Healthy Chocolate Brownies

While I was on retreat at Riverlodge in the Stony Plain, Alberta environs a week or so ago, chef Heidi whipped up some wonderful gluten-free, vegetarian brownies.

When asked for the recipe, Heidi recommended that we Google “black bean brownies” because there were a number of good recipes out there.

This is one I found yesterday. I baked them up; those of us who partook certainly enjoyed the results! You don’t need to tell anyone that they are vegan and gluten free. . .

For the original recipe, see

Vegan black bean browniesGluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

Prep time 5 mins    Cook time  25 mins   Total time  30 mins

Black bean brownies that are vegan, gluten free, and require just one bowl and about 30 minutes to prepare! Healthy, easy and delicious – the best kind of dessert.

Makes 12 brownies


  • 1 15 oz. can (~ 1 3/4 cups) black beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 2 large flax eggs (2.5 T flaxseed meal + 6 T water)
  • 3 T coconut oil, melted (or sub other oil of choice).  (I didn’t melt mine and the brownies turned out fine.)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (the higher quality the better)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • heaping 1/2 cup raw sugar, slightly ground or pulsed in a food processor or coffee grinder for refined texture (I used a few Medjool dates, chopped, and about 1/3 cup plain white sugar because I didn’t have any raw sugar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Optional toppings: crush walnuts, pecans or semisweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan (not mini).
  • Prepare flax egg by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple times and then let rest for a few minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients (besides walnuts or other toppings) and puree – about 3 minutes – scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth.  If the batter appears too thick, add a Tbsp or two of water and pulse again. It should be slightly less thick than chocolate frosting but nowhere close to runny.
  • Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger.
  • Optional: Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 20-26 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so run a knife around the outsides and remove gently with a fork. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so don’t be concerned if they seem too moist – that’s the point. Plus, they’re vegan so there isn’t any egg to undercook and from which to get sick.
  • If there are any left, store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Refrigerate to keep longer.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 140 calories Fat: 6 g Carbohydrates: 22 g Sugar: 9 g Sodium: 163 mg Fiber: 7 h Protein: 5 g

nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 brownie; does not include toppings.
adapted from mylittlecelebration

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