I’ve been craving chocolate, and I think I might have low iron right now, which means it’s time to make a double batch of black bean chocolate brownies. I re-adapted the recipe Adriann used for the brownies she made earlier this year, since I felt like making a peanut butter chocolate version. My brownies are not only gluten-free but vegan, as well, since I used dairy-free chocolate and peanut butter morsels and used “chia” eggs.

Black Bean Brownies with Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chips
Adapted from Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
Serves 20 two-inch brownie bars

3 C Cooked Black Beans, drained, rinsed*
6 T Chia Seeds, fresh ground
1 1/2 C Filtered Water
6 T Smooth Applesauce
1/2 – 1 C Unsweetened Crunchy or Smooth Peanut Butter
1 C Sucanat
1 1/2 – 2 C Unsweetened Cacao Powder
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Baking Powder**
1 Big Pinch Sea Salt
1 1/2 C Vegan Dark or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, divided
1 1/2 C Vegan Peanut Butter Chunks, chopped, divided

*Make sure to properly prepare your beans by sorting and soaking them to make them tasty and easier to digest (removing the phytic acid and indigestible sugars and softening the fiber).

**The brownies were supposed to rise more, but I forgot to add the baking powder.

Mix the seeds and water with a fork in a medium sized bowl to form the “eggs”. Set this mixture aside for 15 minutes. You want a thick egg-like consistency, so adjust your water to seed ratios accordingly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil two glass 8 inch square baking pans or dishes. Dust the pans with cacao powder to prevent the brownies from sticking to the sides of the pans and make them easier to serve. Set the pans aside.

In a food processor or high speed blender, puree the beans with the apple sauce, peanut butter and “eggs” until they are smooth and creamy. Add in the sucanat, vanilla extract, baking powder and salt and mix until the batter is smooth. Since there is so much batter, I split mine into three batches to mix it all in my food processor, emptying each third to a large mixing bowl once the mix was smooth. (I should have used my Vitamix instead.) I mixed these all together with the cacao powder in the bowl with a large wooden spoon. Fold in half of the chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Pour the batter into the pans. Evenly distribute the batter with the back of a spoon or rubber spatula. Sprinkle the remaining chips across the top of the batter.

Bake the batter for 35 minutes or until the brownie edges shrink away from the sides of the pan; the top chocolate chips and peanut butter chunks should be shiny, soft and slightly melted. Bake each pan of brownies separately. Remove the brownies from the oven, and cool them in the pans for at least 15 to 30 minutes on a wire rack before cutting them into 2-inch squares and serving them. If your brownies still have a squishy bread pudding-like consistency after cooling completely, chill them in the refrigerator for a few hours to solidify the brownie bars.