Healthy Black Bean Brownies

My husband’s favorite baked goodies are brownies. My daughter and myself have recently gone gluten-free (and I feel wonderful, BTW!) The gluten-free brownie mixes I have attempted so far have been… well, lacking. So I was thrilled, and a little surprised, when a dear friend shared this recipe for brownies.

Black beans? In a dessert? I was skeptical, but willing to try it. Beans are a frugal staple in any pantry, and they are packed with fiber, iron and protein. If I can hide them in food to get my children to eat them, even better.

I was not disappointed by this recipe! It took just minutes to make, and my husband could not even guess the “secret” ingredient. The texture is not quite the same as regular brownies, but rich and delicious nonetheless.

Healthy Grain Free Brownies

  • 2 cups black beans (or 1 can of no salt added)
  • 3 lightly beaten eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or melted butter)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey (or other sweetener of your preference)
  • 1/2 cup chopped up bittersweet chocolate (or semi-sweet chips)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)

This is so simple to make! Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8×8 pan. Add all the ingredients minus the last two (chocolate and walnuts) into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and shiny. Stir in the chopped chocolate and walnuts. Spread into the pan and bake for about 30 minutes.

One batch costs under $2.00 and makes about 16 brownies. Even if you are not avoiding gluten, I know you will enjoy this healthy twist on a family favorite.

This post is part of: Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

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About Alyssa Francis

A thirty-something wife and mother of four! Two daughters by birth, one son by marriage, and a sweet baby boy born in April of 2009. Oldest sister of four girls raised by a single mom. California native. Grew up in Hawaii. Somehow ended up in North Texas. Once a single mom. Former agnostic. A survivor of abuse and addiction. Forgiven by a great big God. Married to my best friend.


  1. Okay I too am a bit skeptical. But I am definitely going to have to attempt this recipe when noone is looking and see if they pass my brownie loving husbands taste test.

    Thanks for sharing it!
    Kristie´s last blog post ..Bounce Dryer Bar Rebate

  2. I have been reading subscribing to your blog for a long time now. I basically just skim the deals you post. I had no idea you were going GF. We have that in common!
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Nicoise Salad Recipe

  3. It is hard to find good-tasting GF goodies. Glad you came upon that recipe. Reminds of a bk I saw once in my chiropractor’s office, written by Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, about how to hide vegetables in foods that kids like. Think she had pureed broccoli in her brownie recipe…?
    Emily´s last blog post ..Can I Really Count On Stock Mutual Funds

  4. Sounds yummy!!
    Denise@TogetherWeSave´s last blog post ..Cart Buster Savings Event Gift Card Giveaway

  5. I made these awhile back but altered the recipe just a bit to get a better texture. They are sooo good!
    Theresa´s last blog post ..Catching upSnow fun- Valentines Day- and a new babe!

  6. Ashley @ Savings in Season says:

    I love making black bean brownies, but I’ve never seen them gf. I’ll definitely pass this recipe on to some gf pals. Thanks!

  7. I saw a recipe like this on one of the doctor shows. I’ll have to try it out!

  8. Alyssa Francis says:

    @Lisa, It’s pretty new for me, Lisa. My daughter went GF in December, so naturally I was eating a lot less of it. I was surprised by how much better I felt, so I decided to do it too. It’s a big change for our family, but it is worth it! :)

  9. Alyssa Francis says:

    @Ashley @ Savings in Season, Thanks for passing it on, Ashley!

  10. Check out this recipe for pie made from navy beans:
    Charlene @ Secrets of a Southern Kitchen´s last blog post ..Back to the Basics-Taco Soup

  11. I have made these and they are really yummy:-)

  12. I can’t wait to try these out on my hubby… he just found out he’s diabetic, but I think that these will work… just got to do some checking. Thanks! If he can’t eat them, I’ll do it! :)

  13. I am seriously excited to try these!! I love my brownies but usually just end up making them from the box for lack of a really tasty recipe.

  14. Two of my daughters are not only GF, but rice and soy free also. If you ever need recipes, I have a ton of GREAT ones and several cookbooks I can give you the names of. I’ll be trying these brownies. I already use Garfava bean flour in some recipes. I’m sure my daughters will love them!

  15. I can’t wait to try these! I found out recently I have Celiac disease, and it has been so hard to find certain GF foods!

    Have you found a good pasta… I hate every one of them I’ve tried!

  16. @Celia,

    Have you tried corn pasta? We love it! I usually buy Mrs Leepers.
    Theresa´s last blog post ..The much anticipated Princess Party!!

