Don’t mess with brownies.

Perfect just the way they are.

Perfect just the way they are.

Back in the late 80’s, oat bran was the rage.  It was the newest superfood that was going to lower everyone’s cholesterol, cut cancer risk, etc.  People were adding oat bran to everything.

My boss at the time was crazy for oat bran.  There was heart disease in her family, so she was willing to try anything to prevent it for herself.  She got hold of some recipes using oat bran, and I got a copy.  One was for oat bran meatloaf, which I made with ground turkey, and it was actually pretty good.  Another of the recipes was for oat bran brownies.

I don’t remember the specifics of the recipe, but as I remember, most of the flour was replaced with oat bran.  I did follow the recipe to the letter.  They baked fine, and they looked nice when they came out.  I let them cool a little, then I dug in.


They were awful.  The texture was wrong, the taste was wrong.  I waited another day, thinking they might improve, but they didn’t.  I tossed the rest of them out and told my boss not to bother with that particular recipe.

I saw a post recently at Cheap Healthy Good that reminded me of that episode.  Kris was craving brownies, but had recently started Weight Watchers again and didn’t want to make regular brownies.  So she perused the Weight Watchers discussion boards for a WW-acceptable brownie recipe.  The one she found was for Black Bean Brownies.

Puree a can of black beans, make a box of brownie mix according to the directions, add the beans, and bake

Not a dessert item.

Not a dessert item.

according to directions.

She claims they were good, and other people who didn’t know what was in them liked them just fine.  I don’t know about that.  She says that the beans have to be pureed very, very, very finely.  Imagine biting into a brownie and seeing a partially-pureed bean peeking back at you.  Argh.

I am of the opinion that you don’t mess with success.  If you want brownies, and you’re afraid you’ll eat the whole pan if you make them, go down to 7-11 and buy one.  Or make them at home, eat one and freeze the rest.  But don’t try to make them healthy with cringe-worthy ingredients.



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