by Olena

Black Bean Brownies

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Olena Osipov
5 from 72 votes

Black Bean Brownies with no flour, no oil and no sugar. You can basically have these sugar free brownies for breakfast.

When I am craving the chocolate goodness of brownies, I make zucchini brownies or almond flour brownies.

black bean brownies

Black Bean Brownie Recipe

These black bean brownies are so good! Just check out all the 5 star comments below! But why use black beans in brownies?

Because black beans have the perfect texture and color to replace flour making these brownies truly gluten free. And no one will be able to tell they are made with beans! My kids call these healthy brownies “beautiful”.

This black bean brownie recipe has all the taste and sweetness you crave in a brownie, but guess what?! They contain no refined sugar. Dates provide all the sweetness you need just like this naturally sweetened no bake peanut butter pie, no bake black bean brownies and sugar free cookies.

Are you in? I can guarantee this will become your new favorite brownie recipe that you will feel good about having as a snack, dessert or bringing to a get-together!

medjool dates, black beans, eggs, applesauce, chocolate chips, vanilla, cacao powder

Ingredients for Black Bean Brownies

  • Black beans: Black beans are the basis of the recipe. No substitutions, not even lentils. You can use canned black beans. Or if you have cooked at home black beans, use about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups.
  • Medjool dates: Most grocery stores carry 2 types of dates – “regular” and Medjool. You have to buy Medjool dates. Their meaty and moist texture adds volume and fudgy texture to brownies. And fresh is best! As dates get older, they dry out and sugars start to crystalize on the outside.

Medjool dates

  • Coffee: Brewed coffee adds more depth to the chocolate flavor but you can skip it. It is not a crucial ingredient but if you have leftover morning coffee, save it and add to brownies and even make iced coffee on a hot summer day.
  • Cacao powder: You can use cocoa powder instead of cacao powder. It’s interchangeable in all chocolate recipes – chocolate balls, chocolate cake etc.
  • Baking essentials: Vanilla extract, eggs, baking soda, applesauce and salt.
  • Chocolate chips: I use dark chocolate chips. You can use semi-sweet, omit completely or use cacao nibs.

How to Make Black Bean Brownies

There is a full recipe card below. 

  • Prep: I cannot stress enough that it is a MUST to line your 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Blend ingredients: In the following order, add eggs, applesauce, black beans, cacao powder, coffee, vanilla, baking soda, salt and dates to a high speed blender or food processor. The batter doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth and can have small chunks of dates or beans. Either kitchen appliance will work, but I should caution you that it is a struggle to fit all the ingredients into a mini food processor.

making black bean brownies batter in a food processor

  • Add chocolate chips: Stir until well combined.
  • Bake: Pour batter the batter into the baking dish and top with some more chocolate chips. Then bake for 30 minutes. how to bake black bean brownies step by step
  • Cool: Let the brownies cool completely before slicing, otherwise they will fall apart.

Tips and Possible Substitutions

  • Drain canned beans: No need for that gooey liquid.
  • Line baking dish with parchment paper: It makes brownies easy to cut and remove, and ensures they do not fall apart.
  • Let brownies cool off almost completely before slicing: I know it’s hard, but please have patience. Again, this is to ensure that bars do not fall apart.
  • Fudge develops: Brownies become even more fudgy the next day.
  • Dry sweetener: Many ask if they can skip dates altogether and replace with stevia or xylitol. Unfortunately, you cannot. Simply because dates contribute to the volume of brownie batter. We already skipped flour and oil.
  • Dates: Some readers reported in comment successfully using prunes or raisins instead of dates.
  • Vegan brownies: Someone in comments skipped eggs and used 2 tablespoon ground flax + 6 tablespoon water. Make sure you know how to make make flax eggs.
  • Applesauce: Someone shared using mashed overripe banana. Another reader tossed in a small apple (puree it in a blender or food processor first).

I have not tried any mentioned above substitutions, so try at your own risk. I would say if you have some experience baking, I would try and report back what worked for you!

black bean brownies sprinkled with coarse salt

Serving and Storing

Serve: These brownies taste amazing hot or cold. You can even serve warm brownies with vanilla ice cream!

Store: Keep brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days (but I promise, they will not last that long!)

Freeze: Simply, place brownies in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter at room temperature for about 30 minutes. I freeze cut up brownies right in Pyrex glass container I bake in. It comes with a plastic lid. Just lift a few with a butter knife and defrost. Perfect!

More Healthy Chocolate Recipes

black bean brownies recipe

Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies {Flourless and Sugar Free}

Black Bean Brownies with no flour, no oil and no sugar. You can basically have these fudgy healthy brownies for breakfast.
4.96 from 72 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 16 brownies
Calories: 120kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 14 oz can low sodium black beans drained & rinsed
  • 2 eggs large
  • 1/2 cup applesauce unsweetened
  • 15 small or 10 Medjool dates pitted
  • 2 tbsp brewed coffee optional
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray I use Misto

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8 x 8 square baking dish with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  • In a powerful blender or food processor add ingredients in the following order: eggs, applesauce, black beans, cacao powder, coffee, vanilla, baking soda, salt and dates; then process until smooth.
    Black Bean Brownies
  • Add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and stir to mix.
  • Pour batter into baking dish, top with 1/4 cup chocolate chips and bake for 30 minutes.
    Black Bean Brownies
  • Remove from the oven and let brownies cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing. Cut into 16 squares.
    Black Bean Brownies

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

    Video

    Notes

    • Black beans: Black beans are the basis of the recipe. No substitutions, not even lentils. You can use canned black beans, drain them. Or if you have cooked at home black beans, use about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups.
    • Medjool dates: Most grocery stores carry 2 types of dates - "regular" and Medjool. You have to buy Medjool dates. Their meaty and moist texture adds volume and fudgy texture to brownies. And fresh is best! As dates get older, they dry out and sugars start to crystalize on the outside.
    • Line baking dish with parchment paper: It makes brownies easy to cut and remove, and ensures they do not fall apart.
    • Let brownies cool off almost completely before slicing: I know it's hard, but please have patience. Again, this is to ensure that bars do not fall apart.
    • Fudge develops: Brownies become even more fudgy the next day.
    • Dry sweetener: Many ask if they can skip dates altogether and replace with stevia or xylitol. Unfortunately, you cannot. Simply because dates contribute to the volume of brownie batter. We already skipped flour and oil.
    • Prunes: Some readers reported in comment successfully using prunes or raisins instead of dates.
    • Vegan brownies: Someone in comments skipped eggs and used 2 tablespoon ground flax + 6 tablespoon water. Make sure you know how to make make flax eggs.
    • Applesauce: Someone reported using mashed overripe banana. Another reader tossed in a small apple (puree it in a blender or food processor first).
    I have not tried any mentioned above substitutions, so try at your own risk. I would say if you have some experience baking, I would try and report back what worked for you!

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1brownie | Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 118mg | Potassium: 229mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 63IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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