I grew up eating aduki beans. They are those small red beans. You know, you’ve probably seen them in the bulk section and wondered what they were. They are common in Asian cooking, in China they make those bean buns with the sweet redish-nrown bean paste (but the beans are puréed with so much sugar it’s almost counterproductive! But you know. You get the picture.)
In Macrobiotic tradition, aduki beans are considered good for the kidneys. They are great mix of protein and fibre so are a good choice for anyone trying to balance and manage blood sugar spikes. (which is extra great when you’re using them in a dessert like brownies because it helps to balance the glycemic index and makes them more fibrous and protein packed making it more of a whole food.) Aduki beans are therefore great for people with diabetes. Plus they are high in antioxidants including bioflavonoids which have anti-inflammatory health benefits.
They have a bit of an earthy flavour but are very versatile, and when cooked well can become smooth and creamy easily. They can lend themselves to either sweet or savoury easily so I thought one day, these would be great in a brownie. (What wouldn’t be great in a brownie!)
So instead of the most common black bean brownie I set out to make an aduki bean brownie. Because of the fibre and protein they end up filling a hunger gap and being more of a food that a dessert, although don’t get me wrong they are the gooiest, most decadent and divine brownie I’ve had. And they only have a tablespoon of oil so they don’t feel heavy or oily.
I often split the recipe (as shown here) and make a few mini-two-bite-brownies along with a pan (they are great to have around or freeze for any little munchkins who come to visit!) but it’s totally up to you. They would be a great birthday cupcake recipe also!
What I think I love most about sharing this recipe though is that it’s a great way to get beans (+ good quality protein, fibre and antioxidants) into any kid! Win. Win.
1 c. cooked aduki beans
2/3 c almond milk — chocolate if you have it (soy or coconut milk would work too)
1/2 c. spelt flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. maple syrup (or 1/4 maple and 1/4 rice syrup)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch of sea salt
2 Tbs. ground flax seed
1 Tbs. oil
1 Tbs. vanilla
1/2 c nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Blend almond milk and adzuki beans together in blender or food processor. (It will be the consistency of a thick smoothie). Put adzuki mixture and a bowl, add remaining wet ingredients and mix together. In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients. Add dry to wet and mix well.
Oil pan and poor in the batter.
Bake in 9×9 inch pan for 35 minutes or until the top starts to crack. The middle of the brownies will remain soft so the toothpick check won’t necessarily work well on this recipe (also since there is so little flower). You will know the brownies are ready when they rise slightly, the top begins to crack and the edges become solid.
Cool 10+ minutes before cutting.
(*recommendation: Eat them once they have cooled or even the next day. Because they are a bean brownie the bean flavour can be more prominent right out of the oven. The proper rich-chocolate-brownie flavour and texture comes out more once they cool to room temperature.)