Healthy Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
These Healthy Fudgy Black Bean Brownies are secretly refined sugar free, low fat, high fiber, eggless, gluten free, dairy free, and vegan!
I’ve come across so many Black Bean Brownie recipes, but I don’t think I’ve ever been 100% satisfied with one… there would either be too much sugar, too much butter, or too many eggs. All I wanted was a brownie that tasted authentic, sweet and fudgy, like it was from a bakery. I didn’t want black bean taste at all, I didn’t want it to be cakey, I didn’t want it to be bland.
I got all I asked for with these brownies!
These Healthy Fudgy Black Bean Brownies are super fudgy, super moist, and super chocolatey!!
However, it was no easy task… these brownies caught me off guard in so.many.ways. It’s actually kind of ridiculous how many mistakes I made in the baking process, how many things I forgot, and how many things I wasn’t supposed to do. But despite all of my mistakes, the end result somehow turned out incredible.
Onto my mistakes, shall we? First, I wanted to bake these using brown rice flour as the combination of rice and beans create a complete protein. However, I ran out of rice flour just last week and had to sub in quinoa flour. Wow, my first mistake and I was already a nervous wreck! This was my first time using quinoa flour and I didn’t know how it would taste or what kind of texture it would provide.
After whisking the dry ingredients I walked to the fridge only to find that I was out of applesauce too! I did have strawberries and blueberries though. I chose the blueberries because I knew they were sweet and delicious after digging into them the other day, and possibly the day of 😉
After pureeing the blueberries, I realized that I forgot to preheat the oven. Panicky little Jessica ran to the oven, pressed a couple buttons and ran back to the mixing bowl. Frustrated and trying to hurry, I dumped in half a teaspoon of baking soda. Wait! Brownies don’t use baking soda!! As of now, I’m just laughing. Could I do anything else wrong? Will I trip on my way to the oven and splatter brownie batter everywhere? Well, if I did, I could totally see myself licking it off the walls…
*wipes tears from eyes*
I never thought this day would come! A low-calorie brownie that tastes like 1,000 calories… a brownie that is super fudgy yet low in fat… a brownie that is full of flavor yet low in sugar. I seriously couldn’t believe how good these were. Especially after my gazillion kitchen errors. Feel free to grab an extra brownie, no guilt involved! I’m in heaven. These truly taste like bakery-style brownies (especially the corner pieces!).
You. Must. Make. These. ASAP!
Healthy Black Bean Brownies
- Black Beans
- Fresh Blueberries
- Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- Vanilla Extract
- Liquid Stevia Extract
- Granulated Erythritol
- Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
- Quinoa Flour
- Ground Flaxseed
- Double-Acting Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Instant Coffee
- No-Sugar-Added Dark Chocolate Chips
- You can find the full recipe and instructions in the Naughty or Nice Cookbook!
Feel naughty, eat nice.
these look so delicious! i’m on a diet right now and all I’ve been craving is chocolate cake, chocolate cookies, chocolate brownies, etc and these seem to fit into my diet! is there anyway i could use all stevia instead of Granulated Erythritol?
I’m sure any other granulated sweetener (like stevia) may work in place of the erythritol, but I wouldn’t recommend using liquid stevia. The erythritol adds denseness and a good texture. As long as it’s a granulated sweetener, I’m sure it’ll work. Good luck!
Oooh these look magnificent. Chocolate is my weakness… Can I sub the quinoa flour for any other type of flour?
I’m not sure as this was my first time using it, but I’m sure brown rice flour could be used instead. If you are not avoiding gluten, you can probably try whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour. Good luck, hope it works! Please let me know if it does 🙂
I will try these brownies with one change. i do not ever use canola oil as it is not real, i only have grape see oil in my cupboard.
I gotta get some grapeseed oil, I don’t use canola either. It’s either olive oil or coconut oil in my cupboard. And Jessica, I swear, you have got to be one of the onl people who are lucky enough to “mess up” while creating a recipe but yet it turns out splendid anyway! It’s never worked like that for me 🙁 Sad face.
