Black bean brownies are definitely a thing–protein- and fiber-rich and nutritious–and there are loads of recipes online. But although I usually find a winner on the web for every type of recipe I’m looking for, for some reason every black bean brownie recipe I tried was a thumbs-down. None of them had the right texture or were chocolately enough.
There was one batch with a texture I thought was too spongy, but my best friend’s son and husband said they were edible as long as you didn’t create expectations by calling them brownies, so we renamed them “those fudgy square things.” 😆
I still wanted a real brownie recipe I could feel good about and share with others, though, so one day I went into the kitchen and—without even looking at any other recipes for a starting reference—threw together my own version by instinct. This does not always happen, but on this occasion I hit the jackpot on the very first try. I like these so much I’ve baked them three “baking days” in a row! They have that nice crackly top like real brownies and a real brownie “crumb” on the inside.
You get a chocolatey treat healthy enough for breakfast on the go (okay, maybe some oatmeal or a green smoothie to wash it down would also be a good idea) 😉, and you’ve snuck in some nutrient-rich beans in the process! Oh, and it’s gluten-free too!
I keep this really simple—I don’t even get the food processor out. I just blend up the black beans in a blender with the plant milk (almond, oat, cashew, hazelnut, soy; any will do), add in the other wet ingredients, sift together the dry, and combine the wet and dry till just moist. I press the batter into a pan (8×8 square or 8-9” round), bake for about 30 minutes (till firm and getting golden on the outside yet springy to the touch) and slice when cooled.
Best Black Bean Brownie Bars
1 T Organic Vanilla Extract
1 T Coconut Oil
0.25 Cup Unsweetened Plant Milk
1 T Mesquite Powder
2 T Coconut Flour
1 scoop Aloha Chocolate Protein (or organic plant protein powder of choice)
1 tsp Baking Powder
0.50 oz(s) Chocolate Chips
1 T Chia Seed Ground
2 tsp Coffee Substitute
1 cup Organic Black Beans
2 T Maple Syrup
5 T Raw Organic Cacao Powder
My disclaimer on any baking post: my “sweet meter” is set very low, so my goal with all baked goods is the minimum sugar (so that it’s more sweet than savory, lol) that makes it still tolerable by most of my friends and family. I always prefer “more chocolatey” to “more sweet.” If that’s not you, you could certainly add more maple syrup (or date syrup) for a sweeter version (if you add more of a granulated sweetener, you may need a splash or three more of milk to keep batter moist enough). I do recommend trying it this way to see if it’s sweet enough (tasting the batter will work), and then upping the sugar as needed by about a tablespoon per batch till you reach desired sweetness. (Yes, that may mean multiple batches to test, but testing is fun! 🤓) I don’t think you’re gonna hate any version you try—but if you do, I apologize and hey, send ‘em to me, I’ll eat ‘em! 😀
I always use all organically produced ingredients for the healthiest cake possible.
NOTE: this recipe makes a sort of “thinner” flatter “bar.” For a classically tall, deep-dish brownie, double or even triple the recipe and bake longer—till toothpick in center comes out clean.
For variations: you can add really as many chocolate chips as you like 😀 and use lighter or darker ones (I vary between 65% and 85%. I even tried 100%! A sprinkling of chocolate chips (or nibs!) on top is nice too (you can add these before baking or at the end, even after out of the oven). Or crushed nuts of any kind (on top or baked in)—Superseedz chocolate and sea salt pumpkin seeds are yummy (and nutritious). I myself like to dust the top of the batter with raw organic cacao powder before baking. Try serving these with a smear of Jem salted caramel cashew-almond butter 😍 on top for a truly special dessert!