I first made healthy black bean brownies a few years ago, when I first got into healthy baking alternatives. (I think it was this OG recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie.) However, I done goof’ed a little and didn’t rinse my beans enough … They came out more like savoury bean bars than the promised fudgy dessert!
Alas, today I provide you with my own *aesthetic* take on this gluten-free dessert. But don’t worry — those beautiful almond butter swirls may look complicated and fancy, but they take zero skill and about 10 seconds to get right.
Before we jump in, make sure to Pin this image to Pinterest to help share this recipe with others!
What do you need to make healthy black bean brownies?
Other than (maybe) the black beans, you’ll probably have most of these ingredients already sitting in your pantry. Missing something? See below for possible substitutions.
• Canned black beans: The key ingredient that makes these brownies gluten-free. Flour in a typical brownie recipe creates gluten strands after moisture is added and the batter is mixed. Gluten creates the structural base for many baked goods — e.g. creating the spring and chewiness in breads and cookies. Although beans won’t give the same chewiness, they provide the mass needed to serve as a base to hold our other ingredients.
• Eggs: Eggs add moisture and structure! To make it vegan, use flax eggs. (1 “egg” = 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water. Let rest for 5-10min to thicken before adding to recipe.)
• Oil: I used canola oil, but any neutral-tasting oil works (avocado, sunflower, etc.).
• Vanilla: Duh. A staple in baked goods. (Artificial vanilla is fine for anything that will be baked, pure vanilla extract is better for no-bake recipes. Perhaps one day I’ll spend the money and try using real vanilla bean, but that day is not today.)
• Maple syrup: If you don’t have this on hand, sub with a syrup of similar viscosity (e.g. agave or brown rice syrup). If using honey, you’ll probably have to add a little water to make it thinner. If using sugar, use 2/3 cup of granulated sugar + 1 tbsp + 1.5 tsp milk of choice.
• Cocoa powder: The source of chocolatey goodness! Feel free to add some chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in as well.
• Baking powder: Works as a leavener to help make baked goods rise.
• Almond butter: Feel free to use any other natural nut/seed butter (peanut, sunflower seed, tahini) for different flavour combos. Make sure there sin’t any added oils or sugars so the nut butter still has a runny consistency.
How to make healthy black bean brownies
1. Drain and rinse your beans! Be sure to rinse them well so your brownies don’t turn out super savoury.
2. Blend your wet ingredients with your beans.
3. Sift dry ingredients. Pour wet into dry.
4. Pour batter into your prepared pan. Add spoonfuls almond butter on top and make swirls with a toothpick.
5. Bake 30-40min. Remove, sprinkle with flaky salt, cool, and enjoy!
A Final Note
I saw a meme the other day about how food bloggers tend to “tell their entire life story” before finally getting to the recipe (after 5 minutes of scrolling). For the record, this is mostly for SEO purposes — making sure your post has enough content and copy makes it more likely to come up in search engine results. However, if you don’t want to read all of it and just get right to the recipe, many blogs will have a “Jump to Recipe” button at the top!
I’m trying to revamp how I write. My goal is to make every word relevant and helpful — to highlight the recipe and draw focus to my photos. Practice makes perfect, so hopefully this will get better with time. If you have any feedback or tips for my writing, please let me know! Send me a DM on Instagram to reach me the quickest.
Complex Carbs & Kisses,