a classic brownie enchanted with cardamom for regality
I was tempted to sneak “phytoestrogen” in the title of this fudgy legume treat, mainly because I’m the weird food lady and it looks like I caught the tail end of the black bean brownie band wagon (say that x 10 to exercise your tongue muscles!), but my pride wants you to know that black bean brownies are old news. They’ve been around! You, however, may not be up on all the ways that are available for making black bean brownies.
Black beans are a phytoestrogen superhouse. If you’re scared of soy because of her boisterous phytoestrogen content, then you better run from black beans! Black beans are an excellent source of genistein, a potent phytoestrogen. One study found black beans to have 45.1 mg/kg of genistein versus 24.1 mg/kg for soy beans.1 Phytoestrogens can benefit premenstrual syndrome as well as menopause because they help to modulate estrogen in the body. Wow, a chocolate treat that can actually help with crappy PMS symptoms!
Without the cardamom, you have my basic, normalfriendly brownie recipe. These brownies are my go-to quick dessert for potlucks, new moms, and kidfriendly treats. The dates give a smooth fudgy texture that can not be found with other sweeteners.
Add the cardamom and you have some regal Indian flair in your dessert. You will be impressed with the flavor magic that happens on your tongue when cardamom is paired with chocolate. Think of chocolate chai, but better and stronger and richer. Chai wouldn’t be chai if it weren’t for cardamom!
Let’s finish this off with some blood sugar talk. The ideal blood sugar friendly brownie would contain no sweeteners, kind of like my brownies from hell. However, these goodies are sweetened with dates. Dates can still cause blood sugar issues when eaten alone, even though they contain a small amount of fiber. But because of their fiber content, they are still a better natural sweetener than honey, agave syrup, maple syrup, or evaporated cane juice. Speaking of fiber, the black beans offer fiber and protein, which makes this easy dessert much more blood sugar friendly. If you are going to eat a (sweetened) brownie, this is really the way to eat it.
1. Kaufman PB, Duke JA, Brielmann H, et al: A comparative survey of leguminous plants as sources of the isoflavones genistein and daidzein: Implications for human nutrition and health. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 1997.
Cardamom Black Bean Brownies
Makes one 8×8 glass baking dish
- 1 3/4 cup (or one can) black beans
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 30 dates (deglet)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 4 Tablespoons full fat coconut milk
- 3 eggs
- generous pinch of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- a few cardamom seeds
- Line the bottom of an 8×8 glass baking dish with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Roughly chop dates.
- Put everything except eggs into a food processor and blend together.
- Whisk eggs separately, then slowly add to food processor.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour batter into baking dish.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
- Garnish with lightly crushed cardamom seeds.