The above brownie has 1 net carb and 69 calories. It's moist and fudgy and not dry at all. The secret? No flour, just a blender and some black soy beans.
If you're clutching your pearls over my use of soy, hear me out for a second. I do agree that the phytoestrogen content of soy does merit some cause for alarm. However, I also think that it is fine in moderation. I think that the issues with soy are largely due to massive consumption in forms such as soybean oil (yes, "vegetable oil" is often soybean oil) and processed food products that use soy isolate or similar for texture and/or a meaty taste. We often don't realize how much soy we consume because it is so ubiquitous. For example, In The End of Overeating, the author lists the ingredients in a freaking chicken breast at Chilis, which includes autolyzed yeast extract, sodium phosphate, and soy protein concentrate. My conclusion isn't exactly scientific, but this is what works for me: I think that if we primarily cook our own food using whole ingredients, we end up cutting a lot of excess soy out of our diets, and thus I try to stick with the whole bean or fermented products like tamari. Call me crazy, but I don't believe that the problem is that Americans eat too many canned soybeans or steamed edamame. If you would still rather avoid soy, you can substitute regular black beans. This will bump up the carb count to 3 net carbs per brownie rather than 1 (still not bad!).
I've experimented with this recipe quite a bit. I've found that the small amount of real butter is truly essential for flavor and texture. I've tried both whole eggs and Eggbeaters/egg whites and I couldn't detect a difference, so I use whites only to keep the total calorie count down.
Makes 16 2"x2" square brownies
- 1 can black soy beans or regular black beans (preferably unsalted), drained and rinsed
- 3 Tbs unsalted butter, melted (or use 3 Tbs oil of choice)
- 6 egg whites or 3/4 cup egg substitute or liquid egg whites
- 3/4 cup stevia or Splenda
- 1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder (I like Hershey's Special Dark or Green & Black)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp instant coffee or espresso grinds (don't skip this; even if you don't like coffee the taste is very mild but it covers up any "beany" taste)
- Generous pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Optional: toppings such as 1-2 Tbs cacao nibs (pictured), 1/4 cup 85%+ dark chocolate cut into chunks, 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, etc
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8 pan or spray with Baker's Joy
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. You may have to scrape down the sides and stir the batter several times.
- Scrape the batter into the greased pan. Sprinkle with any of the optional toppings. Bake 30 minutes or until the center is relatively dry and the brownies pull away from the sides of the pan. Cut into 16 squares. Chill overnight in the fridge; after a day or so the chocolate flavor intensifies and the brownies taste less "beany".