I love brownies. I’m calling these “The healthiest brownies you will ever eat” because that’s what I like to say when I make them for gatherings. At my previous job, I was known as the “healthy dessert lady”. I made black bean brownies for all the potlucks. Everyone was so surprised that they couldn’t even imagine there were beans in there. Well, the recipe I used wasn’t exactly the healthiest, it still has refined sugar, so I made some adjustments to make the healthiest black bean brownie.
I think people expect a brownie to be a certain way, even when it’s made with other ingredients. It won’t be the same. I want to say upfront don’t expect these black bean brownies to taste like the average fluffy brownie. They are more like a chewy brownie bar. Accept it and love it.
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Black Bean Brownies
These black bean brownies may even be healthier than the average snack. It’s all about adding a bunch of nutritious things together. We don’t want any emptiness when we consume food.
The idea is that we skip the flour and sugar and add something more nutritious that will fill us up.
Oats and black beans instead of flour
Flour is refined and processed so much, that all the nutrients are taken out and possible put back in, but our body cannot figure out how to take in those nutrients. It is also hard on our digestive systems to eat a lot of flour products. A small amount of oats provides more nutrition and fiber, yet can still be tricky for some. Use gluten-free oats if you need or try another drying flour. Black beans also contribute to the texture of the brownies and dry up the batter. Black beans have fiber and many vitamins including thiamine, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese and the list goes on. Check out Dr. Axe for more.
Coconut oil instead of vegetable oil
Coconut oil has nutritional benefits, which I have talked about many times before. Vegetable oils have no nutritional value and are overly processed. They have no use in our body, except to cause inflammation. Read more about the best fats for cooking here.
Maple syrup instead of sugar
Maple syrup is a real food sweetener. We should always use sweeteners in moderation (like everything else, really) but maple syrup is a better choice because it is just straight up from a tree and boiled down. Is that how it’s made? It seems we can use less, yet still get the sweet flavor. Regular white sugar is refined many times.
Chia seed “eggs”
There’s a few more substitutions like chia seed eggs for eggs. I think eggs are super nutritious, but I decided to make the brownies with chia seeds to better suit other’s needs. Chia seeds are very nutritious as well. It’s really cool how they can make a product stick together just as well. Find more benefits of chia seeds on my banana coconut chia cookies post.
1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water = 1 egg
Check out my cacao date bars for another “brownie” raw treat!
Fresh Flavors: Make the healthiest black bean brownies and they may just be healthier than your average snack.
Black Bean Brownies
- 1 can black beans or 1 1/2 cups
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup oats *gluten free if needed
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 6 tbsp water
Make chia "eggs"
- Combine 2 tbsp chia seeds with 6 tbsp water and let sit for about 5 minutes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all ingredients plus the chia eggs to a food processor and process until combined. It will be slightly thicker but don't worry. Scoop all batter into an 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.
- Let the brownies sit for 10 minutes or so before you take them out. Let cool. Cut into 16 squares and enjoy!