I’ll let you know how it goes when I make these. I have a can of black beans in the cupboard just waiting to be used and I’ve been searching for a good recipe.
I often use grapeseed oil as well, just not in this recipe because I baked this at my sister’s apartment and all she had was canola :/
Hope you like the recipe!
Wow, these look so good! Beautiful pictures!
i’m impressed with the ‘crust’ as i often find eggless brownies don’t have that crispy looking layer of a true brownie! I’ve also made some superr healthy indulgent brownies, but have never managed to get the crispiness right! 🙂
These look amazing! I haven’t found an egg-free black bean brownie recipe that looks this good – until now. This is on my “to make” list!
Hi Jessica! I just found your blog on food gawker and I am obsessed with your recipe!! I’m so excited to dig through the rest of your site 🙂 These brownies look so good!
I just tried this recipe and it was perfect! I didn’t have blueberries so I use peaches. Out of the loads of vegan brownies I’ve tried, this is the only one that tastes exactly like a real brownie – chocolately, not gummy, but fudgey =) Thank youuuu
Have you tried anything other than the Quinoa flour? I’m wondering if regular flour would work?
I haven’t tried this with another flour yet, but I would recommend using brown rice flour or whole wheat pastry flour. I will always recommend using a whole grain flour, but I’m sure regular flour will work as well. Good luck! 🙂
Every Friday, I share my favorite food finds in a series called Food Fetish Friday. I love this post so much I’m featuring it as part of the roundup (with a link-back and attribution) and I hope you have no objections. It’s a pleasure following your creations…
can I use ground chia seeds instead of ground flaxseeds?
Yup, as long as it forms a gel. Chia and flax can be used interchangeably as egg replacers.
Do these freeze well?
I haven’t tried freezing these but I’m sure they can. I would tightly wrap them and leave them at room temp overnight so they’ll be ready to eat the next day. This works with my pound cake recipes well, so I would assume this would too.
Jessica, these were AMAZING! They were the fudgiest and softest brownies I’ve made. I liked these better than the classic, unhealthy brownies I used to make. Thank you so so much for this recipe. I cut these up into 12 pieces, so does this mean that one piece has LESS than 100 calories? Holy crap excuse me while I go eat another one. 😉
how would i go about this recipe if i had to cook the black beans first? i cant find canned black beans where i live 🙁
Here is a good link on how to cook beans from scratch:
AFTER cooking, measure out 1+3/4 cups of the cooked beans for the recipe.
How did you create the nutrition facts label? I’d like to do that for some of my own recipes. I found a couple of sites that analyze recipes to give you the calories, fat, protein, etc., but I haven’t found one that gives the standard nutrition label like you provided.
Thanks so much, Jessica! I’m testing out these brownies tomorrow. Can I sub applesauce for the pureed blueberries? And would I use the same amount?
I find that blueberries are a little thicker than applesauce, so if you use applesauce maybe use about 7 tbs (or 1/2 cup – 1 tbs). Hopefully this works for you!
Hey Jessica! I made the brownies today, and they are great!! I ended up using the pureed blueberries after all. I did make one small change to the recipe; I substituted unsweetened organic applesauce for the canola oil. The optional chocolate chips were a great addition!
Hi Jessica!! I have already tried some of your recipes and they are awesome!! and I am planning to make this recipe this week, but I just have amaranth flour, is it okey if I use it??
I’ve never used amaranth flour before but I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to use it. If you can, use amaranth flour to replace the quinoa flour only and not the oat flour… but if amaranth is all you have I really hope the brownies works out!
Could you use pumpkin puree in place of the blueberry puree?
I’m sure pumpkin puree would work great in these brownies! I hope you love the brownies 🙂
Hi Jessica, just wanted to tell you that your recipes are great and I love being able to bake while still being healthy and high in protein.
