I ♥ Low Fat, Healthy Brownies


Easy, Chocolaty & Guilt Free (Also Cute)!

I first tasted black bean brownies at a party after an Aikido seminar in Boston.  I thought they were fantastic; fudgy dense and chocolaty.  These will definitely appeal to kids and are easy to make with a little adult help with the food processor.

Ingredients for heart healthy, low fat brownies

♥ Ingredients for heart healthy, low fat brownies ♥

These brownies couldn’t be simpler to make.  All you actually need is a box of brownie mix and a can of black beans.   That’s it.   I added some optional ingredients in the big silly pink parenthesis.  I used a little strong, black coffee and a dash of cinnamon to give it a little more complexity – but I forgot to add a touch of vanilla to add a mellow note.  I also added a couple of teaspoons of cocoa powder to make it even more chocolaty.  For the truly adventurous, a dash of cayenne (I wasn’t that adventurous this time 🙂 )  And brownies aren’t brownies to me without walnuts.

ZANDA PANDA Puppy Mold prepared by brushing in melted vegetable shortening and dusting with cocoa powder.

ZANDA PANDA Puppy Mold, which was prepared by brushing in melted vegetable shortening and lightly dusting with cocoa powder. Ready for the low fat brownie batter!

Basic directions:  I prepared the Puppy mold by lightly brushing the interior with melted vegetable shortening (Crisco), then dusting with cocoa powder.  This helps to release baked goods and also gives their surface a smoother finish.

To make the batter, rinse a can of black beans in a colander, then put them back in the can and add water until it reaches the top of the can.  Purée beans and water in a food processor and don’t stop until it’s very smooth.  Add puréed beans to the brownie mix, pour into the pan and bake at 325 °F (177 °C) for 40 to 55 minutes.  Don’t overbake ;P

Better Brownie Batter in a ZANDA PANDA Puppy Mold

Better Brownie Batter in a ZANDA PANDA Puppy Mold

Puppy mold filled with brownie batter.  I studded half with walnuts, pressing them in slightly, but not enough to show on the decorative surface of the brownies.

Slightly overbaked but delicious low fat brownie made with ZANDA PANDA's Puppy Mold

Slightly overbaked but delicious low fat brownie made with ZANDA PANDA's Puppy Mold

I like my brownies on the fudgy side.  These came out a little more cake-y than I like them, because I overbaked them slightly.  I thought that the middle was unbaked when checking wih a toothpick.  I actually was hitting the melted chocolate chips.  Duh.  I don’t think the brownie would have cracked if I hadn’t overbaked it a little.  Also the walnuts made the surface flex because they weren’t completey ’embedded’ in the back of the brownie.

But it still tasted fantastic.  The best part is that it’s not only super simple to make, it’s also low fat, high fiber, guilt free and chocolaty!  And kids will actually like it!  All in all, very cute and VERY tasty!!!


We’re now taking reservations for Puppy Molds! There is no obligation when you reserve. We’ll notify you when they’re ready to ship and will hold your reservation for two weeks.

To reserve, just e-mail us at: info@zandapanda.com and mention the Puppy Mold in the subject line.

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Got a great ‘heart healthy’ cake or cookie Recipe?

I’m putting out a call for ‘heart healthy’ cake and cookie recipes. Partly because I’m donating part of the profits from the Kaleidoscope Heart cake/cookie/craft mold to the American Heart Association, so I think it’d be appropriate, but I also really like the idea of putting healthier alternatives on the blog and website.  Recipes suitable for Valentine’s Day would be especially appreciated.

I’m particularly looking for recipes that are:

♥   Heart-healthy
♥   Very easy to make (for even new bakers or kids)
♥   Have easy to find ingredients
♥   Have a fairly short ingredient list
♥   Cakes with a slightly dense texture preferred

So, if you have a favorite recipe, please send it and be sure to include your name as you’d like it to accompany your recipe and your blog or website if you’d like a link to it!

Please post them here or send them to Lira@zandapanda.com.


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