Better For You Brownies + Giada's Happy Cooking

For me, I'm happiest when I'm cooking. For Giada De Laurentiis it's the same. It's also the mantra behind her new cookbook, Happy Cooking. I chose her book for this round of my Blogging For Books.  I have grown up watching Giada on Food Network, but in her past few seasons she has really focused on healthy and nourishing recipes. Something you don't always see on Food Network. I love ya PW but a stick of butter can't go in everything...

Happy Cooking is stock full of happy healthy recipes. And nothing that is too difficult. GDL quotes "make every meal count...without stressing out!" Between her lightened up pasta dishes, gorgeous vegetable sides, Sunday dinner comfort food, I not surprisingly leaned toward her sensible sweet treats for this recipe post. 

Black bean brownies. Don't be scared of them. If Giada is doing it, you know it's no fluke. They are satisfying without being too sweet, the perfect thing to end a meal with. She includes peanut butter chips in her recipe which I obviously omitted. Check the recipe below for some alternate additions!

Better For You Brownies adapted from Happy Cooking
yields 9

1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed well and drained
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. espresso powder or coffee granules
1 large egg, plus 1 yolk
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed so it is a liquid

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray and 8x8-inch pan with cooking spray. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and adhere it with the cooking spray, then set aside. 

In a food processor, place the drained black beans, cocoa powder, oats, salt, brown sugar, vanilla, baking powder, coffee, egg and yolk. Puree to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in the melted coconut oil until everything is pureed and smooth. Spread the batter in the pan. Bake fro 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool and enjoy!

*Would be great with chocolate chips sprinkled over the top, a coffee glaze made from coffee and powdered sugar, or a big slathering of almond butter over each piece. Or, you can take these somewhat healthy brownies and serve them with a big scoop of ice cream like I did. Balance ya know?


I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. Read more about my thoughts on Happy Cooking here.