These brownies are rich, moist and chewy. They are also completely vegan and virtually fat-free! They are quite possibly the world’s healthiest, yet still scrumptious brownie! The black beans provide binding and substance (sort of like egg and flour), while providing protein and fiber. I created them when I first taught at Dr. McDougall’s Health & Medical Center for their Celebrity Chef Weekend back in 2009.
Serve these brownies alone with a little sprinkle of powdered sugar or, if you really want to impress, top with your favorite vegan vanilla ice cream and my Fresh Strawberry Sauce for a show-stopping ending to any meal. Your family and friends will never guess this decadent dessert is actually good for them!
P.S. If serving with powdered sugar, sprinkle each square just before serving. If sprinkled on ahead of time, the moisture in the brownies will seep into the powdered sugar and make the top of the brownies look gummy.Print
Wonderful Fat-Free Black Bean Brownies with Fresh Strawberry Sauce
- Total Time: 55 mins
- Yield: 12 brownies 1x
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/4 cups pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup organic fair trade cocoa powder *See Note Below
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup oat flour or whole wheat pastry flour (oat flour will make a fudgier brownie, while whole wheat will make a cakier brownie; use GF oat flour to make gluten-free)
- Serve with a scoop of your favorite vegan ice cream & Fresh Strawberry Sauce (optional)
- Garnish with fresh mint; dust rim of plate with powdered sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8” pan with parchment paper and allow about 1” of the paper to hang out on each side. Spray with a little non-stick cooking spray. This will allow you to lift the brownies out of the pan once they cool.
- Place black beans in food processor and with the blade running, stream in maple syrup. Process until smooth.
- Add the flax seeds, vanilla, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt process until well mixed.
- Add the flour and pulse until just until barely combined, scraping the sides as needed. Do not over mix. Pour into prepared pan. Bake approximately 40 minutes or until center is no longer jiggly when shaken gently and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing. Cut into 12 rectangles.
- Top with a scoop of your favorite vegan ice cream and drizzle with Fresh Strawberry Sauce (see recipe, below).
Fresh Strawberry Sauce
Make this fresh, sweet syrup whenever strawberries are in season. Drizzle it over ice cream, pancakes or French toast. Substitute any seasonal fresh fruit for the strawberries including blueberries, peaches, kiwi and more!
2 cups fresh strawberries (substitute frozen, thawed organic strawberries if desired)
¼ cup pure maple syrup (more or less as needed depending on sweetness of fruit)
Puree in blender until smooth. Pour into a squeeze bottle and drizzle onto plate beneath brownies.
*Note: Visit The Food Empowerment Project at www.foodispower.org for a list of organic, vegan, slavery-free brands of chocolate and cocoa powders.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Vegan
Nutrition Facts: Black beans are low in fat and high in protein and fiber, and are the single most important food we can add to our diet for health and longevity. Beans are a staple of all of the longest lived, healthiest people around the world. Black beans in particular, are also a rich source of phytochemicals, including anthocyanins, which help fight inflammation and cancer.
Brownies are typically loaded with butter and eggs – both extremely high in fat and cholesterol. According to the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, we should avoid foods that contain saturated fats in order to reduce our risk of heart disease. Saturated fat is found in both eggs and butter, usually used to make conventional brownies.
By replacing eggs and butter with black beans, we’ve eliminated the saturated fat and cholesterol and cut the calories, while lowering our risk of chronic diseases including heart disease and cancer.
Recipe by Emily Honeycutt, 2009. © All Rights Reserved. https://www.deliciouslygreen.com
Do you think it would work to use almond flour? Thanks!
Emily Honeycutt says
Hi EJ, Good question. Almond flour has different properties than regular wheat flour. That said, the worst thing that could happen is that the brownies would be sort of like molten lava cake, which wouldn’t be a bad thing, right? I think it would be worth a try.
Thank you for the recipe.
I don’t have a food processor or blender but if I cook black beans for an extended time and then mash them do you think that would work in the recipe?
Emily Honeycutt says
Thanks for the question. I think it would be worth a try. I would definitely overcook the black beans until they are really soft, then mash them until they are silky smooth. Then, they should be fine. If you decide to try it, please let me know how they turn out. Thanks so much!
Thank you for the recipe–loved these brownies! Do you think the batter could be used to make cupcakes?
Emily Honeycutt says
Thanks for the comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed the brownies. I haven’t tried making cupcakes with this batter, but I think it would probably work. If you try it, I’d love to hear how they turn out! 🙂