Don't Knock It 'till Ya Try It

A friend recently sent me a recipe for brownies sans flour. I was skeptical to say the least. Not necessarily because of the lack of flour but rather the appearance of an entire can of black beans in the recipe. What the....?
Mike and Canaan immediately grossed the entire concept out, Ezra wasn't paying attention at all (neither was Otto) but I was intrigued.
On Friday night I made a batch and stuck them in the fridge to chill overnight. On Saturday night, after the boys were in bed and while Mike was gone to a guys night, I had a group of friends over for ice cream and brownies. I cut these little chocolaty black bean squares and put them neatly on a large white plate (presentation is everything, right?). The girls dove in. Building banana splits with all the fixins' and grabbing a brownie to boot. The verdict? Yummy. Really! Fudgy, chocolaty, without even the slightest hint of bean-y-ness. The gals and I determined these could easily be considered fiber bars for breakfast, which would allow us the freedom to eat chocolate in the morning without guilt. Brilliant, right?

I got the recipe here although I don't have a Vita-Mix (swoon)so I just used my handy 1960's blender. It worked just fine. Also, I personally wasn't crazy about the slight honey flavor. I'm not a huge fan of honey in baking though. Next time I think I'll try Agave Nectar or even just plain ol' sugar would be good.
Definitely refridge them overnight, would be my suggestion. They taste like a dense fudgy Starbucks brownie. Yummo.

Fudgy Rich Black Bean Brownies

•2 cups black beans, well drained (15 oz canned is fine)
•1/4 cup cocoa powder
•4 large eggs
•1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
•2 Tbsp. instant grain coffee substitute ** I used decaf espresso powder
•1/4 tsp. sea salt
•1 cup honey
•1/2 cup melted butter, coconut oil or combination
•1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds or nut of your choice **I omitted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil or butter an 8x8 baking dish or cake pan (for thicker brownies) OR 11 by 18 inch baking pan (for thinner).

Combine the black beans, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla, instant coffee, sea salt and honey into the Vita-Mix. Blend till smooth, the batter should be thick and will be kinda soupy.

Pour mixture into a bowl. Add butter/coconut oil and nuts. Mix well and pour into prepared dish or pan. Bake 30-45 minutes, or until the brownies are set. If you press your finger in the middle, it should make a little dent. Don't overbake!

Let it cool (and preferably refrigerated) in the pan completely before cutting and serving.

NOTE: I did not do this, but you can line your baking pan with parchment paper and lightly oil it for ease of use.

OPTIONAL: If you love the rich flavor and want to make it even more richer: add 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.


  1. gorgeous photos, i love visiting here! what a great idea! and chocolate for breakfast!? mmm... i'm in ; )

  2. Are you gluten free? I recently had to go gluten free and I am finding it pretty life changing! I made a yummy chocolate flourless cake this past weekend and will have to give your brownies a try!

    Thanks for visiting my way -- I hope your machine gives you some love today!

  3. I've made spinach brownies with success, (I just don't tell anyone till after they have tried them)and I have always wanted to try out the black bean brownies but haven't ever got around to it. It's a cold day here in Canada and I need to warm up and to me the best way to do it is by baking some yummy brownies. I'm thinking I will try it using your older idea of the individual brownies with different you think it will still work with the black bean subsitution? Hope so! Well, I'm off to bake! Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Ohhh, I'm soooo trying this recipe. I'll be replacing the eggs to make it vegan, so I'll let you know how that turns out.

  5. I have had some girlfriends make these, and we have LOVED them. Thanks for the recipe, these are on my list for the week :).

  6. This is a fantastic idea! I have to add it to my to do list!

    Love your blog -- it's right up my alley; frugality, crafts and cooking!

  7. made these last night and they turned out delicious!!! wow!! i didn't have enough eggs on hand so subbed two with applesauce and a little baking powder. Also, they were a tad bit sweet for my taste. Next time, i'll use less of the honey/agave nectar (maybe 1/3 less or 1/2 less). thanks for the recipe!

  8. I have a flourless hazelnut chocolate cake recipe if you want it. Amazing!

  9. Yumm! What a great recipe, thanks for sharing the experience and making the beans sound way less scary. And that is an awesome banana-split assembly arrangement!

  10. Oh I so want to make those brownies. Stumbled on your blog. Really enjoy it. Thanks.

  11. thanks thisisallyj for reporting back in your recipe adjustments! I am going to play around with them too.
    Kristen~ how were they without eggs?
    And I would love the flourless chocolate cake, Cheryl!

  12. How incredible! I would never have guessed that black beans would substitute for flour. this is a great/guilty free resolution for eating sweet chocolate treats :)

  13. funnily enough, starbucks brownies are made with apple sauce and no added sugar.

  14. I can't wait to try this recipe, beans and chocolate isn't a strange combo here, my MIL makes an amazing black bean mole with chocolate. Oh how I covet those Vitamix thingys too. My blender sucks.

  15. Love the atmosphere of the last picture. I have to try that recipe (and I'll have to keep the ingredients secret until after they have tried it ;))

  16. Okay, someone here asked for the flourless chocolate cake recipe, sent me an email even. Now I can't find it. Anyone?