Monday, August 31, 2015

Guilt-free Double Chocolate Adzuki Bean Brownies (and Gluten-free too!)

I'm always a strong believer of ...

We are what we eat

Eat well live well

... but what should we eat to stay healthy? Low fat? Low sugar? Low carb? Low calories? Atkins? Paleo diet? Raw food? Macrobiotic? Vegan? Detox? Vitamins?

I'm not a nutritionist and can't answer this question most appropriately. For me, I like to enjoy my food with moderation. I like to invest on fresh and good quality ingredients and like to cook or bake from scratch with good and honest ingredients as much as possible. Most importantly, my food has to taste good as good food makes me feel good... Happy tummy = Happy me! Agree?

Can sensuously delicious food be healthy too? Possible if we have a positive attitude to appreciate food. For me, I like to enjoy my food with flavours but it doesn't have to be extremely meaty, vegan, oily, creamy, spicy, salty and sweet. I'm after a good balance of taste and texture with reasonable amount of nutrition and this is what I see in these double chocolate adzuki bean brownies...

double chocolate adzuki bean brownies
Double chocolate adzuki bean brownies
This recipe originates from the book, Super Legumes by Chrissy Freer.
... and this is the page that shows a picture of the brownies. 

Why adzuki beans? According to Super Legumes, adzuki beans (also known as red beans) are high in their protein and fiber. It is a low fat plant food source and rich in calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Their high soluble fiber can help to stabilise cholesterol levels, improve digestive health and keep you feeling full for longer.

This cookbook shows the benefits and the nutritional values of many legumes including adzuki beans...
... as well as providing concise instruction for us to cook the beans.

Before baking these brownies, I started by cooking the beans.

Soak 195g (1 cup) dried adzuki beans in cold water overnight. Rinse and drain. Put them in a large saucepan, add water to cover the beans by 5 cm and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30-45 mins or until tender. Drain. - Please note this amount will produce more than 240g cooked adzuki beans with quite a significant amount of leftover. Sorry that I have forgotten to weigh the total amount of cooked beans and so can't tell how much you can reduce accordingly.

To avoid this cooking step, you can use one 400g tin adzuki beans, drained and rinsed and you will get 240g cooked adzuki beans. According to the book, you can also substitute adzuki beans with red kidney beans or black beans.

These beans were soaked overnight.
Then I cooked and processed them.
The recipe suggests using macadamia oil but I reckon that any oil that is neutral tasting and healthful are also great for baking these brownies. 
You can either process the eggs and vanilla with the beans or mix mix mix with a spatula like what I did.
More stirring and mixing...
You can substitute almond meal with hazelnut meal and/or dark brown sugar with coconut sugar.
The sweetness of these brownies is just right and so please do not reduce this amount further.
Stir in 75g coarsely chopped dark chocolate.
For me, I have used Callebaut dark chocolate callets with 70% cocoa.
Spread batter evenly in one 20 cm (8 inch) square cake tin that is grease and lined with baking paper.
Bake at 160°C for 30 mins or just firm when lightly pressed.
Set aside to cool in the tin before removing and cutting into squares to serve.
double chocolate adzuki bean brownies
Who says that yummy food can't be healthy?

Thanks to Super Legumes. My family and I can enjoy these moist and chocolaty double chocolate adzuki brownies with good moderation, great taste and no worries!

Want more healthy treats like these?

With this book, you can eat your way to great health. You can enjoy guilt free cakes and bakes like these...

Flourless chocolate dessert cake with raspberry yogurt cream
... made with either black beans, red kidney beans, adzuki beans or pinto beans.
Zucchini loaf
... made with spelt flour and lupin flour with raisin, dried cranberries and pecan nuts.
Sexy but healthy peanut butter cups?
These are healthier than the regular ones because they are made with dates, coconut and walnut as their base and peanut butter as their filling. Interesting!!!

Happy tummy = Happy me

Happy me = Healthy me


I hope that you will eat your way to great health with the foods made from Super Legumes. As this post is specially written to review this book, I'm sorry that I have agreed to the publisher that I can't publish the recipes in this book in this post. If you likes Super Legumes, you can to buy this newly published book at a retail price of AUD$29.99 in most retail or online book shops.

However, if you really wish to bake these less guilty brownies, please read my post in details, you will see that you can actually bake these brownies without a written recipe as I have fully illustrated the process of baking very thoroughly to you. *Hint*

Before ending this post, I like to thank Murdoch Books for giving me this opportunity to do this review. I like to make a disclaimer here that I'm not paid to do this and like to share my most honest opinions with everyone who read this review.

Happy Baking
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  1. I'm a fan of "everything in moderation" is better than depriving yourself or eating yucky food!

  2. o yummmy i am in love with these bites <3

  3. Zoe, these brownies look amazing. I would not have guessed that they contain adzuki beans!

  4. These Double Chocolate Adzuki Bean Brownies must be so yummy ... and so addictive !

  5. As always, your cakes are so delicious looking and so, so tempting!

  6. Thanks for bending the rules.. I love red beans! :)

  7. "We are what we eat....." awesome.... tempting n yummy brownies..... :)

  8. Oh these look and sound fabulous!! I'm a big fan of adzuki beans as it's a commonly used one back in singapore! Nothing new there but the brownies look just as moist and yummy and I'm already imagining that fragrant bean smell and flavor! I would love to have that book for reading!