Black Bean Brownies – WellPlated.com


Chocolate lovers, you’ll never guess the “black bean” part of these Black Bean Brownies.

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Made with black beans, oats, coconut oil, maple syrup, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips, these black bean brownies will satisfy all your chocolate cravings, sans guilt.

I’m not sharing this black bean brownie recipe to coax you into a healthier, but inferior-tasting, dessert option.

These black bean brownies are truly fudgy and amazing, and they pass my very high brownie standards.

Trust me.

If there were a degree in Brownie Baking (and Tasting), I would have my doctorate. Let’s call it a PhB (Please Hand me a Brownie).

  • I grew up with homemade cookies and pies, and baking is one of my love languages. Particularly baking brownies.
  • Honing in on what makes the perfect brownie, I experimented with and mastered Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies a dozen times over for my cookbook.
  • I am particularly famous (not tryin’ to brag…) for my One Bowl Brownies (which my friends lovingly call “THE Brownies.”) and Healthy Brownies.

My latest brownie experiment is another delicious success that I can’t wait to share with you.

healthy black bean brownies made without flour

Why (Insert: “On Earth”) You Would Make Brownies with Black Beans

But black beans in brownies?!

Don’t run away! I swear you will have no idea there are beans in them, and they are GOOD.

  • Like my Chickpea Blondies and Chickpea Cookie Dough, the beans serve to replace some of the fat, making these have lower calories and less cholesterol/saturated fat, while also making the bars super moist. 
  • Just like the avocado in my Avocado Brownies or sweet potato in Sweet Potato Brownies, the black beans give you some nutrients in your dessert.
  • They are your healthy little secret when you serve them! No black bean flavor guaranteed, just all the chocolate goodness you NEED in a brownie.
  • Gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free, they are a great dessert to bring to parties, where there may be allergies present. These Vegan Brownies are also a great options and are extremely fudgy as well.
healthy brownies made with no flour

How to Make Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

This black bean brownie recipe is simple!

The food processor does the heavy lifting (or shall I say blending).

They are flourless, gluten-free, dairy free (no eggs or milk!), naturally sweetened (no granulated sugar!), and oh-so chocolatey.

Dietary Note

  • Gluten free. Confirm the oats are certified gluten free if you are allergic to gluten.
  • Dairy Free. Check for chocolate chips that are free of any milk products to make completely dairy free.
  • Vegan. If dairy free chocolate chips are used, these brownies are also vegan.

The Ingredients

  • Coconut Oil. Refined coconut oil has a neutral flavor, whereas virgin coconut oil will have a coconut flavor. Both work; choose which you prefer!

Substitution Tip

  • Canola oil or olive oil can be used in place of coconut oil. 
  • The canola oil has a neutral flavor. 
  • Olive oil will have a subtle flavor, which I personally like with the chocolate.
  • Oats. Why stop at the black beans on our healthy ingredient list when making these healthy brownies? Choosing old fashioned rolled oats over all-purpose flour adds fiber and protein.
  • Black Beans. No soaking of beans necessary; canned beans work great for this simple black bean brownie recipe. Use low-sodium (or no-salt) canned black beans.
  • Maple Syrup. This natural sweetener adds a lovely maple flavor.
  • Cocoa Powder. Unsweetened cocoa powder is the must-have ingredient in traditional and healthy brownies alike. It makes the brownies extra fudgy.

Tip!

Sift your cocoa powder to remove any lumps.

  • Espresso Powder. Espresso powder is one of my go-to ingredients to add to brownies to make them taste better. It brings out the chocolate flavor, making them even richer.

Market Swap

Instant coffee can be used in place of espresso powder.

  • Vanilla. Vanilla extract is another one of my not-so-secret ingredients to add to brownies to make them dynamite. It balances and intensifies the chocolate flavor.

Tip!

I use pure vanilla extract in all of my baked goods. It’s a simple swap that makes a big flavor difference.

  • Chocolate Chips. Use semi-sweet (or dark chocolate chips) for the perfect chocoholic hit.

Note on Chocolate Chip Size

Mini chocolate chips distribute more evenly and nearly melt into the brownies, while keeping them super fudgy. You can swap regular chocolate chips instead of minis if you prefer; the brownies will be a little less firm and fudgy, but still delish.

The Directions

oats in a blender for black bean brownies
  1. Add oats and baking powder to a food processor or high-powered blender.
blended oats and baking powder for healthy brownies
  1. Blend into oat flour.
black beans in blender for black bean brownies
  1. Add beans.
blended black bean brownies
  1. Blend.
black bean brownie batter blended
  1. Pour in the maple syrup and melted coconut oil and blend until combined.
ingredients in blender for black bean brownies
  1. Blend in cocoa powder, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt. 
blended batter for healthy fudgy brownies
  1. Stir in chocolate chips.
black bean brownies in baking ban
  1. Pour into baking pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top.
baked black bean brownies with chocolate chips on top
  1. Bake black bean brownies at 325 degrees F for 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
fudgy thick black bean healthy brownies
  1. Cool brownies on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pan. Slice. ENJOY!

