You may wonder what these secret ingredients were. Drumroll.........white beans and spinach! Yes, these do not sound like classic brownie ingredients. However, the beauty is that both the beans and the spinach can go absolutely undetected while adding precious nutrients. Here's how:
White beans are basically bland. When pureed and added into food, you really can't taste them. If that's not good enough, you can't see them either because of their light color. Therefore, you can add white beans into many kinds of baked goods and foods without anyone ever being the wiser. Spinach, on the other hand, has a stronger flavor and, of course, color. You have to be somewhat careful how you use it if you don't want the masses to know. In other words, "sneak" it into foods that already have a robust flavor and are dark--like brownies! The trick with these hidden ingredients is pureeing them very, very well. Smooth, no lumps, and undetectable. The spinach needs to be boiled for about 5 minutes before pureeing. If you are using canned beans, you do not have to boil them. Dried beans, of course, must be prepared before using as a "secret" ingredient.
By the way, extra nutrition turned out to no be the only plus; the brownies were absolutely moist, gooey and yummy! The original recipe calls for 3 cups of sugar, but I cut it down to 2. If you like your brownies a little sweeter, feel free to add the extra cup. And now for that recipe:
1 cup cocoa
2 cups coconut palm sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 regular or chia/flax eggs
1 cup oil
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2/3 cup pureed white beans
2/3 cup pureed spinach
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a lasagna pan and set aside.
If using flax or chia eggs, make them first and let them gel in bowl for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients and whisk with a fork. Add vanilla, oil and eggs. Mix well. Stir in beans and spinach until well combined.
Pour into pan and bake 45 minutes. Check middle after 45 minutes to make sure it is not too mushy. If so, bake another 5 minutes and check again. It is ok if the center is moist, just not so gooey that the batter is running. The brownies will set a little more after they cool for a few minutes. Let cool and cut into squares.