Vegan Black Bean Brownies
These vegan black bean brownies are fudgy, chewy and intensely chocolatey! They taste super indulgent but are actually healthy! They’re gluten-free, oil-free and refined sugar-free but are still packed full of flavour.
Beans and brownies. Not two words I ever thought I’d be saying in the same sentence.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking… “that sounds gross!” And not too long ago, I thought the exact same thing. I mean, what place do BEANS have in chocolate brownies?
I’d tried baking chickpea “protein” brownies a while back, when I first started trying to eat a little healthier. And oh my gosh… let me just say that you could definitely tell there were chickpeas in them.
They were certainly not the best brownies I’ve ever made. You could taste the intense chickpea flavour and because I didn’t have a great blender at the time, you would get a mouthful of chunky chickpeas with every bite you took. Yuck.
But after seeing Chocolate Covered Katie’s vegan black bean brownie recipe pick up in popularity over the years, I thought it was high time I gave this bean brownie thing another go.
And low and behold…. They were delicious! But to be fair, all of the recipes I’ve tried from Katie’s blog in the past have been fabulous. That girl is talented!
It’s been a few months since I last made them but because I loved them so much, I wanted to share them on my blog. But I didn’t think it was fair to just copy her recipe straight up, so I’ve made a few changes to put my own little twist on the brownies.
Oil-Free Vegan Black Bean Brownies
The first change that I made is that I switched the oil for peanut butter to make them completely oil-free.
And I doubled almost all of the ingredients to make super thick and chunky brownies (because mine were a little on the thin side when I last made them).
But don’t worry if you’re allergic to peanut butter- you can replace it in equal amounts with an alternative such as sunflower seed butter or another nut butter such as almond or cashew.
Because I omitted the coconut oil and replaced it with peanut butter, I figured that the brownies would be missing the firmness the coconut oil gives as it cools and hardens.
To combat this, I added some flax seed “eggs” too, to help the batter stick together and firm up a little better.
I also added a few chunks of vegan white chocolate, because what’s a Baked by Clo recipe without a little extra naughtiness?
To be honest, I just like the way the white chocolate chunks look in the brownies after they’ve been baked.
Want More Vegan Brownie Recipes? Try These:
You can obviously omit the white chocolate part if you want a totally healthy and refined sugar-free brownie. Alternatively, you can replace them with macadamia nuts so you still get that little pop of colour but not all the added sugar!
I know you are going to love my take on these vegan black bean brownies. They are:
- Refined sugar-free
- Full of fibre
- High in protein
Wow! How’s that for an “indulgent” dessert?
I love grabbing these when I’m rushing out the door in the mornings. Because even though it feels like a naughty treat, it sets me up for the day and makes me feel good about myself, knowing that I’m putting lots of goodness and nutrition into my body.
Anyway, enough blabbing from me… Let’s get to the point. Let me tell you how to actually make these vegan black bean brownies for yourself!
How To Make Vegan Black Bean Brownies
Preheat your oven to 180C / 160C fan / 350F / Gas mark 4, and line an 8 x 12-inch rectangular pan with parchment paper.
Mix together your flax “eggs”. As I noted above, flax seeds act as a great binding agent in vegan baking.
To make the flax eggs, mix 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds with 4 tablespoons of cold water. Leave it to sit for around 5 minutes or so, during which time it will become a little sticky and gloopy.
Mash your black beans! If you want to skip this step, you can. You can just throw them straight in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients but I find it works best to mash them first.
You want the final batter to be as smooth as possible to disguise any of the bean flavour from coming through.
You’ll need 2 cans of rinsed and drained cooked black beans. Place them in a medium-sized bowl and use a fork or potato masher to squash them to the best of your ability.
Note that they don’t need to be perfectly lump-free at this point- check out the video below to see how I did it.
In a large bowl, add 60g of peanut butter (see recipe card below for cup measurements), the flax eggs you prepared earlier, 300g of agave nectar or maple syrup, 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract and your mashed black beans.
Mix everything together well.
Add 5 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 140g of oats to the bowl, and stir everything together until well combined.
Transfer your mixture to a high power food processor or blender and blend until all of the black beans are completely smoothed out. You’ll still have some “chunkiness” from the oats which is OK- just make sure there are no lumps of beans.
If you don’t have a food processor or blender, just mash the brownie mixture again with a fork or potato masher. It will take a little longer this way but it works just the same!
After processing/blending/mashing, add in 150g of vegan chocolate chips or chunks and stir them in gently.
You can use vegan dark, milk or white chocolate, or a combination, depending on your preference.
Transfer your smooth brownie mixture into your pre-lined baking pan and bake for 35 minutes.
When they come out, they might still be a little gooey in the middle but they should be slightly firm on top.
Leave the brownies in the pan until they are completely cool. As they cool, they will firm up even more and become easier to manage.
Cut into squares and enjoy.
These vegan black bean brownies are best stored in the fridge for extra fudginess and will last for around 5 to 6 days.
Can I Freeze Vegan Black Bean Brownies?
Yes! These are perfect for freezing.
You can either wrap the whole pan up tightly with plastic wrap and freeze it, or you can freeze individual squares stored in an airtight container.
To defrost, just transfer them to a plate and place them in the fridge for a few hours then enjoy!
Let me know what you think of this recipe by leaving a review below. And if you make the brownies yourself, be sure to leave a comment to share your thoughts!
Vegan Black Bean Brownies
A fiber-packed, protein-filled vegan chocolate brownie made with healthy ingredients!
- 2 Tablespoons Ground flax seeds + 4 Tablespoons water
- ¼ Cup Natural peanut butter (60g)
- 1 Cup Agave nectar or maple syrup (300g)
- 3 Teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 2 Cans Black beans, mashed roughly with a fork (470g / 16.oz)
- 5 Tablespoons Cocoa powder
- 1+¼ Cup Oats (140g)
- 1 Teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 Cup Vegan chocolate chips or chunks (180g)
Preheat your oven to 180°C/ 160° fan/ 350°F / Gas mark 4. Line an 8 x 12-inch tin with parchment paper.
Mix the flax seeds with the water and set aside for 5 minutes to thicken.
Place the flax seed mixture along with the rest of the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) into a food processor or high power blender. (see notes if you don't have a blender)
Blend until smooth. It's really important that you get all of the "beany" lumps out of the mixture to disguise the taste. If you still have any lumps after blending, mash them out using a fork or potato masher.
Transfer the mixture back into the bowl and stir in your chocolate chips. Spoon the mixture into your lined tin (it should be quite thick).
Bake for 35 minutes until slightly firm on top. Leave the brownies in the pan until they are completely cold, which will allow them time to firm up.
Cut into squares and enjoy! Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
*If you don’t have access to a food processor or blender, you can use a fork or potato masher to smooth out the beans. It will take a bit longer but works just the same.
*Store in the fridge for up to 6 days.
*Recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie’s black bean brownies.