TIP!

For the best-ever flavor and texture, let them chill in the refrigerator for a few hours first… or just go for it; I don’t blame you.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store black bean brownies in an airtight container at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  • To Reheat. Enjoy leftovers at room temperature or, to make them extra fudgy, warm slightly in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Cover the brownies uncut in the pan with foil and store frozen for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Storage Tips

You may also freeze individually cut brownies to have a future brownie on demand. Wrap brownie in plastic wrap and heavy-duty foil to keep fresh.

Even More Brownie Recipes!

My love of brownies runs deep. One can never have too many brownies.

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

My Favorite Baking Dish

This pan is perfect for brownies and bars! Its silicone coating is made without typical chemicals, plus it’s easy to clean.

healthy brownies made with black beans

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

black bean brownies made with no flour

These black bean brownies are everything a brownie should be: fudgy, chocolatey, rich; and also what a brownie usually isn’t: healthy. So go for it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make These Black Bean Brownies if I Don’t Have a Food Processor?

If you don’t have a food processor or high-speed blender, you can make this recipe in a regular blender by swapping 1 cup of tightly packed oat flour for the rolled oats.

What is the Secret to Moist Brownies?

Simple and I hate to say it, but 1) follow this recipe, and 2) do NOT over bake them. Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean (melted chocolate chips on there don’t count).

Are Black Bean Brownies High in Carbohydrates?

Black beans are a healthy carb you can feel good about eating! Refer to the nutritional information at the bottom of the recipe card for black bean brownies’ nutrition.

Why Use Black Beans in Brownies?

The black beans make these brownies healthier than traditional brownies by not only replacing some of the fat, like all the trans fat in butter-based brownies, but also adding protein, fiber, and quality carbohydrates.

  • 1/2 cup refined coconut oil* melted and slightly cooled, or canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats**
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 15-ounce cans low sodium or no-salt black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted if lumpy
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder or instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips mini semi-sweet, divided

  • Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Coat an 8×8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray, then line with parchment paper so the paper overhangs two opposite sides like “handles.”

  • In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the coconut oil for 20 to 30 seconds, until only a few solid pieces remain. Stir and allow the residual heat to melt it completely. Let cool to room temperature (this will take about 5 minutes). If using canola or olive oil, no need to melt.

  • To a food processor or a high-powered blender, add the oats and baking powder (see notes if using a regular blender or something like a Nutribullet). Blend until the oatmeal turns into a fine, oat-flour consistency, about 1 minute.

  • Add the beans and blend for 30 seconds. Stop, scrape down the bowl (the mixture will be thick with dry oat spots), and blend for 30 seconds more, until the beans are broken up and it looks grainy.

  • With the machine running, pour in the maple syrup and coconut oil through the feed tube. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes, topping to wipe down the bowl as needed, until the mixture is very smoothly combined.

  • To the food processor, add the cocoa powder, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt (use 1/4 teaspoon salt if your beans are regular or low sodium; use 1/2 teaspoon if they are unsalted). Blend until the batter is well combined and thick, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down the bowl halfway through.

  • Turn off the food processor, carefully remove the blade, and add three-quarters of the chocolate chips. Use a spatula to prod them around in the batter so they are evenly distributed as possible (this is a little tricky because of the hole in the center of the food processor bowl, but just do your best).

  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan—it will be thick, sticky, and glorious. With a knife or spatula, smooth the top into an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly over the top.

  • Bake black bean brownies until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean (the melted chocolate chips may stick a bit), about 28 to 30 minutes. The center of the brownie should look set and no longer sticky like a batter.

  • Place the pan on a wire rack. Let the brownies cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then use the parchment paper to lift them onto a cutting board. Slice and enjoy! (For the best-ever flavor and texture, let them chill in the refrigerator for a few hours first…or just go for it, I don’t blame you).

*Refined coconut oil has a neutral flavor; if you use virgin coconut oil, it will have a coconut flavor. Pick whichever is your preference, or keep it simple and use canola oil, which has a neutral flavor. Olive oil with have a subtle flavor (which I like with chocolate, but it’s up to you).

**If you don’t have a food processor or high-speed blender, you can make this recipe in a regular blender by swapping 1 cup of tightly packed oat flour for the rolled oats.

***Mini chocolate chips distribute more evenly and nearly melt into the brownies, while keeping them super fudgy. You can swap regular chocolate chips instead of minis if you prefer.

 

  • TO STORE: Store black bean brownies in an airtight container at room temperature, or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • TO REHEAT: Enjoy leftovers at room temperature or, to make them extra fudgy, warm slightly in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Cover the brownies uncut in the pan with foil and store frozen for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Serving: 1brownieCalories: 232kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 3gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 1mgPotassium: 286mgFiber: 4gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 7IUVitamin C: 0.003mgCalcium: 63mgIron: 2mg

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