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Brownies…I remember first time trying a brownie on an airplane, on my way to Mexico last year. My immediate thought was “I could eat this every day!”. Believe it or not, that airplane brownie was pretty darn good, probably because being full of cr@p. And yes, I have never had a brownie in 13 years of living in Canada. True fact.

I love dark chocolate and I love peanut butter. Who doesn’t?! A few months ago I developed a Black Bean Brownie Recipe, which is a big hit with my family, friends and readers. Nobody would ever guess they are eating black beans. Kids are clueless too! And the brownies taste delicious and are not weird at all! You know how food substitutions are so popular in 2014?! So, black bean brownies are a real deal!


They are fudgy, sweet and full of baked peanut butter bits. The deeper you push the peanut butter as you are swirling, the more peanut butter taste you get with every bite. And these guys look like baby tigers, don’t they?! Super pretty and healthy!

No flour, processed sugar or butter. Gluten free as well. All there is – black beans, applesauce, egg whites, dates, cacao powder and peanut butter. Whole foods full of nutrients and antioxidants.


The recipe is easy as 1-2-3. Blend everything together and pour into the baking dish. I love to use my Ninja Ultima blender but a food processor would work as well.

Because we are using organic/natural peanut butter, it’s important to melt it on a stovetop. Do not microwave or try to dilute it with water or milk – won’t work, I tried. Since this peanut butter doesn’t have any hydrogenated oils added, just warm it up enough so it’s pourable and swirlable. I like to create new words and I don’t care. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of chocolate chips. I used Enjoy Life.


These brownies were delish! Not as fudgy as my original black bean brownies because I used egg whites instead of eggs and small dates instead of Medjool. Using soft and meaty Medjool dates really makes a big difference. Many readers also have used prunes and I see how that works because they are so meaty and rich in flavour. So, try to buy Medjool dates.

As weird as it may sound, I mostly enjoy these brownies cold. The best part is that they are healthy! I get a chocolate fix and have a snack at same time. Enjoy and be healthy – life is too short to live in restriction or eat unhealthy. Instead, cook healthy and live in balance.


Be happy with yourself and your life! Do what you love and makes you happy. I mean good things.:) Every morning I wake up and feel so blessed in many ways. I get to spend time with my wonderful family and eat brownies. I can go to work and make money. I have a roof over my head and hot shower. Being able to hug my kids and know they are safe…I couldn’t have asked for more. Watching the events in Ukraine breaks my heart and makes me feel like I have won a lottery ticket 14 years ago coming to Canada. I wish the world was more kind… Anyways, these brownies are amazeballs!

Peanut Butter Swirl Black Bean Brownies

Peanut Butter Swirl Black Bean Brownies


  • 14 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (2 large eggs or flax egg replacer)*
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 10 - 12 Medjool dates or prunes, pitted (1/2 cup packed)**
  • 2 tbsp brewed coffee (optional)***
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder****
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup organic/natural peanut butter, unsalted
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
  • Cooking spray (I use Misto)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Add all ingredients, except chocolate chips and peanut butter, to a powerful blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and level with spatula.
  3. In a small pot over low heat, whisk peanut butter until melted and smooth. Drop spoon-fulls on top of batter and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Using butter knife make deep swirls, "sinking" some peanut butter into the batter. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let brownies cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish. Holding onto the parchment paper flaps carefully transfer brownies to a cooling rack and let cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Cut into 16 squares and enjoy warm or cold (I love these cold!).
  4. Storage Instructions: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 7 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


I used egg whites to keep the fat content down because peanut butter is high in fats.*I found Medjool dates lend richer and sweeter results than regular smaller dates. Prunes worked great as well! Smaller dates are OK to use, add about 15, but brownies have less richness and fudginess.***Morning or instant coffee works. It's OK to skip it but it does help bring out the chocolate flavour.****Cacao powder is less processed than cocoa powder but any would work.


Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 16

Amount Per Serving = 1 brownie:
Calories: 138.6
Total Fat: 4.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 106.6 mg
Total Carbs: 22.5 g
Sugars: 14 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 4.8 g
WW Points+: 4

This post may contain affiliate links. When you buy a product I make a small commission without any extra cost to you. In return, you can enjoy free recipes as well as savings on your favourite products. I also shared Clean Eating Ingredients I Buy and Kitchen Appliances +Tools I Use. Please buy local, organic and fair trade whenever feasible.


  1. Debbie

    Brownies are me weakness! I cannot wait to try these and the fudgey ones as well. First I need to buy a food processor…

    • Olena

      I know, me too! That’s why I had to create a healthy brownie otherwise I was doomed. You need a good blender or a food processor in your life if you want to eat clean. I use both all the time. Buy a good one though. Worth every penny.

