Healthy Vegan Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

I recently discovered a really awesome healthy dessert blog, Chocolate-Covered Katie, and I’ve been following it ever since. The blog’s recipes are healthier versions of your favorite naughty treats and since Katie is vegan, her recipes contain no dairy and are oftentimes gluten-free as well. I’ve been dying to try some of her recipes for months now but hadn’t gotten a chance. Finally, I was spurred to action upon seeing Katie’s recipe for No Flour Black Bean Brownies that had gotten the stamp of approval from many people who gobbled them up unaware of their secret “healthiness!”

Now, my daughter has made some black bean chocolate brownie desserts before and I had not been impressed, since they failed to disguise the taste of the beans. But this recipe seemed so promising that I simply had to make it! And I was definitely not disappointed! These brownies were deep, dark, rich, fudgey, and chocolatey… and they certainly didn’t taste healthy!


To be clear, I did not follow Katie’s recipe below to a T. I used what I had on hand in my kitchen, so the quick oats I used weren’t certified gluten-free and the semi-sweet chocolate chips I used weren’t vegan, but I am very confident that if followed exactly, Katie’s dairy-free gluten-free recipe below would come out just as delicious and delightful as the ones I made the other night!

No-Flour Black Bean Brownies

  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder- dutch or regular (10g) (add a little extra if desired)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (40g) (See nutrition facts link below for all substitution notes.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave (Honey will work, but not for strict vegans.) (75g)
  • 2 nunaturals stevia packs or 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil (40g) (See “nutrition facts” link for all substitution notes.)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (115-140g) (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.)
  • optional: more chips, for presentation

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.

View Nutrition Facts

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16 Responses to “Healthy Vegan Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies”

  1. September 19, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    I’ve always wanted to try black bean brownies…thanks for posting this.

    • October 16, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      HEAVENLY CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CAKECake Ingredients:2 1/2 cups real semi-sweet chocolate chips 1/2 cup LAND O LAKESae Butter 1/2 cup toeastd finely chopped hazelnuts or filberts, skins removed 2 tablespoons sugar 4 LAND O LAKESae All-Natural Eggs, slightly beaten Glaze Ingredients:4 (1-ounce) squares semi-sweet baking chocolate 1/4 cup whipping cream Garnish Ingredients: Melted chocolate, if desired Toasted chopped hazelnuts, if desired Heat oven to 350b0F. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch springform pan; dust with powdered sugar.Combine chocolate chips and butter in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth (4 to 6 minutes). Stir in nuts, sugar and eggs. Pour into prepared pan.Bake for 28 to 32 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely. Remove sides of springform pan; place cake onto serving plate. Meanwhile, combine baking chocolate and whipping cream in small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth (3 to 4 minutes). Cool 5 minutes. Pour over top and sides of cooled cake. Refrigerate until set (at least 1 hour).To serve, drizzle plate with melted chocolate, if desired. Sprinkle with hazelnuts, if desired. Recipe Tip To toast hazelnuts, bake at 350b0F. for 9 to 11 minutes. Rub in a wet dish towel to remove skins. If skins don’t come off, continue baking for an additional 5 minutes.

    • October 16, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      There are flourless chlacoote cake recipes, this is a traditional French thing, they started making them long before celiac disease was found to need a gluten free diet.But if it was me, I would go for a pavlova which is a HUGE meringue filled with fruit and cream. You can buy them ready made (check the label, of course), or make one. Meringue is just egg white and sugar, and cream and fruit are naturally gluten free (but if buying squirty cream, then you need to check the label to ensure it’s not thickened with something they can’t eat).Pavlova6-8 ServingsMeringue:4 egg whites250g (bd lb) caster sugar1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)2 tsp lemon juicebc tsp vanilla essenceFilling:250ml (8 fl oz, 1 cup) double (heavy) cream2 bananas1 small pineapple2 passion fruit2 peachesPreheat oven to 150b0C (300b0F, gas mark 2).Whisk egg whites until peaking. Add sugar a tablespoonful at a time, whisking until the meringue is very stiff. Whisk in the cornflour, lemon juice and vanilla essence.Pile meringue mixture onto a baking sheet lined with paper and spread into a 23cm round.Hollow out the center slightly and bake for 1bd hours.Cool meringue, remove paper and place on a serving dish.Cut pineapple in half and scoop out flesh. Remove the central core and discard. Dice the rest of the pineapple. Peel the passion fruit and peaches and slice. Peel the bananas and slice.Whip cream until stiff and fold in some of the fruit. Pile into the centre of the pavlova and decorate with remaining fruit (don’t use bananas for decoration).Cafe9 cre8me gateau8 Servings125g (4 oz) ground almonds250g (8 oz) caster sugar2 level tbsp instant coffee4 egg whites275ml (bd UK pint, 1bc US cups) double (heavy) cream, whippedicing sugarPreheat oven to 190b0C (375b0F, gas mark 5).Dissolve coffee in the least amount of boiling water possible. Stir in almonds and sugar and mix well.Whisk egg whites until stiff, fold in the almond mixture.Divide between two 18cm (7″) loose bottomed cake tins. Level off.Bake for be-1 hour.Cool.Sandwich together with the cream, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.

