These simple vegan black bean brownies are going to become one of your favorite ways to indulge your sweet tooth! These healthy fudgy vegan black bean brownies are made with no sugar, no eggs and are gluten free, grain free, packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats and so easy to make!
When I first heard of brownies made of black beans, I thought that they would certainly not taste very good at all. But the more recipes I saw, the more and more I started to believe that black beans might be the key to creating the most fudgy, intense chocolate brownies ever! And I'm happy to report that they were in fact right!
Why you'll love these Vegan Black Bean Brownies
These vegan black bean brownies were just as fudgy as my sweet potato brownies, but the black beans left absolutely no flavor, so I was able to taste the chocolate even more! They are admittedly not too sweet, so if you are looking for an overly sweet brownie, you may not be a fan of these! And that is ok!
You will only need a few key ingredients and a food processor to make these vegan black bean brownies today! I promise you with the right ingredients, no one will ever know that these brownies are made from black beans!
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Key Ingredients for Vegan Black Bean Brownies
The key to the richest and most intense chocolate flavor is to use cacao powder in your recipe, not cocoa powder. I used to believe that it didn't matter, until I accidentally ordered a bag of cocoa powder a few weeks ago. Cacao powder is smooth and rich, where the cocoa powder is almost bitter, and certainly would require you add sugar in this recipe. So if you are using cocoa powder, add at least 2-4 tbs. of sweetener (maple syrup, honey, date syrup, dates).
No-Salt Black Beans
It's important to know which black beans to use! If you want to be sure these vegan black bean brownies do not taste like black beans, you need to make sure you buy no-salt black beans or make them yourself! I personally buy all my beans dried and soak and cook them myself to save money and make them easier to digest! If you want to how to prepare dried black beans yourself, check out my tips on in this recipe for 3 ingredient black bean dip!
If you do not have black beans on hand, you can also use no-salt added red kidney beans as well! They will create the same texture and also have a similar neutral profile that will still allow the cacao powder to shine through!
Vegan Protein Powder
This recipe for vegan black bean brownies calls for vegan protein powder. I bake with protein powder because it replaces some of the flour in traditional recipes and also adds protein to my sweet treats, which can help make them be more satiating and satisfying. Using vegan protein powder also reduces the glycemic load of the dessert (vs. traditional sweets), helping them not create as much of a peak and crash of blood sugar.
If you have never baked with protein powder, it's important to know that there is a difference between vegan protein powders and whey protein or collagen.
- Vegan protein powder is made from peas, brown rice, hemp, quinoa or other legumes or seeds. However, not every protein powder creates the same texture or flavor profile, but most of them are interchangeable in recipes. Because these protein powders are plant based, they absorb liquid much like traditional flour would in a recipe. This is why I use vegan protein for baking!
- It's important to note that the quality of the soil these legumes or seeds are planted in can have an effect on the quality of the protein powder. There are many vegan protein powders on the market that tests high for heavy metals (because the soil they are grown in is high in heavy metals). This is why I recommend that you use Nuzest Pea Protein in your recipes! They specifically grow in a region in France that does not have these heavy metals in the soil!
- Whey protein does not absorb as much liquid and also dries out recipes, so if you are looking to use whey protein, I would suggest you search for a recipe that specifically states to use whey protein. Also, whey protein is not vegan, since it is made from the milk.
- Collagen protein dissolves in liquid and does not add any bulk to the recipe. If you are going to use a collagen based protein for the added protein, I would find a vegan black bean brownie recipe (without protein powder as an ingredient) and just add the collagen to the recipe before baking. Also, collagen is derived from cows, pigs or fish and is not vegan.
The chia seeds in this recipe are the binder (they act like the eggs and help to hold everything together). Chia seeds are also a great source of fiber, and help make these vegan black bean brownies more satisfying (so you are happy and fulfilled with just one serving). If you don't have chia seeds on hand, you can also use ground flax meal instead!
This recipe uses tigernut flour, which is the flour made from dried tigernuts, a small root vegetable much like a potato. Tigernut flour is grain free, easy to digest, and slightly sweet! I started baking with tigernut flour because most gluten free flours on the market bother my stomach and I have developed a sensitivity to coconut flour. If you do not have tigernut flour on hand, you can easily substitute out your favorite gluten free flour or cassava flour. If you choose to use coconut flour, I would reduce it down to just 1 tablespoon.
Vegan Black Bean Brownies
- 1 medium banana - mashed
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce - organic
- 3 tbsp chia seeds - see notes above
- 1 3/4 cup unsalted black beans (1 can) - rinsed and drained
- 2 servings vegan protein powder - Nuzest
- 3 tbsp. cacao powder
- 2 tbsp nut butter - almond, cashew, peanut, sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp tigernut flour - see notes above
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips - optional
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- In a food processor, add the banana, applesauce and chia seeds and process on high until blended well.
- Rinse the black beans well. Add the black beans to the food processor and process on high until well blended.
- Add the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips to the food processor and blend well until fully incorporated.
- Add half the chocolate chips to the batter and pulse 3-4 times in the food processor enough to combine.
- Add a sheet of parchment paper (optional) or spray a glass pyrex well with non-stick spray. Add the batter and spread it out so that it's evenly distributed in the pan.
- Top the brownie with the rest of the chocolate chips.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes in a 400F oven.
- Once done baking, let cool for at least 30 minutes before enjoying. Best served cold.
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