Rocco Dispirito’s Fudgy Fruit & Nut Bars

Brownies aren’t usually part of a healthy diet, but Chef Rocco Dispirito’s version is the best thing he ever ate under 100 calories. The secret ingredient is black beans, which add texture and moisture – creating a delicious fudge-like brownie. To purchase your copy of Rocco's book Now Eat This!, click here.

15 oz Canned black beans (rinsed and drained)
1/4 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp Espresso powder
3/4 cup Liquid egg substitute
3 tbsp Whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup Agave nectar
1 tbsp Unsalted butter (melted)
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Combine the beans, cocoa powder, espresso powder, egg substitute, and flour in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth, about 2 mintues, scraping down the bowl halfway through.

Add the agave, butter and vanilla. Process until all of the ingredients are combined, about 1 minute. Pour the batter into a prepared baking dish, and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the dish halfway through the baking time. Turn down the temperature of the oven to 300°F and bake for another 5-8 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a little bit of soft batter clinging to it. It should not come out clean, if it does: it’s overcooked.

Let the bars cool completely at room temperature in the baking dish on a wire rack. Then put them in the fridge for at least 3 hours. When they’re cold, cut them into 12 squares and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito is a popular television personality and the author of numerous hit cookbooks including his current New York Times bestseller Now Eat This! available wherever books are sold.

NOW EAT THIS! a Ballantine Trade Paperback Original by Rocco DiSpirito (c) 2010 Spirit Media, LLC