I’m using some of your recipes for a bake sale (for the Heart Foundation), but I can’t use any artificial sweeteners (i.e. Erythrotol or Xylitol). Can i sub sugar for these? I hate using sugar in baking, but the guidelines are very strict 🙁
Hi Gabrielle! I’m so glad you are doing a bake sale for the Heart Foundation, kudos to you 🙂 And yes, you can use sugar instead of erythritol at a 1:1 ratio.
Could you use powdered stevia instead of Erythrotol?
Sorry, stevia can’t replace the erythritol here. Erythritol adds bulk to the recipe, just like regular sugar would… you can try it out if you like, however you might need to add an extra tablespoon or so of flour or cocoa.
do you think using chickpeas instead of black beans would have a big effect on the taste or the way these brownies cook?
I’m pretty sure chickpeas would work in here, however I have not tried it. Chickpeas have a lower water content that black beans so you might want to add a few more tablespoons of almond milk to the recipe 🙂
OK, so I made these brownies tonight and they were sooooo good! Chocolately, fudgey, with a slight crust on top…..yum! They had a very similar texture to regular brownies. The only regret I have is not making two batches! My kids couldn’t get enough. The only change I made was I used pumpkin puree instead of blueberries. I also added about 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. I will certainly be making these again and again and again….you get the point. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!
Sorry, forgot to add that I used coconut sugar instead of Granulated Erythritol, didn’t use the instant coffee, used coconut milk instead of almond milk (due to nut allergies) and used olive oil instead of canola. I guess I did make a few more alterations than I mentioned before but they still turned out great!
Hey I love your blog and I can’t wait to try some of these recipes! This one is very exciting, but for religious reasons I don’t drink/eat coffee. Is there something else I could substitute?
You can omit the coffee completely if you like, it just enhances the chocolate flavor 🙂
A handful of chocolate chips in the batter will compensate for that!
Wow! You = HERO!
I just made these brownies tonight (only I used brown sugar since I do not have any other sweetener, and pumpkin puree in place of the blueberries). Man. These are fabulous. I am a chocolate addict, with a weakness for gooey fudgy brownies! The remarkable thing was these hit the spot without me having to reach for seconds or thirds. They are that satisfying! Thank you for your dedication to creating healthy recipes. I am looking forward to trying others!
I’m so glad you liked the recipe 🙂 And using pumpkin instead of blueberries sounds amazing, I need to try that. Thanks Amanda!
Disclaimer: I like healthy desserts, but TASTE is always top priority for me. I have tried the “chickpea cookie dough” recipe bouncing around the Web and thought it was the most disgusting thing on Earth. However, I built up the courage to make these, and THEY ARE INCREDIBLE. I prefer them to regular brownies. SOOO good. I used just 1/2 cup cocoa powder, since that’s all I had, replaced the erythritol with sucanat and the quinoa flour with spelt, subbed the pureed blueberries with one pureed and peeled apple, and stirred in about 3/4 cup of chocolate chips. HELLO AMAZING.
I think the chickpea cookie dough is definitely a bit controversial taste-wise. I love it, my sister hates it, my friend likes it, another is unsure. But, as for the brownies, I’m so glad you liked them!
I’m happy the recipe worked with those substitutions, the sucanat sounds delicious 🙂
These brownies are the first desert that everyone in my family both would and could eat! They are wonderful! We used grapeseed oil, left out the coffee and added the optional chocolate chips. Even the allergy-free picky children in the family were happy with these. Thank you very much!
These look amazing, I have to make them! But, as I can’t find Quinoa flour where I live, do you think I can substitute it for Almond flour?
I’ve not used Almond flour before and I’m not sure if the almond taste would be too overpowering, kinda like with Coconut flour.
I’m sure almond flour will work and won’t provide a strong flavor, seeing as the recipe only calls for 1/4 cup. Hope you like the brownies!
This is the *only* brownie recipe I’ve ever made that looks exactly like the picture. And these taste awesome to boot. Thanks for the recipe! 😀
Do you think this recipe would work with coconut flour instead of quinoa flour?
