Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dark Chocolate Lentil Brownies

Black Lentils
Featured Ingredient:

In my ongoing for quest for canned goods, I came across canned lentils in a local natural food store.  I wanted to challenge myself with something more than lentil soup and figured I would go in a totally different direction and venture into dessert territory - Lentil Brownies.

If that sounds crazy to you, I encourage you to read on.  Or maybe you are more adventurous since you were already searching for something like this.  Before you start running for the hills, this is truly a scrumptious brownie.  I even surprised myself.  If someone told me a few years ago you could make a delicious, moist brownie, using lentils that doesn't have the taste or texture of cardboard, I would have thought they were out of their mind.  Recently, I've come across other blog posts raving about black bean brownies, I thought maybe I could try something similar using canned lentils.  I found that pureed lentils work great in brownies.  There isn't a gritty taste and because lentils themselves are relatively flavorless they assume whatever flavor you put into them.

I like to eat healthy, but I'm not someone who goes to extremes. I also like to indulge, especially with dessert.  This brownie is a perfect marriage of healthy and indulgent.  Somewhere between fudgy and cakey,  it's not overly dense and has a moist, light, mouthfeel.  The other beauty of this brownie is cuts so easily.  Some brownies can be overly crumbly and very difficult to slice into equal portions.

Dark Chocolate Lentil Brownies - 8 X 8 inch pan

One 15 oz. canned black lentils (rinsed and drained)
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
pinch of salt
3 large eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Confectioner's sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350F

In a food processor, pulse lentils until smooth.

In a large bowl mix dry ingredients -  flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt

In a smaller bowl whisk together wet ingrdents - eggs, applesauce, grapeseed oil and vanilla.  Whisk in pureed lentils.

Put the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula until combined, trying not to overwork the batter. Fold in chocolate chips.

Looks like brownie batter to me
Pour brownie mix into an 8 X 8 inch pan.  My husband bought that perfect brownie pan (which is approximately that size). I don't use the dividers but it does have a bottom like a springform pan that you can push out.

Bake for about 25 minutes until the batter looks set and a toothpick comes out nearly dry, with a little chocolate on it.

This brownie has vitamins, fiber, protein from the lentils and the applesauce; antioxidants from the dark chocolate; and is low fat because of grapeseed oil.  Plus it tastes good too.   My picky, junk-food friendly kids even enjoyed them.

Now here's the truth: the brownies are not very pretty by themselves... They may even look burned to you.

However, that is nothing a little powdered sugar can't fix.  As the brownies are not overly sweet on their own, the addition of the confectioner's sugar adds just a hint more of sweetness that strikes a perfect balance.

Give these a try.  I dare you. :)

Dark Chocolate Lentil Brownies

No comments:

Post a Comment