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The Best Black Bean Brownies (oil-free, gluten-free, vegan)

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These brownies are delicious, gooey and fudgy and couldn’t be more of a whole food plant-based sweet treat. They are oil-free, sweetened with dates and can be made gluten-free too.
The Best Black Bean Brownies (oil-free, gluten-free, vegan)

It’s safe to say I have eaten quite some brownies in my life. The remarkable thing is that I also still remember the taste of all the different brownies I have eaten. I even remember the brownies I have eaten when I was a kid (and not-vegan). After trying out so many vegan brownies I always wanted to try the recipe with black beans. This brownie recipe turned out (surprisingly) delicious and as whole food plant-based as it can get. 

Black beans?

The first time I heard of a sweet recipe with black beans in a restaurant I probably had the same reaction as you right now: Yuk! Why? But wait… I do have to remind you that there are many vegan/whole food plant-based recipes that require a typical savory ingredient to create a delicious sweet treat. Chocolate mousse with avocado, “Ferrero Rocher” chocolate truffles with black beans, brownies with sweet potatoes and chocolate ice cream with sweet potatoes are just a few examples.

The first time I made these black bean brownies they were all gone within a day. The second batch also didn’t last long so it was about time to share this recipe.

The best thing about these brownies is that you don’t need that many ingredients. I always have a jar of homemade date paste at home, but you can also buy date syrup/paste online.  Date syrup always comes in handy when I’m making sweet treats in my whole food plant-based kitchen. Ok, ok, I hear you …..sometimes my kitchen is more of a vegan kitchen. Those are the days we just can’t resist some vegan cheese or vegan chocolate as a weekend treat. It’s all about balance.

If you are going to make these black bean brownies, let me know in the comment section how it goes, or tag me on Instagram #thegreencreator or on Facebook.

The Best Black Bean Brownies (oil-free, gluten-free, vegan) The Best Black Bean Brownies (oil-free, gluten-free, vegan)

The Best Black Bean Brownies (oil-free, gluten-free, vegan)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These brownies are delicious, gooey and fudgy and couldn’t be more of a whole food plant-based sweet treat. They are are oil-free, sweetened with dates and can be made gluten-free too.
Recipe type: sweet, treat, snack, dessert
Cuisine: vegan, plant-based, oil-free, gluten-free, dairyfree
Serves: 6-8 depending on the size of each brownie
  • 15 oz (425 grams) black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1½ cups date pasteor maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup barley flour (or whole wheat pastry flour) but gluten-free flour works great in this recipe too!
  • 1 cup / 175 grams / 6.2 oz chocolate chips or grinded dark chocolate (at least 75% cacao)
  1. Blend the black beans and date syrup in a food processor until smooth. Add and pulse in the remaining ingredients until well blended. Place in a baking mold with parchment baking paper. Bake at 350 °F for 25-35 minutes until a fork or toothpick comes out clean. Let the brownies cool down completely and serve.
I used coconut flour as decoration, but that is totally unnecessary.



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  • Reply
    July 4, 2018 at 12:51 am

    I am considering using an oat or quick oat flour instead of barley flour and adding in a nut butter – for the flavor but also because I am out of vanilla extract. Fingers crossed…I hope the swaps work! 🙂

    • Reply
      July 6, 2018 at 8:44 pm

      Ohh keep me posted! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 22, 2018 at 4:08 am

    I made these today. In the oven now. I didn’t add chocolate at all, just a few cacao nibs for crunch after blending. I used date paste not maple surup and almond meal (left over from almond milk) instead of barley flour. Fingers crossed it tastes good! Will let you know after the taste test!

    • Reply
      August 24, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      Yes, please do let me know! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 15, 2018 at 11:50 am

    This looks delicious. What size baking pan do you recommend? 8×8 or 9×12?

    • Reply
      December 17, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Hi Abbie,

      If you can choose I’d go for the smaller one.

      Happy baking!

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