These vegan black bean brownies are SO delicious you won't believe what's hiding in there. Packed with canned black bean, raw oats and sweetened with medjool dates, these flourless and gluten-free fudgy brownies are to be enjoyed without any guilt!
Sneaking healthy black bean in brownies is not what you would think of doing when you feel like a sweet treat.
But, oh boy. These gooey, soft and extra chocolatey brownies are so good while being very nourishing. We cannot get enough of them.
What's to love about these vegan black bean brownies?
- Gluten-free, dairy-free, free of refined sugar and low in fat.
- Perfect healthier alternative to the classic brownies.
- Super easy to make!
- Freezer friendly. Make more and hide them in your freezer for later.
What makes these vegan black bean brownies healthier?
There is a whole can of black beans in these brownies! They help to reach the perfect texture when making dense and chewy brownies on top of providing essential protein, fiber and vitamins. And just like in these white bean matcha brownies, you won't taste the beans at all!
There is no flour in these brownies, but instead lots of oats. The oats are crushed in a food processor, so in this case too, you won't realize they are hiding in there. They provide even more fiber and precious nutrients.
And what makes these brownies even more delicious are the Medjool dates that provide the sweet flavor. They are also sticky, which helps hold the brownies together.
Cacao vs cocoa?
The deep chocolate flavor comes from the raw cacao powder. You can easily find it in any regular grocery stores. Try and look for cacao powder instead of cocoa powder. If not available in stores, you can also buy it online. I love the raw cacao powder from Navitas.
Why choose cacao powder? Both comes from the cacao bean (seed) and are usually used to prepare chocolate products, but their health benefits are what sets them apart:
- CACAO is the unprocessed version. This means that the beans are cracked out of their shells, ground and packaged. Its mostly used for vegan and unprocessed chocolate product. It contains a big load of antioxidants and is therefore the healthiest option.
- COCOA is the processed version. The beans are removed from their shells, but then brought to a factory where the beans are roasted in high heat and processed, then ground into cocoa powder. The manipulation of the beans makes cocoa a less healthy option since lots of its health benefit (antioxidants) have been lost in the process.
How to make these vegan black bean brownies?
- Boil the dates in water for 5-10 minutes uncovered to soften them. Then, mash them to make a moist paste consistency. If the water evaporated too much, then add a tbsp or two to help mashing (see picture and video for the texture you are looking for).
- Add the mashed dates and the other ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) to a food processor and combine to form a uniform smooth dough.
- Add the chocolate chips to the food processor and pulse a few times just to incorporate them while keeping them mostly intact.
- Transfer the dough to a 8 x 8' or 9 x 9' square baking dish, sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top, gently press on them and bake.
Watch how to make them
Variation to the recipe
Instead of adding extra chocolate chips on top before baking, try adding any nuts, shredded coconut or peanut butter chips. These brownies are especially delicious with walnuts for an added crunch.
These brownies are also delicious eaten cold, which makes for a perfect dessert to make ahead and great for meal-prep.
They are even better when served with a generous scoop of vegan ice cream, whipped cream and a glass of milk (try pairing with strawberry almond milk or chocolate cashew milk!). Also, topped with a date caramel, tahini caramel sauce or drizzled with melted chocolate. I also like them with a sprinkle of flake sea salt.
But, the ultimate best way to serve them is by generously spreading a healthy peanut butter frosting over (see below). This frosting is made using only 4 ingredients and makes for a nourishing & healthier frosting recipe. I also love them with a simple vegan dark chocolate frosting.
These brownies can be stored in a air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
They also freeze beautifully. Just be sure to cut them before storing in the freezer so you can grab individual portions at the time.
More chocolate recipes you might like
- Chocolate banana milkshake
- 3 ingredient chocolate pudding
- Mocha chia pudding
- Cashew chocolate milk
- Strawberry and chocolate baked oatmeal
- Vegan blondies
- Vegan pumpkin brownies
- Vegan mug brownie
- Vegan banana brownies
I hope you will love these vegan brownies as much as we do! If you try them, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was.
Vegan Black Bean Brownies
- Food processor
- 10 large Medjool dates - pitted
- 15 oz canned black beans - rinsed and drained very well
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder + 2 tbsp
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- ¼ tsp pinch of salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ cup vegan dark chocolate chips - plus more for topping
- Pre-heat the oven at 325°. Line an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a small sauce pot, combine the medjool dates with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Keep on boiling for about 7 minutes, uncovered, then mash the dates to form a paste. You want to remove from the heat and mash the dates when there is just a little water at the bottom of the sauce pot so you can create a moist creamy date mixture (see picture in the blog).
- In a food processor, combine the date paste, drained black beans, oats, cacao powder, coconut oil, chia seeds, baking powder and salt. Process until smooth.
- Then, add the chocolate chips and pulse a few times, just to incorporate them, but trying to keep some chocolate intact.
- Transfer the brownie batter to the prepared baking dish, press gently with a spoon to even the dough and sprinkle with a few extra chocolate chips pressing with your hands to sink them in the dough slightly.
- Cook uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes. Let sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before cutting in squares (cut in 9 or 16 squares).
- Store the brownies in the fridge for up to 5 days or up to 3 months in the freezer (cut in squares before freezing for easy single portion sweet treats).