Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chocolate Black Bean Brownies


Hold it, before click away you just have to trust me on this one.
I had these brownies the first time at my friend Linda's birthday party.  She has been eating gluten free for over 28 years and all the desserts she made were gluten free and you would never know it. This chocolate brownie is so moist, dense and fudge like, with a delicious rich deep flavor of chocolate a hint of coconut and not to sweet, I just had to have the recipe.
I like recipes that are naturally gluten free when we have people over who need to follow a gluten free diet, with out needing to buy all the different variety of flours and xanthum gum etc that you sometimes need to make gluten free cakes. I made this for our family and some friends, that don't need to follow a gluten free diet and they all liked it a lot as well as those who do need to eat gluten free. The bonus is a dessert that is healthy for you but doesn't taste like it is.  This brownie gets an all around thumbs up!


  • 1-19 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil*
  • 1/2 cup honey 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup, sifted cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Grease a 9 " inch pan.  Line with parchment paper. 
  2. Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until it is all liquid with no lumps.  
  3. Pour into the cake pan.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30  minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (In my oven it took a full 35 minutes, so make sure to test your brownie).
  5. Cool for 10 minutes. 
  6. Remove from pan, and cool completely. 
  7. Cover and refrigerate over night.  In my opinion this tastes best cold straight out of the fridge.
  8. Serve with whip cream or ice cream if desired.
  9. This cake is suitable for gluten free, lactose intolerant diets. 
*vegetable oil can used in place of the coconut oil, but I like the hint of coconut flavor it gives the brownie. 

48 comments:

  1. What does step 5 "cook for 10 minutes" mean? Should I bake it for another 10 minutes or put it on the stove over low heat for 10 minutes?

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  2. I'm assuming it means "cool" for 10 minutes!

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  3. This sounds so good! Can't wait to try it!

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  4. That sounds so good, thank you for sharing it with us!!!

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  5. Finally, a brownie recipe with little fat an NO sugar! Thank you!!!!

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  6. My grandkids will be thanking you Char! :)

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  7. I tried these brownies and they were delicious! Nice and moist!

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  8. yum.....love that there is no beany taste. Super moist

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  9. I love your gluten free posts-thank you so much, I have needed to be gf for over 15 years now-I think it is easier to have healthy gf desserts than wheat

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  10. Please don't serve these though without letting people know they contain beans! My 2 yr.old daughter is very allergic to any legume/dried bean, and would swell up and have trouble breathing...I only say this because I know how fun it can be to make someone try it to see if they notice...but a bean allergy does exist, which I didn't know...and figure others may not either! :)

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    1. I had no idea about legume/bean allergies. I think with all the allergies that seem to be rampant these days it is wise to let people know. When we invite new people over or bring food to people who have need for meals, I ask if there are any allergies or strong dislikes. I have not met anyone allergic to legumes. I sure hope you daughter can still out grow this allergy. Thank you for making us aware, that this could be a concern.

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  11. These are good! Very good! Everyone has to try these at least once!

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  12. Wow, these look super simple to make! I may try them for a friend who is coming over who has a wheat intolerance. Thanks for the great recipes:)

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  13. Wow, what an absolutely crazy recipe. Brownies that are good for you. Guess what I'm making tomorrow? And in honor of Julia Child's 100th birthday, I am sharing the following YouTube link with everyone. I laughed and cried all at once. She was such a good sport and I know she would have loved it. I hope you do too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80ZrUI7RNfI&feature=youtu.be

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  14. Looks absolutely delicious! I have never tried chocolate and black bean before so am intrigued to know what it tastes like.

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  15. I just got the ingredients ... now see got coconut milk , so that will not work ./?? right .. not sure where to find the oil ..

    will have to leave for another time .. and now use the milk elsewhere ... was really courios ... about this one ..

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    1. coconut oil is in the health food isle. i don't think coconut milk would work for this recipe but there are lots of great recipes using coconut milk, savory and sweet.

