Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Black Bean Brownie Ice Cream beans in your ice cream probably doesn't sound delicious.  But, it is. Trust me on this one; you have to try this combo. This improbable ice cream recipe began with me trying to make the chocolate pumpkin pudding from The Everyday Vegan without looking at the recipe.  The texture wasn't quite right, I'm sure due to me trying to throw it together from memory after looking over the recipe a few days earlier.  So I decided to try adding some black beans to thicken it up.  Black bean brownies work, so why not black bean pudding?  And why not black bean pudding turned into ice cream with black bean brownies in it?!  Why not indeed.  And there you have it: the thought process that led to this successful marriage of healthy and indulgent.

There are many, many black bean brownie recipes out there. The one I use here is my favorite so far, which I put together after seeing a number of flourless black bean brownie recipes posted recently, but finding none without sugar and without eggs.  I have been giving these to Abiline and Sawyer as a good-for-you treat. Good-for-you treat? These recipes certainly show that those two things really can co-exist.

For the brownies:
1 1/2 cups black beans, or 1 can drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp. sunflower seed butter
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 cup pitted dates, soaked for a few hours to soften them, and then drained
(or microwave them for a few minutes covered in water and then drain them)
1/2 cup cocoa powder

For the ice cream:
1 16 oz can pumpkin puree   
1/2 cup (heaping) of black beans
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut sugar (Or try subbing dates!)
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp. guar gum (optional, but really gives homemade ice cream a good texture. I got this tip from Dreena Burton's latest cookbook, Let Them Eat Vegan.)
1/3 cup chocolate chips, chopped
2-3 black bean brownies, crumbled or chopped into small chunks

1. To make the brownies, preheat the oven to 350 and oil a 9x9 inch baking pan. Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth it out with the back of a rubber scraper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the brownies cool completely. This makes way more than you need for the ice cream, which means lots of brownie sundaes.
2.  To make the ice cream, in a blender or food processor whip together all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips and brownie chunks.  Make sure you get the mixture totally smooth.  Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
3. Near the end of the freezing time, right before the ice cream is all set up and ready, gradually pour in the chopped chocolate chips and brownie chunks. Let the ice cream maker stir them in until evenly distributed. If you don't eat all of this ice cream right away, then be sure to take the leftovers out of the freezer 15 minutes before you want to eat them, to soften the ice cream up and make it scoop-able again.

If you think this recipe is a bit off the beaten path, well check this out:

Have you ever seen a man riding a bicycle with a giant remote-controlled shark balloon tied to the handlebars?  The mask just completes the look (thanks polluted Southern California air.). Well, if you saw him--that was my husband.  No further questions please.

This post is linked to Fit and Fabulous FridaysAllergy-Friendy Fridays, My Meatless Mondays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays, and Wellness Weekend.


  1. Both the brownies and the ice cream look excellent. Pinning this, and can't wait to try it.
    How on earth does he bike with a giant shark in front of him? Either way, awesome pic.

    1. The shark was only for a day; he took it to work because my son was so frightened of it, which was no small feat on a bicycle! I hope you love the ice cream!

  2. LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. This sounds so scrumptious! I love this healthier "ice cream" recipe! Thank you for sharing with me on Fit and Fabulous Fridays!! Hope to see you tomorrow!

    1. Thanks for looking at my recipe, Amee! I love your blog!

  4. This looks amazing! I do that all the time too ... I look at something and a few days later try to make it from my memory :) Looks like it turned out good though! And I love the picture of your hubby! Too funny!


    1. Thanks, Jane! I just read your story on your blog: how inspiring--good for you!

  5. I love, adore, and grub on some serious black bean brownies. They are so easy, and yummy. I made vegan almond milk/frozen banana dark chocolate ice cream today, and was thinking there *had* to be a black bean ice cream recipe out there...which led me to this. I'll be trying this, or a version of it soon;) thanks!