A blog by runners. For runners.

Recipe: black bean brownies


I’m usually one to lean toward moderation than diets. I’d rather have real cheese or a big scoop of ice cream every so often than fat free cheese or ice cream everyday. Desserts just tend to be better when they’re made without cutting corners.

I suppose the operative word in that last paragraph is usually. Over the weekend I decided to try my hand at making a healthier brownie. I’ve been reading about black bean brownies for quite a while but hadn’t gotten around to making them. The idea of beans in my brownies sounded a little too far fetched even for me. But, my fiancée is gluten-free and I’m always on the looking for dessert recipes without flour. The beans take the flour’s place, making these a naturally gluten-free treat.

I kept these brownies vegan by using flax seed instead of eggs but feel free to substitute two eggs if you prefer. I used canola oil because it’s what I had in my pantry but any vegetable or coconut oil would work just as well. The best thing about these brownies is how simple they were to make. Everything is dumped into the food processor and three minutes later you have brownie batter. By the way, I tested the batter assuming it would taste like black beans but it was rich, chocolaty and utterly delicious.

I really recommend trying this recipe if you have a hankering for brownies.

Black bean brownies (vegan, gluten-free)


  • 2 flax seed eggs, 2 tablespoons flax seed meal plus 6 tablespoons water (or two regular eggs)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons peanut butter chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place flax seed meal and water in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to gel.
  3. In a food processor add all ingredients except chocolate and peanut butter chips, if using them.
  4. Run processor for three minutes stopping after each minute to scrap down the sides.
  5. Make sure batter is well combined. My batter was thick but still spreadable.
  6. Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish and pour in batter.
  7. Top with chips, if using.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Let cool completely before cutting into. The brownies will fall apart otherwise, they will be very fudgy on the inside at first but do harden up a bit the longer they sit.

Note: these brownies are more chocolaty than sweet. If you want a sweeter treat I would add another ¼ cup of sugar to the mix.

Photos and article by Lisa Horvath.