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    2. I was going to use canola oil with 1/4 tsp coconut flavouring. I think that'll will create a similar effect.

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  16. I don't care if it's good or not, it is fascinating to think of a dessert with black beans in it.

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  17. Since I live in Brazil, we have plenty of black beans - but not canned. I would need to cook them myself (not a problem), but I would like to know if they are salted or not...

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    1. All canned products have quite a bit of salt in them, so your usual bean recipe will probably have less sodium than canned. Just don't use the feojoida with all the meat in it! Just kidding, of course you wouldn't, but who knows? It might actually be interesting.

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    2. I rinse the beans so it is not as salty, but i am sure it still has some. i don't know if i add any salt.

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    3. LOL!
      That would make a really wierd brownie (using feijoada beans!) to say the least, eh! So I guess I'd put in as much salt as I would normally then... But I w/o any of the cooking water then...?

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  18. Very easy, very tasty! I recommend it! My kids (and my friend's kids) couldn't keep their hands off these brownies and the entire batch is gone in one sitting!

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  19. These sound delicious!!
    Could you replace the oil for apple sauce?

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    1. I have never tried this. If you do and you like the way it turns out, let us know.

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  20. I've made two patches of these brownies so far and all I can say is THANK YOU!! They are delicious as written, but i've also added walnuts and chocolate chips...wow! My GF hubby is very happy right now!

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  21. I made these today and while the taste and texture is pretty darned good --- found that whizzing the whole thing in the blender didn't REALLY WORK????? Ended up having to split it and do it in halves, fairly messy........
    anyone else found this ??

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    1. Sorry that the blender didn't work for you. I have no trouble in my blender and had room to spare. I found using the blender was LESS messy all contained in one container with little clean up and works really well for me.

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    2. Not messy at all! Try placing all of the wet ingredients first (so they are at the bottom of the blender). Put the dry ingredients on top - it makes all the difference when using a blender!

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  22. Yumm! I made these in my food processor with great results. I didn't have coconut oil, but I did have roasted walnut oil, and it worked and tasted fantastic! I topped them with chocolate chips and chopped walnuts before baking and served them with chocolate butter cream icing, all so delicious together! With a dessert like this, I am not missing those gluten filled treats I used to love.

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  23. I'm making these now and used a food processor but if your food processor or blender is too small to contain all the ingredients, perhaps an immersion blender would work? Of course, to use an immersion blender, all ingredients would be put into a flat bottomed pot to ensure all ingredients get well blended before pouring into the baking dish. By the way, I did not have canned beans but just so happened to have been making beans on the stove when I came across this recipe. Hope it turns out. Beans are so good for you and it would be lovely to be able to make dessert with them too.

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  24. I made these for the my boys (ages 3,7, and 37) tonight. Everyone loved them and after they told me that I had them try to guess the surprise ingredient. They were shocked and still loved them! I'm sure we will make them again. I added 1/2 tsp. of almond extract because I love the flavor of it in my brownies.

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  25. So I made this recipe here in Brazil. Cooking my own beans in water only and then I simply added 1/2 t salt (like any other brownie recipe) to the batter, and I liked the result. I made it a second time and used 1 C packed brown sugar, and it turned out just the same. The only thing is that the texture seems different (unlike the dense looking picture) - it didn't resemble a brownie at all. It tasted very good to me, but totally cake-like... I'm wondering if I'm using enough beans? I tried finding out through the internet how many cups of beans would be in a drained 19 oz can - I came up with 2 cups... Does that sound right? (But it could also be that our black beans have a different texture to them)... I'll keep trying, because although I'm not Celiac, I liked the way these brownies didn't feel heavy on my digestive system and how such a healthy recipe can taste just as great! And my family liked them too!! Here's Brazil saying thanks for the recipe! (I sent it to a couple of Celiac friends too)

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    1. Hello Anonymous from Brazil. You know what, I make these brownies often and sometimes I get a cake like texture, and the next time I get a dense texture like the one in the picture. I have come to the conclusion that it all depends on what brand of black beans I used. So I can understand what you are saying about the texture being different. I don't mind what texture it is, I always like it. Thanks for sharing.

