Healthy Mint Brownies
1/3 cup Almond Milk
1 Tablespoon Applesauce
3 Tablespoons Ground Flax
1/2 cup Frozen Blueberries
1 Whole (2 halves) canned or jar unsweetened Pear (I use Trader Joe’s)
1- 15 ounce can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tablespoon Grape seed Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Natural Butter Extract
3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Coconut Sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Sea or Pink Salt
3 Tablespoons White Spelt Flour or Rice Flour*
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chunks or Chips
1/4 cup ripe, soft Avocado
1 Tablespoon Whipped Coconut Cream or Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Powdered Xylitol
3/4 teaspoon Pure Peppermint Extract
1 Drop Natural Green Food Coloring (Optional)
2 Tablespoons White Spelt Flour or White Flour
5 ounces Dark Chocolate**
1 teaspoon Neutral Oil of choice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 by 9 or 7 by 11 baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine the flax, applesauce and almond milk together in a small bowl. Set aside to allow to thicken. In a food processor, combine the blueberries, pear, black beans and oil. Pulse until the mixture become very smooth. Next, add the extracts and process until fully combined. Remove the contents from processor into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the coconut sugar, cocoa, baking powder, soda, and salt and mix. Add the flour with the chocolate chips and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into your prepared dish and bake at 350 for 44-45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 50 minutes. If you would like, place the brownies in the fridge for 20 or 30 minutes to speed up cooling time. While the brownies cool, start on your mint filling.
In a small bowl, combine the soft avocado with full fat coconut milk or heavy cream. Beat on high for about 5 minutes until the mixture is fluffy and smooth. Add the powdered xylitol and mix well. Add peppermint extract and coloring if desired, and beat until all incorporated. Once the mixture is perfectly fluffy and creamy, add the flour and mix until just combined. The mixture should be thick and smooth but still easy to spread. Spread the mixture evenly over the cooled brownies and place in the fridge for 10 minutes, until the mint filling has firmed.
Next, melt the chocolate. Add the oil to the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Remove the brownies from the fridge and pour the melted chocolate over the brownies, gently and quickly spread the chocolate evenly over the brownies. The mint filling should be cold so the warm chocolate doesn’t melt the mint filling, but the chocolate will cool quickly once it touches the cold mint. Make sure to work quickly so the chocolate layer will be even. Return the brownies to the fridge to cool for another 5 minutes until the chocolate is set.
Cut the brownies after the 5 minutes with a sharp knife. Serve brownies chilled or at room temperature. Store any left overs in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
NOTE: Once the chocolate layer has firmed, be sure to cut all the brownies immediately with a sharp knife. I cut some of the brownies when they were really, really cold, and they didn’t cut clean and pretty.
*For those who are not concerned with gluten content, wheat or white flour would work okay as well. For wheat, decrease the amount by 1 tablespoon. For the filling, be sure to use a white color flour to keep the mint filling a bright pretty green color.
**You can use any kind of chocolate you like, but dark chocolate gives a wonderful flavor to the peppermint and sugar free dark chocolate is the easiest to find.