I wouldn’t recommend coconut flour because it absorbs a lot of liquid and would make the batter too dry. I would recommend oat flour or brown rice flour. Hope this helps!
I am SO VERY HAPPY to have found your blog. Thank you for every single recipe. I can’t wait to try them all!
couple of problems…..
i did substitute quinoa flour for brown rice flour
i used 3/4 cup stevia (from the bag)
i did use the blueberry puree
my brownies are different on top…but normal brownie consistency on bottom.
my brownies are black/purple in color not brown at all
my brownies are NOT sweet at all.
Are they supposed to be sweet? Would those 2 changes make that much of a difference.
I am hoping if I make the recipe again just as it calls, they will turn out better. THere are so many people commenting on how great these are……mine not so much…..boo
I’m not sure why your brownies turned out not very sweet. In the directions, I say to flip the brownies onto a cooling rack “top-side/ugly-side down.” You should serve the brownies upside down because they are better looking that way.
I have never used granulated stevia, but I would say that is the only plausible reason why your brownies aren’t sweet. Brown rice flour should work well as a quinoa flour substitute, I have used the two interchangeably in my personal experience.
But, to salvage these brownies, maybe top with a chocolate or vanilla frosting (I have a few healthy frosting recipes), 100% fruit spread or crumble over a sweet dessert-like oatmeal or healthy ice cream 🙂
I hope you get a chance to make these brownies again and I hope you get better results!
Hey Jessica, thank you for all your amazing recipes ! However I’ve made these twice now. I thought of maybe adding bananas. What other alterations would you recommend if I decide to try with bananas? Do you think I’d need more flour, or more liquid maybe, almond milk?
Hi Anja! I’m sorry you tasted the black beans, every batch I have made I never tasted them… did you rinse them very well? I rinse the black beans imagining that I dropped them on the ground and want to wash off all the “floor particles” haha, sounds weird but it makes you want to wash them thoroughly. You can definitely use bananas in the recipe if you like, but there will be a banana flavor. Mashed bananas are similar in thickness to pureed blueberries so you most likely won’t need to add extra liquid, you might want to add 2 tbs of the banana to make sure the brownies don’t turn out dry though. Good luck! I hope you fall in love with the next batch 🙂
Thank you Jessica! I tried it today and it turned out really good – I added a topping of melted coconut oil with almond butter, cocoa, dark chocolate chips and some raw honey, which made them even sweeter and sooo good.
BTW, to the person who commented that the brownies turned out black not brown – this happened to me too, and it’s probably because of the baking soda (of all things). Whenever I put baking soda and blueberries together, it makes the blueberries reeeeeallly blue, not purple, and dark, so combined with black beans I guess that’s what makes them black.
Mmmm that chocolate topping sounds soooo gooood! I flipped the brownies over and sliced and served them that way because the surface was ugly… maybe the bottom of your brownies are brown? Sorry for the color D:
Hi Jessica, my sister made these for my family at Christmas and we all LOVED them. Now I’d like to make them again, but I am trying to stay away from all refined sugar. Could I substitute raw honey for the Erythritol?
Yay I’m so glad you liked the brownies! I haven’t tried using a liquid sweetener instead of granulated so I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure it would work 🙂
New to this blog, yummy recipes, ESP for us GFVs! I wonder if I could sub coconut oil for the canola oil (GMOs)? Read about blk bean brownies but have never tried them.
Yup! You can definitely use coconut oil instead, just make sure to melt it before adding it to the batter 🙂
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Made these today–gah, they’re amazing! I used unsweetened applesauce, melted coconut oil, and oat flour and they taste fabulous. Such a gorgeous texture, too 🙂
I was so hoping they’d turn out great – but they didn’t firm up even after hours of cooling and they’re totally not sweet, even though I added some extra granulated stevia (1/4cup or so). Too bad, but I figure I could still turn them into cake pops or crumble them into some soy yogurt, add extra sweetener and/or banana and they’d make a great & healthy snack.