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  26. These are moist, light, delicious and oh so satisfying! Beans, what beans? No beany taste here. Can you recommend a brand with a 19 oz can? All I find is 15 oz, so that's what I used. Mine are more cake-like than the picture, but I love em. Here are my tweaks: 1/4 c canola oil instead of 1/3 c coconut oil (too strong for my taste), half honey/half ZSweet, added 1 tsp cinnamon. Then right out of the oven, poured about 1/4 to 1/3 c dark choco chunks (very lightly sweetened) on top and when melted, smeared all over for a little bit of a frosted shell.

    A definite keeper. Thanks so much!

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    1. I live in Canada Liz, all the canned black beans regardless of what brand I have bought the can size is 19 oz, I double checked. Perhaps where you live the beans only come in 15 oz cans. I like the addition to the chocolate chips. However, if you are making these to be gluten free, make sure your chocolate is gluten free as well. Not all chocolate is made the same. I would have never known this had someone with celiac not made me aware.

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    2. also I am so pleased that so many of you who have tried this recipe really enjoyed it!

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    3. Thanks, Charlotte. I'm in Texas. Will keep looking for the bigger can, but using the 15oz can wasn't a hindrance at all to the final product, so I hope that helps someone else. Heck, I could even cook up a pot of beans and have the full measure if I really wanted to :-) Good to know on the choco chips although gluten free is not my goal, it will be helpful to others.

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    4. Curiosity got the better of me and I did a little research on can sizes. Looks like a US 15.5 oz can = 1.5 cups (US) = 2 cups (Canadian) = CA 19 oz. A US 15.5 oz can is about 430 grams (fluctuates by brand). Sooo, looks like we used the same volume of beans :-)

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    5. Made another batch using half an avocado instead of the oil. Still just as yummy, with a bit denser texture.

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  27. for those thinking there is no sugar - honey is still a natural sugar.....

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  28. and for those thinking it's totally glutlen free, i've discovered that you have to be careful with vanilla too - it is not necessarily gluten free. i've made some recipes where i've just left out the vanilla - not sure if it'll work with this one.

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  29. Do you have the caloric/nutritional breakdown of these? I'm on weightwatchers and think these would be fabo!

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    1. I used an online recipe analyzer. I can't guarentee you that this is acurate, but it is based on 24 squares for a 9x13 inch pan. I hope this helps somewhat. Does WW not have a recipe analyzer?
      Nutrition Facts
      Serving Size 39 g
      Amount Per Serving
      Calories 134Calories from Fat 35
      % Daily Value*
      Total Fat 3.9g6%
      Saturated Fat 2.9g14%
      Cholesterol 20mg7%
      Sodium 37mg2%
      Total Carbohydrates 20.0g7%
      Dietary Fiber 3.4g14%
      Sugars 6.4g
      Protein 5.6g
      Vitamin A 1% • Vitamin C 0%
      Calcium 4% • Iron 7%
      Nutrition Grade C
      * Based on a 2000 calorie diet

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  30. Hi, I make these delicious brownies all the time... and have tried a few variations as well... our favorite is to add 1/2 cup ground almonds to the mix it makes the brownies just that much fluffier... then I whip up a big batch of whipped cream and stir in a can of cherry pie filling... put a brownie on a plate with a dollop of cherry whip and you have a fancy dessert that can feed a big crowd... tastes like black forest cake this way... yummy

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    1. Elaine, I like the alternatives you added. I think I may try those next time. Thank you for sharing your ideas. I especially like the whipped cream and cherry......oohlala. I would have to use coconut whipped cream, but still good. Yum!

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