We are the first to admit that the idea of making brownies with black beans sounds strange and a bit unappetizing. But hear us out. When you combine black beans with other ingredients in a food processor, something magical happens: you can’t taste the beans. At all. In fact, the black bean brownies from Chocolate Covered Katie come out fudgy, gooey, moist and delicious — exactly what you expect from regular fudge brownies.
Chocolate Covered Katie said the success of this recipe surprised even her. “At first, I wasn’t even going to post the recipe because I thought readers would think the idea of black bean brownies was just too crazy,” she says. “Thankfully I could not have been more wrong, and the recipe currently has been viewed over eight MILLION times, with thousands of positive comments from readers who LOVE the recipe!”
What makes these brownies even better than traditional brownies is that that they are flourless, and the beans up the nutritional factor with additional protein and fiber.
“If you’re feeling adventurous, do be sure to give these brownies a try,” Katie says, “because even people who aren’t into healthy food or vegan recipes have said they would choose these secretly healthy brownies over any traditional brownie recipe made with regular flour and sugar!”
How to make black bean brownies
Let’s start with the star of the show: black beans. Make sure you choose unseasoned canned black beans. You certainly don’t want your brownies to have a hint of onion or garlic powder!
Pour the beans in a colander and rinse them well before dumping them into food processor. Add in the remainder of the ingredients, with the exception of the chocolate chips, and blend until the mixture is completely smooth. We’re going for no chunks. Not one.
This recipe gives you some leeway as you can use either honey, maple syrup or agave to add sweetness. All three of these options are minimally refined and contain about the same amount of calories, 60 calories per tablespoon. Maple syrup and honey are a little sweeter than white sugar, while agave has a more mild flavor.
Be warned that the brownie mixture does have a “beany” smell after it has been mixed. Yes, that is a made-up word, but is the best way to explain the smell of the batter. Don’t let it scare you! This smell will be gone once you bake them.
Stir the chocolate chips into the bean mixture and pour into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top if want. More chocolate is always a good thing.
Bake the brownies for 15-18 minutes. Make sure you don’t overcook them so they keep their moist and gooey texture. If they look undercooked, place them in the fridge overnight and they will firm up by the morning — or at least in time for that midnight snack. Enjoy!
Black beans are loaded with protein, fiber and potassium. They can help to lower cholesterol levels and relieve constipation and bloating, and are a great source of protein – especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan.
Add in cocoa powder
You can also use superfood cacao powder for a healthier option. Your brownies will still taste good, but the cacao powder will make them more bitter.
Add oats over cocoa powder
We recommend using quick oats but you can opt for rolled oats, flaxmeal, flour, or protein powder. Experiment at your own risk!
Pour salt and maple syrup into food processor
It might surprise you to learn that, according to studies, maple syrup’s nutritional value is actually greater than other sweeteners such as honey, sugar and even brown sugar.
Although the first step with chocolate chips isn’t optional – this one is. Sprinkling chocolate chips on the batter is really just for presentation and that extra chocolatey taste. But the brownies will be just fine if you skip this step.
Black bean brownies are a healthy dessert option – and oh, so good!
We guarantee everyone will love these baked bean brownies so much, they’ll be begging for the recipe.
1-1/2 cups unseasoned black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup, honey, or agave
1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips, plus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor. Blend until completely smooth.
Stir in the chips.
Then pour mixture into the greased pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top.
Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. If they still look a bit undercooked, you can place them in the fridge overnight and they will magically firm up!