I’m so sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you! Did you use all of the same ingredients or make any substitutions (besides the additional stevia)?
I haven’t had much experience with granulated stevia so that might be the reason why the brownies weren’t sweet enough. I usually crumble my failed baked goods over oatmeal, yogurt and sometimes even add them to smoothies 🙂
I found your website and I really want to make these brownies.. they look so good! I was just wondering if I could substitute the blueberries for raspberries as blueberries are really expensive where I live.
I haven’t tried these brownies with raspberries but I’m sure that will work just fine!! Just be sure to mash the raspberries beforehand and strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove all the seeds 🙂 Hope you like the recipe!
I’ve wanted to try a black bean brownie for sometime now. Just made these tonight and I’m kicking myself for not making them sooner! To be totally honest, I used xylitol for sweetener and didn’t actually have enough so used organic sugar for the rest, so not totally low sugar but these were still fantastic and I’m sure way healthier than a regular brownie! I took them to a holiday party tonight and got rave reviews! Will definitely be making these again!!
YAY I’m so glad you liked the recipe!! Your comment just makes me smile 🙂
I’m glad the xylitol and organic sugar worked (so glad you got organic, I’ve been doing so much research on sugar lately and it’s absolutely HORRIFYING)
I notice that a lot of your chocolate recipes have coffee in them. Is there anything I can substitute for the coffee?
The instant coffee naturally enhances the chocolate flavor, but it isn’t required. You can definitely omit it without any problems! If you want some extra chocolate flavor you can just fold in some mini chocolate chips into the batter 🙂
In other recipes where brewed coffee is an ingredient, you can substitute it with water or your milk of choice (I love unsweetened vanilla almond milk in baked goods, it’s delicious!)
Hope this helps 🙂
Started following you on IG recently.
i follow a lot of people who post healthy recipes But since the time i have started following you, i have really fallen in love with your posts.
i am not too much in cooking, but this recipe really urges me to try it.
I have a few queries though, IT’d be great if you could answer these.
1. Don’t think i’ll manage to get Quinoa Flour, SO as you’ve written above i can replace it with whole wheat flour.
2. i am sorta allergic to flaxseeds. WHat could be a substitute to that.
3. Blueberry Puree :- Could this be replaced with Fresh Banana/Apple/ Or any other fruit puree as we do not get blueberries in our local market.
Thank you 🙂
Looking forward to your reply.
Thanks for the IG follow! I’m glad you like my posts 🙂
To answer your questions:
1. You can replace the quinoa flour with whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour, if you have it!), or even oat flour.
2. You could substitute the ground flaxseeds with ground chia seeds.
3. The blueberry puree can be replaced with applesauce!
The calorie count would remain nearly identical 🙂
And to answer your later comment, chickpeas or cannellini beans would work, but the color might not be the same.
I hope you like the recipe!!
And to add to the above, what difference will these substitutes make to the Calorie count?
Well We do not even get Black beans in India. Phew.
I could replace it with Red kidney beans or Chickpeas
I Loveddddddd The recipe. Everyone at my home loved it too!!
But i replaced quite a lotta things but still turned out Super Amazing.
Whole Wheat Flour instead of Quinoa Flour
Coconut Milk instead of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Kiwi Puree instead Fresh Blueberry Puree**
Fresh Chickpeas(soaked them overnight & boiled them) instead ofBlack Beans, drained and rinsed well
Olive oil instead of Grapeseed Oil
Honestly i was myself doubtful, on how can you have a good brownie with Chickpeas in it but i am glad i proved myself wrong.. haha. Thank you!
