Plant Powered Brownies {and book review}

I don't do too many book reviews or share too many recipes from cook books - but this one is worth sharing and the book it comes from is really helpful for following a plant-based diet. 

Photo credit: © Heather Poire

Photo credit: © Heather Poire

In this book, Plant Powered For Life, author Sharon Palmer, RDN has complied 152 delicious recipes that will help make your new plant-based lifestyle complete and easy. 

Today I'm giving you a sneak peek into the book by sharing the recipe for her Black Bean Brownies with Walnuts. These dense, moist brownies are packed with cocoa polyphenols and bean nutrition--protein, fiber, and even antioxidants! The beans replace the grains and some of the fat in this gluten-free, egg-free brownie. I guarantee that nobody will guess the magic ingredient--black beans--it is the perfect treat for little kids {and an adult, uh um}.

Along with the recipe, here is a mini Q&A with Sharon herself. 

Q: What inspired you to write about plant-powered diets?

A: The current knowledge in nutrition research supports the idea that we should all be eating less animal foods and more plant foods. It’s a very simple idea that can yield huge rewards. 

Q: Is it possible to get enough nutrients on a plant-powered diet?

A: It’s a big myth that you can’t meet all of your nutritional needs on a vegan or vegetarian diet. By following a well designed diet, like the one I outline in the book, you can not only meet your needs for nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamin D, you can also lower your risk of disease. In fact, health organizations now recognize these diets as legitimately, healthy eating patterns.

Now onto the recipe...


Nonstick cooking spray
One 15-ounce (425 g) can black beans, no salt added, rinsed 
and drained (or 1¾ cups cooked)
½ cup (170 g) honey or agave nectar
½ cup (43 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
3 tablespoons canola oil, expeller pressed {or coconut oil}
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup (85 g) dairy-free, dark chocolate chips
½ cup (58 g) chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray an 8 by 8-inch baking dish 
with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place the black beans, honey, cocoa powder, chia seeds, vanilla, canola 
oil, and baking powder in a blender. Process until smooth. Scrape down 
the sides halfway through blending if needed.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
4. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and walnuts evenly across the top of the 
5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the edges pull away from the side of the 
pan and the brownies are firm.
6. Cool for a few minutes, and then slice into 16 squares. 

Per Serving: 149 calories, 3 g protein, 20 g carbohyrate, 8 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 
3 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 99 mg sodium
Star nutrientS: magnesium (10% DV), manganese (14% DV)