  2. September 19, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I am gluten-free and really looking forward to trying it:)

  3. September 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    These sound amazing!!!!

    • October 16, 2012 at 7:34 am #

      Flourless Chocolate CakeIngredients: 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLc9ae TOLL HOUSEae Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels1 cup (2 sticks) unsatled butter, cut into pieces1/4 cup water1/2 teaspoon NESCAFc9 TASTER’S CHOICE 100% Pure Instant Coffee Granules1/2 cup NESTLc9ae TOLL HOUSEae Baking Cocoa1/3 cup granulated sugar8 large eggsPowdered sugarSweetened whipped cream (optional)Directions:PREHEAT oven to 325b0 F. Grease bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Line bottom with parchment or wax paper. Grease paper.PLACE morsels, butter, water and coffee granules in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth. Stir in cocoa and granulated sugar until smooth. Remove from heat.BEAT eggs in large mixer bowl for 5 minutes or until the volume doubles. Fold 1/3 of beaten eggs into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining beaten eggs 1/3 at a time until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape batter into prepared pan.BAKE for 35 to 37 minutes or until cake has risen (center will still move and appear underbaked) and edges start to get firm and shiny. Cool completely in pan on wire rack (center will sink slightly). Cover cake; refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. (Cake can be prepared up to 4 days in advance.)TO SERVE: About 30 minutes before serving, remove side of pan by first running knife around edge of cake. Invert cake on sheet of parchment paper, peel off parchment pan liner and turn the cake right-side up on serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve with dollop of sweetened whipped cream Cheesecake Cup cakes (8 ounce) packages cream cheese 1 cup white sugar 5 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 8 ounces sour cream 1 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar. Stir in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the vanilla. Spoon into cupcake pans to fill about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes. To make the sour cream topping, whisk together the sour cream, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Spoon into the well on the top of each cupcake. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, until set. Set cupcake pans on racks to cool, do not remove cupcakes from the pan until they are completely cool. For a finishing touch, you can add a dollop of your favorite pie filling on top This cake uses ground almonds to replace the flour usually found in cakes. Be careful when preparing the almonds in a food processor Whizz a handful at a time.175g (6oz) dark chocolate, chopped 10 eggs, separated 175g (6oz) caster sugar 350g (12oz) finely ground almonds preparation methodMelt chocolate; set aside. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon coloured. Gradually beat in sugar. Blend in chocolate and almonds. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold whites into chocolate batter. Spoon batter into an ungreased 25cm tubed cake tin. Bake at 180 degrees C (gas mark 4) for 1 hour, or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from oven, turn it upside down on a cooling rack and cool for about 40 minutes before removing from tin. -1 Cup Sugar 100gm Butter 2 Eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 1 Cup Milk 1 1/2 Cup Maida 1/2 Coco Powder 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder 1/2 teaspoon Soda Powder Baking Instructions: Place all ingredients in bowl in above order. Mix with electric mixer for 2 minutes or beat thoroughly. Pour into greased bar tin. Bake in preheated oven for 1/2 hour. Cool. Or you can use a pressure cooker. To make the Chocolate icing: 1cup icing sugar, 3 dsp cocoa, vanilla, 2tsp melted butter, some boiling water (2tbsp or so, check consistency, add more icing sugar until you obtain the consistency you want.). Begin by beating together. Beat thoroughly until it is very smooth. Spread on cooled cake Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies 75g/3oz Butter100g/4oz GF Dark Chocolate175g/6oz Caster Sugar2 Large Eggs, beaten1/2 teasp Vanilla Extract (check ingredients label)75g/3oz Rice Flour1 teasp GF Baking PowderA pinch of Salt50g/2oz Walnuts, choppedInstructions1. Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4 and lightly grease a 28cm/11 inch square shallow baking tin.2. Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl together with the butter. Stand over a pan of boiling water and stir to melt.3. In another bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence and blend well then gradually beat in the chocolate mixture.4. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Mix the walnuts with the flour mixture then using a tablespoon, stir the flour and walnuts into the egg mixtur

  4. Alain chica
    September 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    Will try, might be my solution for late night chocolate cravings.

    • October 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

      Hi! I have not done the shakeology claense yet but know several ppl who have and have gotten great results!!! Thanks for sharing this great info!

  5. September 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    I will have to try this! There are so many ways to make Shakeology and it is always good.

  6. September 19, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Yum! I’ve had these, but never made them myself. I’ll have to try! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  7. Tracy
    September 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    Interesting recipe…definately will have to try.

    • October 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

      John / WOW!!! I am speechless at his tomasforantirn!Josh, you and Wayne are huge inspirations to me and really help me to push myself!!! I woke up this morning and really just felt lazy not wanting to workout. Came on here and after seeing this got really pumped! I just pushed myself as hard as I could doing the chest and back earlier. You guys make me strive to not only better myself but to attempt to compete with you guys Keep it going Josh you are a huge inspiration and motivation to us all! John

  8. September 26, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Black beans in your brownies. I never would have thought of adding those. Being gluten free, I’ve been missing my brownies. I may have to try these!.

    • October 16, 2012 at 9:52 am #

      I have a great recipe for Espresso-Chocolate Gluten Free Dessert. I hope you’ll like it.Ingredients:12 onuces of organic dark chocolate bar, ground up in a blender (we used Magic bullet) or broken into small piecesbc cup of fresh espresso, still warm2 Tablespoons organic gluten free vanilla (we used Flavorganics)2 Tablespoons organic ground cinnamonbc cup of unsweetened cocoa baking powderbc cup of raw honeybc cup of powdered Stevia2 sticks of organic butter (at room temperature)6 free-range organic eggs, room temperatureDirections:Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a spring form pan with butter or extra virgin coconut oil.In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients, adding the espresso last.Place the mixture in the coated spring form pan and place in the oven.Bake for 50 minutes or until the middle is done and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.Remove from the oven. Cool and Serve.This gluten-free dessert recipe has Stevia. Stevia sugar substitute makes it a better choice since it has lower glycemic index.

  9. September 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Yummy and healthy!

  10. October 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Dec04Dinah I totally made these last week and they were so good. Very dense but I like em that way The apple sauce gilobn (Derek) ate all the sauce so I substituted it with 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup espresso.SO GOOD

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