Do you think it would be possible to sub some vegan rice protein powder for some of the flour? These look delicious 🙂
Hmmm… I haven’t tried it but you can definitely test it out if you’re feeling up to it! The only vegan protein powder I’ve used with good results is brown rice protein powder, so I’d use that. You can probably replace the quinoa flour with 21g (one scoop) of vanilla brown rice protein powder. I hope this works, and I hope you like the brownies! 🙂
They are in the oven right now! I am so excited 🙂 I cut the recipe by 2/3 because I only had a small amount of some of the ingredients. I used chickpeas and I used a scoop of chocolate circle of life protein powder (it’s very similar to sun warrior) instead of the quinoa flour. I used powdered and liquid stevia instead of ethrytol and coconut oil instead of grape. So quite a few subs but I hope they turn out! The batter tasted amazing so I’m waiting anxiously 😀 I will let you know how they turn out!
Yay I’m so glad you made the recipe! I’ve never tried these brownies with chickpeas and protein powder, but if it works for you, maybe I’ll try that the next time I make this 🙂
I hope you liked the brownies!!
Okay so they turned out a little interesting XD the texture was nice, gooey on the inside and crispy on the outside. The taste was good at first but then I started getting this bitter aftertaste. I’m guessing it might have been from the stevia since it sometimes gets weird when baked. I’ll have to try to ethrytol next time if I have some. I also think if you do add the protein powder still keep a bit of flour in the mixture because although the texture wasn’t bad I wish they had been a little more cakey. It turned out a bit more like fudge than brownies. I will definitely experiment a bit more with this recipe!
I’m glad the texture was good! But yeah, stevia alone can taste a little off.
Maybe to salvage what you have, add the brownies to oatmeal, smoothies or yogurt! 🙂
Hi Jess! I have a couple of questions…
1. Are all beans incomplete proteins? I know that soybeans are complete, but are there any other?
2. Could you mix beans with brown rice protein powder to form a complete protein? Or is brown rice protein powder already a complete protein?
3. Is there such a thing as bean protein powders, if not, why hasn’t someone come up with that yet? It’s such an obvious choice :), also, there could be brown rice pp mixed with bean pp to form a vegan complete protein powder!
1) Beans are incomplete proteins and need to be paired with a complementary food to be considered complete (for example, brown rice, oats, peanut butter, etc.). Soybeans and some other vegan foods, like hemp seeds, buckwheat and quinoa are complete proteins. The only difference between vegan complete proteins and animal proteins (milk, yogurt, eggs, chicken), is bioavailability. Animal proteins are much more bioavailable to our bodies and digestive system (~80-100%) than vegan proteins (~40-60%).
2) It depends on the brown rice protein powder you buy, but I know that SunWarrior brown rice protein powder is a complete protein! 😀
3) I’ve heard of black bean pasta and soybean pasta, but not protein powder… sure sounds like a great idea! I mean, I’ve seed chia, hemp, and even quinoa protein powder before!
As for the quinoa flakes, I’m not sure why that didn’t work. Maybe quinoa flakes absorb more liquid than quinoa flour?
As for the chocolateyness, that’s pretty strange. I literally just made a batch of these brownies last week (revamped it just a little bit to go in my next cookbook), and it tasted really chocolatey to me! Although, I did add 1/2 cup of sugar-free chocolate chips to the recipe. Maybe try that next time around? 😀
3/4 cup of erythritol is equal to 18 packets of Truvia.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin, so I always think it smells funny haha. This brownie recipe is one of those recipes where the batter tastes absolutely disgusting, but once it’s baked, it tastes pretty darn good. I feel the same way about pumpkin cake and pumpkin waffles 😉
Hope this helps Rachel!
I tried quinoa flakes and thought if I just blend everything in the blender it would work, It didn’t 🙁 But I was wondering if you knew why?
I used 3/4 cup cocoa, but they don’t taste chocolaty?
What do you think the ratio of erythritol to truvia (packets, not spoonables) would be?
And whenever I use pumpkin puree (and also blueberry puree), the batter always had a funny smell, and sometimes it would bake out, sometimes not, does yours do this?
This brownies look delicious 🙂 can I leave out the baking soda, I can’t find it in Austria, and would this change something?
Baking soda is important for the texture, so I wouldn’t recommend omitting it. Have you looked for baking soda online? Or have you found baking powder? Baking powder might work in place of the baking soda.