Tahini Swirl Chocolate Brownies (immune-boosting and grain-free + vegan option)

Comfort food + baking = chocolate brownies. It’s a simple equation that even the most maths phobic person can get their head around. Black beans, dates and chaga send you to the top of the class. This is the perfect recipe whether you like fudgy brownies or cakey brownies. Win-win! Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and with an immune-boosting, energising optional shot of chaga.

Comfort food + baking = chocolate brownies. It's a simple equation that even the most maths phobic person can get their head around. Black beans, dates and chaga send you to the top of the class. This is the perfect recipe whether you like fudgy brownies or cakey brownies. Win-win! Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and with an immune-boosting, energising optional shot of chaga.Looking back on your life, can you honestly say that you’ve had enough brownies?

Good brownies, I mean. Brownies that when eaten compel you, possibly embarrassingly so, to close your eyes and sigh with pleasure.

Maybe your favourite brownie defies ladylike eating, the first bite giving way to serious liquid chocolate aaahhhs and risk of special-blouse ruination. Or perhaps you prefer a more business-like, cake-like, brownie that can be eaten without fear of sacrificing your outfit and lipgloss.

We all have our favourite type of brownie, but generally they fall into two camps – fudgy or cakey. If we are exceedingly lucky we clock this preference early in life, thus avoiding one of the most profound but common food disappointments of our age – the “meh” brownie. You eye it up on the upended wooden crate at the posh coffee shop/lab, perhaps not convinced. But it is a brownie, so must be tried at the very least.

Comfort food + baking = chocolate brownies. It's a simple equation that even the most maths phobic person can get their head around. Black beans, dates and chaga send you to the top of the class. This is the perfect recipe whether you like fudgy brownies or cakey brownies. Win-win! Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and with an immune-boosting, energising optional shot of chaga.“Meh” rather than “aahh”. It probably isn’t all that meh actually, just the wrong kind. You tell yourself that you should know better by now. A grown person, who pays taxes and has a purse full of loyalty cards, but can’t say no to the wrong kind of brownie?

I for one hate to waste time and good calories on mediocre food, but somehow tossing a chocolate brownie in the trash seems beyond wrong. It goes against the laws of nature.

But then something happens: we come over all health conscious, and the portions get smaller, or maybe even disappear completely due to the general involvement of the twin evils of our age – white flour and sugar.

If this is you – or is likely to be you in the future, when you have to start paying taxes and acquiring store loyalty cards – I may have a solution. And it can fall into two camps – fudgy AND cakey.

You’re welcome.

Comfort food + baking = chocolate brownies. It's a simple equation that even the most maths phobic person can get their head around. Black beans, dates and chaga send you to the top of the class. This is the perfect recipe whether you like fudgy brownies or cakey brownies. Win-win! Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and with an immune-boosting, energising optional shot of chaga.
browniecollage

Actually you may already do this. And certainly I have been doing it for years: the black bean brownie trick. The beans really can replace the same volume of flour (it is quite amazing), and by using dates you get the sweetness needed but with a little added goodness from some potassium, Vitamin B6, magnesium, and fibre (more fibre!). Add the tahini swirl and turn a perfectly gorgeous brownie into a Middle Eastern supermodel. It isn’t a straight swap for a brownie-brownie, but if white flour, refined sugar, and waistline woes are your bête noire, you could do worse. And honestly they taste really good. No one will guess they have beans instead of flour. Pinky promise.🙂

I’ve made further changes to my basic recipe for aduki bean brownies (they are interchangeable with black beans) to include optional chaga, the anticancer and immunity-stimulating Siberian mushroom that is taken in powdered form. To quote a section of the MSKCC “About Herbs” page on chaga (my go-to site for unbiased herbal information): “Laboratory and animal studies show that compounds in chaga can kill cancer cells selectively and stimulate the immune system. It may also have benefits such as reductions in fatigue and inflammation, as well as increased mental sharpness.”Comfort food + baking = chocolate brownies. It's a simple equation that even the most maths phobic person can get their head around. Black beans, dates and chaga send you to the top of the class. This is the perfect recipe whether you like fudgy brownies or cakey brownies. Win-win! Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and with an immune-boosting, energising optional shot of chaga.

I’ll have me some of that please.

Chaga powder is a deep brown colour and has a mild, faintly cocoa-y taste, so completely blending into the recipe. In fact, its most popular use is in hot chocolate, so when adding it here no one else need be the wiser. But if you and your family are springing around like Tigger and answering everything on Mastermind, you may want to have brownies every day.

Like that’s a bad thing.

Another awesome bonus: unlike traditional recipes where it is the ingredient ratio rather than baking time that determine whether a brownie is fudgy or cakey, black bean brownies can be either fudgey (yay!) or cake-like, depending on how long they are in the oven. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. Instructions are given below.