  17. @Theresa, I’ll have to try it… it didn’t sound like it would be any good… but if you can make delicious brownies out of black beams, corn pasta just might become my new favorite Italian meal!
    Celia´s last blog post ..Sleep- I never get enough…

  18. @Alyssa Francis, I am sure you are finding your way around the kitchen rather nicely by now. I find that there are lots of various GF cooking styles out there. The most important thing is you find a style that suites you. We are lucky in the sense that Gluten is the only thing we need to avoid. Im like you, I follow it for my daughter as my issues were more like an intolerance. I found myself feeling so much better and having so much more energy. Glad to hear you are doing well. I’ll be keeping a closer eye on your recipes from now on! ;-)
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Gluten Free Muffuletta Sandwich and Gluten Free Muffuletta Bread Recipe

  19. Natalie says:

    These are SO yummy!! I found them a few weeks ago on another website…even my hubby liked them and had no idea about the presence of the beans :) I’m eager to try another recommended recipe from that site – Chocolate Mousse Cake (

  20. I’m so trying these thanks!!!
    Kimberly´s last blog post ..Store brand milk 198-gal through Saturday at Fareway &amp Hy-Vee

  21. @Celia, i second the corn pasta. I thought it would be completely gross (like most “healthy” pasta), but it tasted pretty much just like regular, which is huge since we’ve cut out almost all gluten.

  22. I highly recommend the GF (brown rice) pasta made by Trader Joes.
    Google your nearest location, as it is a specialty grocery store. Buying online is NOT an option….I wish. Very low in cost…&1.99! for a 1lb bag! And one of the very best I have tried yet. Comes in 3 shapes. So many other brands will make you spit it out & trash the entire pot….not this, promise! Hope you have one that is @ least semi local. My nearest is about 30 miles away, but I shop this store in bulk. But if you don’t, just let me know, & will give you an alternative. Tip immediately after cooking, pour about a 1/4 jar of red sauce on pasta while it is still warm. No sticking!

  23. @Celia, Have you tried Tinkyada (ordered from Amazon)? Or Heartland Pasta sold at Walmart? Both are very good choices I promise. Caution not to over cook Brown Rice pasta, it gets soggy quicker than regular pasta. Corn pasta tends to take a bit longer to cook and does not to keep well, seems to go right back to hard/dried texture in the fridge.
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Gluten Free Muffuletta Sandwich and Gluten Free Muffuletta Bread Recipe

  24. @Tammy, I do have a TJs nearby… I’ll have to try it. And that red sauce tip is awesome!
    Celia´s last blog post ..Things I Love Thursday- &gtThis Guy!

  25. Celia,
    Lisa is correct….thanks Lisa! Tinkyada (gf) is the other very good brand that I was going to recommend. Locations of Walmart vary, but I am able to buy it @ mine…3 shapes, sold in a 1lb bag. But to purchase the Tinkyada “Lasagna” pasta, I have to get this @ Whole Foods (specialty grocery store). I have never tried the Heartland brand pasta, so I can not honestly comment. Just pulled out & read my box of Tinkyada lasagna pasta, states… award winning taste. I do buy certain allergy free food items from Amazon for various reasons, just not pasta…yet. Fortunate, I know, that I live in the Atlanta, GA area. Especially w/ my 7yr old son having 14 different food allergies….yeah, I know! Top 3 are soy, dairy & egg. He & I both are very sensitive to gluten, but one of my best friends has Celiac’s. I totally understand the support & help needed here. So I do hope that you are able to locate w/ease, a variety of pasta shapes that taste yummy to you & your family.

  26. Celia, yeah!! You are VERY fortunate to have a local Trader Joes. Glad you love the red sauce tip. Ok, I’m not going to take credit for it now….my husband is half Italian. His mother is full blooded Italian….so you can now see why it is critical in my home that I, the wife & daughter inlaw, have a great tasting gf pasta…among other things, like bread! BTW, I use Pamela ‘s brand baking mix for a LOT of things. She has a great gf cheese cakes also. Sold @ whole foods grocery in freezer case. It is pricey, about $17 or $18, but perfect for special occasions. I use “123 Gluten Free” for my cake mixes. Totally allergy free. I use “Egg Replacer” for baking. This is a powder, just add water. Sold @ Kroger I know, but I get it from Amazon..less expensive. If you ever need to buy this, 1 box will last a long time. Wish you well!

  27. @Lisa, I JUST got some because I heard that brand was good. I have about 4 different kinds of pasta to try right now. Apparently good GF pasta is hard to find!
    Celia´s last blog post ..Things I Love Thursday- &gtThis Guy!

  28. ohh – I cannot wait to try these, I think I’ve got pinto already made though, so will adapt! check out my bean cake recipe!! ohsoYUM!

  29. This is great! We’re not GF, however, we love beans! And to eat them with chocolate, oh my! I can’t wait to bake these for my husband and have him guess the “secret” ingredient! Mmmmm. Best stock up on milk!

  30. I made these, substituting peanut butter for the vanilla extract, and I LOVE them! Thanks!

  31. Bobbi Schmidt says:

    Can you use milk chocolate? Or is that not gluten free? Thanks

  32. Alyssa Francis says:

    @Bobbi Schmidt, Yes, you can use milk chocolate, it will just taste sweeter. :)


  1. [...] Packed full of fiber and protein, beans are a perfect addition to a meatless meal. They even sneak into desserts quite [...]

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