Macronutrients & Black Bean Brownies!

Well isn’t that an interesting combination!

Hello! I’m Briana Eruren and I’m excited to guest host Foodie Friday for This is Fit!

I’m going to start out by touching on the macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein, and fat – and how these relate to athletic performance. Then I’ll post a recipe for Black Bean Brownies (Yeah that’s right, I said black beans!) that my friend Taylor Martin and I developed.

Before we jump into this I want to make sure you all understand that optimal body fat levels depend on MANY factors like age and gender. They are also hereditary so you won’t find one correct level that is the same for everyone. Alright let’s get this party started!

Carbohydrates (CHO) are important (and tasty!) because they help maintain blood glucose levels during exercise and replace muscle glycogen. Like optimal body fat levels, the required daily amount of CHO depends on many factors such as daily energy expenditure, gender, type of sport as well as environmental conditions. Some recommendations for athletes range from 2.7 to 4.5 g/lb. (6 to 10 g/kg) body weight per day.

As for protein (PRO) intake, most people will normally meet the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) through diet alone without using a protein or amino acid supplement. Some recommendations for strength training or endurance athletes range from 0.5 to 0.8 g/lb. (1.2 to 1.7 g/kg) body weight per day.

Fat Adequate Intakes (AI) can range from 20%-35% of total energy intake. Fats, which can be a source of energy, fat-soluble vitamins, or essential fatty acids, are important aspects in an athlete’s diet and must not be overlooked. Consuming less than or equal to 20% of energy from fats could be detrimental to athletic performance and your health.

black bean browniesNow on to the Black Bean Brownie recipe I was telling you about! I love this recipe because I have a wicked sweet tooth and if there is one thing I love more than desserts, it’s chocolate! So by using black beans instead of all-purpose flour, this recipe produces rich fudge brownies that are nutrient-dense, lower in cholesterol, sugar, and calories, yet higher in fiber and protein. The black beans also contribute to lower blood sugar levels and a feeling of satiety. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

(Side note from This is Fit: My friend tried these and raved about them!  Ok, carry on.)


1 can black beans (pureed)

1 stick unsalted butter (melted)

½ cup water (hot)

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons instant coffee grounds

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ tablespoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

½ cup chocolate chips (melted)


Pre-heat the oven to 350 and grease an 8 inch x 8 inch or 9 inch x 13 inch baking pan. Next, use a food processor or blender to puree the black beans. Listen – The key to making this turn out right is to use a food processor or a blender to puree the you-know-what out of the black beans first. (You want to make sure there are no chunks left).

Once that is done, melt the butter and boil the water and add to the bean puree. Add the instant coffee and blend. Measure out sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, baking powder, and eggs and add to mixture. Melt the chocolate chips and add those too making sure they mix in well. Blend until you have a smooth consistency. Pour into baking pan and bake for around 45 minutes. Check on them a few times and make any time adjustments as needed. (They are done when a knife or toothpick comes out clean).

Cool, slice, and enjoy! And let me know what you think! 



Briana graduated from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville with a Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Science with a concentration in Dietetics accredited by ACEND (the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics). She served as President of the Student Dietetic Association at the UofA from 2012-2013 and received an Outstanding Officer Award. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as well as the Arkansas Alumni Association. Some of her recent research includes The Use of Home Blenderized Tube Feedings for Children and How Honey Effects the Wound Healing Process. In her free time she enjoys cooking, baking, art (often combining the three), and spending time with her rescue dog, Sophie. Feel free to contact her at

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