You’ll Never Believe What’s in These Brownies!

No, no, no, Grateful Dead fans. These brownies–which are apparently a newly rebirthed rage in Weight Watchers and among several circles of friends, dietitians, and moms–use black beans instead of flour. Yup, you heard right: gluten-free, flour-less black bean brownies. For dessert! And since we only live once, I’ve taken a fantastic version from the Meal Makeover Momsย and replaced the 3 eggs with a hefty dose of flaxmeal and warm water. Don’t be scared… I’ve ADDED 3 crushed candy canes to the batter. And if that still doesn’t negate the fact that there are beans in your dessert, you’ll just have to hold your breath and jump in. These gooey squares of goodness are INCREDIBLE! (As my 5-year-old proclaimed, “These are better than Tings!,” which speaks mountains.)

Gooey Louie Bean Brownies
Makes 9 large squares

3 Tbsp flaxmeal soaked in 1/4 cup warm filtered water for 5 min until a gel forms
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and well-rinsed
3 Tbsp melted Earth Balance margarine, or other non-hydrogenated margarine
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup almond meal (optional, but decreases the goo factor while still keeping the brownies gluten-free)
1 tsp apple cider or rice vinegar
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 crushed candy canes or 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flaxmeal and water and set aside.ย 

In a food processor or blender, process black beans, melted margarine, and vanilla until smooth.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and almond meal (if using).

Stir in the black bean mixture, flaxmeal/water, and vinegar. Add chocolate chips and crushed candy canes or peppermint extract (if using).

Bake in a lightly oiled 9 X 9-inch baking dish for 40-45 minutes until edges start to pull away from the sides of the baking dish.

Nutrition Info Per Square: 225 calories, 7.5 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 291 mg sodium, 37.5 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 21.5 g sugar, 4 g protein, 3% calcium, 22% iron

Don’t you wish you made 2 batches?
Other top-secret ways to weave beans into your day? We want to know! ย 

12 thoughts on “You’ll Never Believe What’s in These Brownies!

  1. Meal Makeover Mom Janice says:

    Love your modifications to our recipe! We’ll give this version a try soon and share it with our Facebook fans. I don’t have any almond meal on hand but I do have peanut flour so may give that a try. And where does one get candy canes this time of year?! Thanks!

  2. Jen Reilly says:

    Thanks Janice! You could leave the almond meal out–it just thickens it a bit. We had a few leftover candy canes in our candy stash from the holidays, but since they were a few months old, I had to “crush” them with a hammer. Perhaps the peppermint extract is a better option in summer months! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Joanne Irwin says:

    Hi, Jen!
    As soon as I read the brownie recipe, I had to make them. I’ve heard of beans in baked good before, but haven’t been daring enough to try. WELL……had a friend join me and hubby for lunch today. Lentil soup with kale was a big hit as was my fresh salad with nastursians from my veggie garden, BUT the big hit were the brownies. Hubby isn’t a brownie fan at all, but he said, “These are a winner!” What a fabulous, yummy taste. So moist! I didn’t have almond flour (very expensive), but I added 1/4 cp white rice flour. Can’t wait to make them for my grandkids. Anything to get some good, quality protein and fiber in them. Thanks, Jen.Keep these wonderful recipes coming.
    Oh – could I share your recipe in my newsletter? And, of course, give you credit. I’ve already shared your website in another newsletter. Let me know.
    Joanne Irwin
    TCP Instructor

    • Jen Reilly says:

      So glad the brownies were a hit, Joanne! PLEASE spread them far & wide. Did you use candy canes or peppermint extract? I’ve never made them without since I’m such a chocolate mint fan ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Brenda says:

    Hi Jen. My name is Brenda and I’m a friend/colleague of Joanne’s. I tried these brownies and they are awesome! Just something I ran into: if you have a smaller food processor (I have a Sunbeam Oscar) use that instead of the blender. I tried both and the processor is definitely the way to go. A 15 oz. can of beans fits perfectly.

    I’m not a huge chocolate/mint fan, so I sprinkled some left over chocolate chips on top of the brownies before baking, and left out the extract/candy canes. Still as delicious as ever.

    I had my boyfriend, several friends and even the neighbors try these. Everyone likes them! Not one bad, or even indifferent review.

    Thanks for an excellent recipe!

  5. jen says:

    these were yummy…..didn’t have chocolate chips, but they were fine without….also used kidney instead of black beans. By the way I know someone who would be interested in selling your book in their home store if you are interested….. also why/ how is there a (real) sausage lasagna advertisement on your blog? they must not know who the audience is…..

    • Jen Reilly says:

      Hey Jen! Glad you liked the brownies. My kids can’t get enough of them ๐Ÿ™‚ Have your book-interested person contact the book publisher here: – Thanks! Also, not sure about the sausage… that’s especially weird b/c I’m not supposed to have ANY ads on my free site at all. Hmmmm, I’ll look into it! xoxo Jen

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