Cancer Treatment Centers of America

The secret ingredient in this healthy brownie recipe is...

blog brownie

Can brownies be good for you and taste good too? It’s possible, says Brooke McIntyre, clinical oncology dietitian and Diabetes Program Coordinator at our hospital in Tulsa. McIntyre will appear on KJRH-NBC Tulsa this morning to discuss healthy substitutions for the holidays.

“My role is to keep patients as healthy as possible during their cancer treatment but also to find healthy substitutions that will help manage their blood sugar if they are diabetic,” she says.

During the segment, McIntyre will provide a healthy brownie recipe which replaces flour with black beans. This substitution, she says, cuts the calories by about 300 and increases the fiber and antioxidant content which is important for everyone, especially people with cancer. Research suggests that eating beans regularly may decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease and colorectal cancer.

So during this holiday season, consider healthier alternatives to traditional goodies like this one. Skeptical? Try it yourself:

Gluten-free Black Bean Brownies

  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder -- Dutch or regular (add a little extra if desired)
  • 1/2 cup gluten free quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave
  • 2 NuNaturals stevia packs or 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • Optional: more chips, for presentation

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, and then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top.

Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.