Well, yes, because I bet you will never believe (until you make them and enjoy them) how utterly delicious a brownie made with black beans, avocado and dates can be…. Be brave.

One of my friends, photographer extraordinaire Darlene McGee, sent me this recipe a couple of years ago when we were in a class called Menu for the Future. The recipe is a classic from Dr. Joel Fuhrman, one of the most popular food, diet and health gurus out there today. If you recall, my friend Leo Sulentic, mushroom grower, is a fan of Dr. Fuhrman, too. Dr. Fuhrman’s use of mushrooms for health is what got Leo started in his ever-growing (pun!) enterprise .

Anyway, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought this recipe was a great one to share, especially since many people are going vegan, gluten-free or just trying to eat healthier. If you fall into any of these categories, this recipe is for you. It may not be the ultimate chocolate experience of a Southern Living concoction or a featured dish on Martha Bakes, but it is incredibly chocolaty, super moist, sinfully rich and very, VERY, healthy–you can make this part of your breakfast menu (really!) or have one for a energy-charged snack, as well as dessert. It will help you say “Be Mine” with delicious intent.

Let me say this about the Fuhrman recipe, it assumes you have a high-end professional blender such as a Vitamix ®, and, if you do, your recipe prep time will speed up considerably. However, many of us (me included) have only a standard food processor but would still like to prepare this treat for our families. So my recipe below will differ from Dr. Fuhrman’s in terms of preparation steps. I’ll clue you in where as we go along.

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brownie ingredients partially mixed

Once you have all your pureed ingredients in a bowl, thoroughly mix in the cocoa powder and ground flaxseed.

brownie ingredients at two stages of mixing

Here is a nice comparison between how your pureed ingredients look before the second processing (right) and how they should look after the second processing (left).

Got a great Valentine’s Day creation? Love to hear about it. Remember that the most important ingredient on Valentine’s Day–or any day–is LOVE.