Monday, May 21, 2012

Beanies! (Adzuki Bean Coconut Flour Brownies)

Even stay-at-home moms have afternoon coffee breaks.  Like most people, I like a little something sweet with that 3pm pick-me-up, but I hate the thought of eating healthy all day, with a pitfall of sugar and carbs  right in the middle.  I searched for a recipe for something snacky, sweet, and healthy, and didn't come up with much.  Peering into my pantry, I struggled for inspiration, and found it - in a dusty old can.

I bought the beans because I love Japanese red bean ice cream, and must have planned to make a simulacrum at home - maybe vanilla ice cream with the beans blended in.  In any case, that never came to fruition, and the beans got pushed farther and farther back on the shelf.  When I saw them this time, however, I was reminded of that old hippy mom stand-by, black bean brownies.  Those were fine by me, but I wanted healthier.  

So I turned to my new friend coconut flour.  Coconut flour is gluten-free and packed with protein, so I would be getting a boost, and not just from the sugar.  I couldn't find any recipes for coconut flour black bean brownies, so I went off the cuff and created my own.  They came out sweet, cakey, and strangely addictive.  Feel free to change whatever you like to suit your needs or tastes if you make it at home, but be aware that you can't substitute for coconut flour on a 1:1 ratio; it is its own creature entirely.   I would recommend adding a cup of chocolate chips, to up the cocoa flavor, which I will do next time I make these.  And yes, there will be a next time!

Beanies!  (Adzuki Bean Coconut Flour Brownies)


  • 1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 packet hot cocoa mix (or sub 2 more tbs. cocoa plus 2 tbs. sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
  • 1 can mashed sweetened adzuki beans (these have sugar added.  If you can't find them, use black beans and sweeten to taste with honey or sugar.  Or don't, if you don't want to.)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional, but I think I'll add some next time)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9x9" square baking pan with Pam and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients - coconut flour, cocoa, hot cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  I sifted them all together, but you can just sift your coconut flour if you cocoa isn't too clumpy.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the vanilla and coconut oil until foamy.  Stir in dry ingredients, a little at a time, until combined.  Mix in the beans (and chocolate chips, if using) and stir well.
  4. Press the mixture into the pan, smoothing with a spatula (this stuff is quite dense, so you'll have to really work it into the corners.)  Bake for 25-35 minutes, until set in the middle.  Let cool and slice into sticks.  Enjoy with your afternoon coffee and don't worry about your carb intake.

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