The Best Black Bean Brownies – Ever!

May 9, 2012

I love black beans – they are excellent for our digestion, and are high in a kind of fiber called resistant starch – which helps to make us feel fuller and can travel all the way through our digestive tract without being digested. Resistant starch has been shown to help promote weight loss.  Recent research has linked consumption of beans to reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and several types of cancer.  The American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society–all recommend legumes as a key food group for preventing disease and optimizing health.  Beans also contain antioxidants, and flavinoids.

Another food that is heart healthy is dark chocolate.  Studies have shown that daily consumption of a small amount of dark chocolate can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke by over 30%.  Also high in magnesium, read I Heart Dark Chocolate to learn more health benefits of dark chocolate.

So dark chocolate black bean brownies are a much healthier way to get your chocolate fix than traditional brownies.  But when I was researching black bean brownies a while back, I tried a few recipes that I found online – and there was something missing – they were too mushy and dense.

So this recipe fixed the mushiness by adding coconut flour (high in fiber, gluten free) and xantham gum (helpful in gluten free baking). And these brownies have one other benefit – they contains chia seeds – which are high in omega 3s, and also an excellent source of fiber.

I used to use canned black beans to make this, but now I make my black beans from scratch – read why.

THE BEST Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies!

Servings: 20 small squares


These dark chocolate brownies are a great alternative to traditional brownies – if you didn’t know it, you wouldn’t guess that the main ingredient are black beans.  In addition, the chia seeds add fiber and Omega 3s, the coconut flour is gluten-free and a high fiber food.  And dark chocolate is a superfood with antioxidants.


  • 1 1/2 cups of prepared black beans (or a 15 ounce can, drained and rinsed)
  • ½ cup of organic unsalted butter (or coconut oil for a dairy-free version)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (ideally 60% cacao) – Use semi-sweet if you can’t find dark.
  • ¼ cup unsweetened raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa if you can’t find cacao)
  • 2/3 cup organic granulated sugar (or sub coconut/palm sugar)
  • 2 organic eggs
  • ⅓ cup agave nectar (or sub maple syrup or raw honey – your preference)
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seed (soaked in 4 Tablespoons of water)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum (you can make it without this, it will be more fudgy)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour (if you can not find coconut flour substitute another flour, such as Teff, Quinoa or another gluten free flour – or leave out the flour for a softer, more fudge-like brownie).
  • Optional: Additional chocolate chips for the top, and/or powder sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease with butter or coconut oil an 8×8″ or 9×9” pan and set aside.

Puree the black beans in a food processor or blender (must be a powerful one like a Vitamix).  Add a little water if needed to puree.  Melt butter and dark chocolate chips on a double boiler or carefully in microwave (do not overheat).  Allow to cool slightly.  Crack eggs into a glass measuring cup, and whisk, then add sugar and agave nectar, and soaked chia seed – whisk all together well with a fork.  Put the melted butter & chocolate, pureed black beans and all other ingredients into the food processor and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Optional – top with additional dark chocolate chips (mini chips work best).

Bake approximately 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing and serving.  Store in refrigerator or air-tight container.  Enjoy!

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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