      • Debbie

        Yes, I have noticed lots of the recipes I have been wanting to try on my quest to eat healthier (and have my kiddos eat healthier) require that! I have been looking. Going to see if my husband is up for me a making a little splurge. 🙂

  2. Cinde

    Thank you for the recipe! I need to use flax “eggs” instead of egg whites – do you recommend I add the flax equivalent to one real egg or two?

  3. charlotte

    Beans, like wheat or tofu, don’t really have a taste, they simply create a certain texture and carry the other flavours in a recipe. They have so many many nutritional uses, if only people could get past this!

    • Olena

      So true! If people only could start eating whole foods and understand how delicious they are, they would get rid of many many issues in their lives. There should be a mandatory course on whole foods for every human being, like once a year. But really it’s a dream because big corporations are not interested in this at all!

  4. Donna Huff

    Hi Olena, I just bought all the ingredients to try your recipe and had a couple questions. I stood for 20 minutes in the health food store and debated about the difference between cacao powder and cocoa powder. Any insights? Also, do you think I could do this recipe with a regular egg instead of egg whites? Why do you just use the egg white? And if so, how do you use the yolk? I hate to waste anything….

    • Olena

      Ok. Cocoa powder is more processed and cacao powder is healthier and better for you. Taste wise – any would work. And yes, feel free to use whole eggs. The only reason why I went with egg whites is to keep the fat content down because of using peanut butter. You can cook egg yolks with scrambled eggs in the morning. I do not like wasting anything either. Therefore I buy liquid egg whites in a carton. Hope this helps.:)

  5. Michelle

    Yum! I will have to make these and sub sunflower seed butter for the peanut. I usually don’t like the bean recipes because they require way too much sugar, but dates I can handle!

    • Olena

      You can totally do that. Any nut or seed butter would work. I mean not tahini obviously lol. I always use dates or banana as a sweetener when baking. Medjool dates are the best, not the small dry ones. Learnt my lesson.

  6. Robyn McNeil

    Hi! I look forward to trying this recipe very soon, but I wanted to point out that you said in the Notes under the recipe that Cacao powder is less processed than Cocoa powder, but in a reply to a comment you said Cacao powder is more processed than Cocoa powder. I just wanted to get clarification please, and thanks! Love the site!

    • Olena

      Sorry, got confused.:) I corrected myself – the notes were right, cacao powder is less processed. Thank you for the love!:)

  7. Nadia

    These are fantastic! I’m on my second batch. I keep them in the freezer and eat them for breakfast. Great recipe!

    • Olena

      So, chocolate for breakfast for real.:) Glad you enjoyed these! I took a few out of the freezer after reading your comment and have been enjoying them all day.

  8. Shanna

    These are simply amazing. I am getting ready to bake my second batch today. And I agree…cold is best! Yesterday I baked my second batch of Banana Peanut Butter Swirl muffins, the day before my second batch of Chocolate Zucchini Protein Oatmeal Cups. I cannot get over how good all these are. I am going to be trying your main dish recipes this weekend. Thank you for your dedication and talent in creating the recipes, and for inspiring my husband and I to “eat clean”!! Blessings!

    • Olena

      You are welcome! I have rediscovered baking for myself recently as well. I thought I was done in that department lol. Happy clean eating! It’s amazing!!!

  9. Melissa

    I have made many of your recipes, and they have all turned out amazing unless of course due to my human error. These did not turn out well for me, I thought I followed the instructions to a T but they were not a hit. I must have done something wrong they were very grainy and mushy…. any thoughts? I did use the smaller dates as opposed to the medjool dates which I usually use. Im sad because I was excited about this recipe.

    • Olena

      Hi Melissa! I think you have the answer right there – the dates. Like I mentioned in the notes, it’s OK to use small dates but Medjool dates are way better. They are meatier, softer and juicier. Maybe it’s a good idea to soak the small dates in warm water beforehand. I should have said that…

  10. Melissa

    Made these tonight. Totally delicious! Tasted just like a brownie. Even my boyfriend that doesn’t like healthy food loved them. I made my own applesauce and cooked my own beans. I think it made them better!

  11. Yanna

    Hi Olena I made these today and although the taste was good they didnt stick together crumble as i lift them. 🙁 I did use homemade canned apples that i blended into an applesauce with a little bullet blender but I also used a little bit of the syrup to blend the beans and dates in the bullet blender just so i dont burn the blender ( burned a little chopper recently chopping dates 🙁 )

    • Olena

      Hi Yanna. Did you let them cool before slicing? Did you line the baking dish with parchment paper? Those are important steps to prevent crumbling. It also could be that you added a bit too much liquid. Eggs and applesauce would have been enough liquid for blending and at same time act as a binder.



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