is based comes from the blog Chocolate Covered Katie and is apparently the most popular recipe on her blog. I’m not at all surprised. I couldn’t believe how good these Black Bean Brownies tasted the first time I made them. And then I did what I do every time I find a recipe I love – I started thinking about how to tweak/change it and what variations might create another fabulous dish, and before I knew it, Raspberry Chia Black Bean Brownie Cups were born!
Chocolate and raspberries are a match made in heaven. You simply can’t go wrong when you pair these two together, so I knew raspberry chia jam would be the prefect ingredient to bring these black bean brownies to the next level. Making jam out of fresh or frozen raspberries is easy when you use chia seeds as a thickener. Just microwave (or heat on the stove top) fresh or frozen raspberries with a little bit of sugar until they soften a bit and start to break apart. Then stir in some chia seeds and transfer the mixture to the fridge for a few hours or overnight to cool and thicken. This technique works with all kinds of berries and produces a simple jam that is delicious when stirred into yogurt or used as a topping on oatmeal.
For the base of the Raspberry Black Bean Brownie Cups put about 2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup. (A 1½ ounce ice cream scoop works well for portioning the batter.) Once in the muffin cups, press down each mound of batter to flatten it a bit. Wet the tips of your fingers to prevent sticking.
Next spoon some raspberry chia jam into each cup and top with the remaining batter. Again, press the mounds of batter down until they are flat. Some of the raspberry chia jam will seep up around the edges. That’s ok – it actually looks quite nice when baked for there to be a little extra jam around the rim.
Be sure to use high quality, extra dark chocolate and baking cocoa when you make Raspberry Chia Black Bean Brownie Cups. I used Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips (63% cacao) and Ghirardelli premium unsweetened baking cocoa in this recipe.
It’s important to let Raspberry Chia Black Bean Brownie Cups cool completely before serving. They are very soft right out of the oven and need to firm up before the muffin liners are peeled off, otherwise they won’t hold their shape.
Are you wondering how healthy Raspberry Chia Black Bean Brownie Cups are? Remember, “healthy” is a relative term, so compared to broccoli, Raspberry Chia Black Bean Brownie Cups probably wouldn’t be considered very healthy. However, if you’re comparing brownies to brownies, and hold Raspberry Chia Black Bean Brownie Cups up against a traditional boxed mix, or mass produced brownie, here’s how they stack up (note serving sizes are identical):
The nutrition facts panel on the left is for Raspberry Chia Black Bean Brownie Cups and the one on the right is for Entenmann’s Little Bites Fudge Brownies. I probably picked one of the unhealthiest mass produced brownies on the market for this comparison but I wanted to show two extremes. The numbers are pretty striking, especially the difference in sugar and fiber content. You’ll notice that Raspberry Chia Black Bean Brownie Cups are higher in saturated fat because they contain coconut oil and real chocolate. (Let’s not forget this IS a dessert.) The Entenmann’s Little Bites Fudge Brownies don’t contain real chocolate – just chocolate liquor and cocoa that has been processed with alkali. There are lots of other scary ingredients in these fudge brownies too like artificial flavor, propylene glycol, mono- and diglycerides, cellulose gum, and sodium stearoyl lactylate. It’s hard to believe they are considered “food”. While the brand name of these brownies is Entenmann’s, the company that manufactures them is Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. I’m not kidding!!
Raspberry Black Bean Brownie Cups are super convenient for serving. Just peel off the muffin liners and you’ve got the perfect sized portion for hand held eating. No messy cutting or worrying about how big the pieces are. One more reason to love them!
- 1 cup (140g) fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1½ teaspoon coconut sugar or light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 – 15.5 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup (40g) oats or ground flaxseed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup (75g) maple syrup
- ¼ (40g) cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup (140g) extra dark chocolate baking chips
- Place raspberries in a small, microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir vigorously to break up the raspberries. Add the sugar and microwave again for 30 seconds. Add the chia seeds and stir to thoroughly combine the chia seeds with the sugar and berries. Place the raspberry chia jam in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight to thicken.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners. Combine the beans, cocoa powder, oats (or flaxseed), salt, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and baking powder in the work bowl of a high-powered food processor and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Stir in the chocolate baking chips.
- Scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter in each muffin cup and press/flatten it down into the cavities with wet fingers (to prevent sticking). Put 2 teaspoons of raspberry chia jam on top of each mound of batter and then divide the remaining batter among the 12 muffin cups, topping each mound of raspberry chia jam. Again, with wet fingertips, press the mixture down into the muffin cups to compress.
- Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 18 minutes. Let cool completely and then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to firm up. Peel off the muffin liners and serve.
Adapted from www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com – Black Bean Brownies
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