So, whether you fall into the fudge camp, or the cake camp this recipe is for you. Because you don’t want to end your days regretting not having enough brownies.🙂

Comfort food + baking = chocolate brownies. It's a simple equation that even the most maths phobic person can get their head around. Black beans, dates and chaga send you to the top of the class. This is the perfect recipe whether you like fudgy brownies or cakey brownies. Win-win! Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and with an immune-boosting, energising optional shot of chaga.

Tahini Swirl Chocolate Brownies (immune-booosting & grain-free + vegan option

  • Servings: 12-16 pieces
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Comfort food + baking = chocolate brownies. It’s a simple equation that even the most maths phobic person can get their head around. Black beans, dates and chaga send you to the top of the class. This is the perfect recipe whether you like fudgy brownies or cakey brownies. Win-win! Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and with an immune-boosting, energising optional shot of chaga.

Adapted from my Fudgy Aduki Bean Brownies recipe. xx

230g (1 & 1/4 cups) cooked, well-rinsed and drained black beans – I use a 380g carton of organic black beans in water from Sainsburys if not boiling my own)

6-8 chopped Medjool or 8-10 Deglet nour dates* OR 60-75g dark brown sugar (depends on your taste)

1 tsp best quality vanilla extract

30g (1/3 cup) best cocoa powder OR cacao

2 tbsp chaga powder, optional

1/8 tsp salt

2 tbsp organic rapeseed oil or other neutral oil

2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 medium eggs OR 2 chia/flax eggs

80g of 70% or above dark chocolate chips/certified vegan chocolate chips

60ml tahini (sesame seed paste)

2 tbsp date syrup

1 egg OR one well-blended chia/flax egg (using ground chia/flax)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F. Completely line a square (20cm x 20 cm/ 8″ x 8″) baking tin with parchment paper so that some hangs over the edges. I like to scrunch the paper up until soft and smooth it into the pan. This way it moulds to the tin’s shape quite well.

2. Pop everything except the chocolate chips and topping ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. If using the dates and you don’t have a high speed blender like my Optimum 9400 Froothie, blend with a little (about 2 tbsp) hot water using an immersion blender or similar before adding to the mix. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spoon and pour into the lined baking tin.Comfort food + baking = chocolate brownies. It's a simple equation that even the most maths phobic person can get their head around. Black beans, dates and chaga send you to the top of the class. This is the perfect recipe whether you like fudgy brownies or cakey brownies. Win-win! Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and with an immune-boosting, energising optional shot of chaga.

3. Mix the tahini, beaten egg/chia egg and date syrup until it makes a thick, gooey “batter”. Blob teaspoonfuls onto the brownie mix and swirl with a skewer or sharp knife. Bake in the preheated oven.

  • For fudgy brownies, bake for 16 minutes.
  • For cakey brownies bake for 18 minutes.

4. Individual ovens may vary, so have a feel at 15 minutes – for fudgy it should give slightly when pressed in the middle. The skewer test doesn’t really work with these. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before pulling out by the edges of the paper and cutting into small bars or squares.

Store in a lidded container in the fridge and eat within five days.

PS Pop a few wrapped pieces into the freezer to use as a frozen blended coffee drink add in.🙂

Comfort food + baking = chocolate brownies. It's a simple equation that even the most maths phobic person can get their head around. Black beans, dates and chaga send you to the top of the class. This is the perfect recipe whether you like fudgy brownies or cakey brownies. Win-win! Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and with an immune-boosting, energising optional shot of chaga.

 

Other waistline-friendly bite-sized sweet treats on Food To Glow:

matcha-green-tea-granola-bars

matcha green tea granola bars by kellie’s food to glow

Matcha Green Tea Granola Bars

Baked Chocolate Wontons

Apricot and Citrus No-Bake Bars

Chocolate and Pear Quesadillas

No-Bake Cookie Dough Brownie Bites

Crunchy Granola “Applewiches”

Puffed Brown Rice and Cardamom-Cashew Bites

Raspberry, Rose and Pink Peppercorn Bites

Red Velvet Raw Brownies

Carrot and Coconut Muffins

Brown Sugar and Spice Donut Waffles

Blueberry and Rhubarb Cardamom Crunch Bars (I’ve made these with plums recently)

Cashew and Three-Ginger Biscuits/Cookies

Fudgy Aduki Bean Brownies

Jam and Almond Thumbprint Bites

Masala Chai Carrot Cake Muffins

Healthy sweet treats from other food bloggers:

Chocolate Coconut Cannellini Cake

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Orange Cake

Raw Chocolate Cream Cookies

Chocolate Goji Amaranth Bars

Orange-Tahini Oat Bars

Superfood Cake Bars

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