Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
These Fudgy Black Bean Brownies are chocolaty, smooth & creamy, and absolutely delicious! They are packed with healthful ingredients: dates, black beans, oats, and nuts (or nut butter of choice). Beans for dessert? Trust me. These are so good! The black beans add a creamy, plant-protein base to these brownies– but blend right in with all of the other ingredients, you can’t even taste them. What you are left with is a rich, chocolaty, fudgy goodness!
I love a good dark chocolate- and make it creamy like pudding or fudgy like these brownies, sign me up! These Fudgy Black Bean Brownies have been one of my desserts of choice lately. I have to be honest, I have even been eating them for breakfast lately (with my frozen blueberries and soymilk combo, of course). I started playing with this recipe 4 months ago, for my birthday dessert (topped with a cookie dough frosting)— and have been working on perfecting the recipe since. I wanted to give people a variety of options on how to make this recipe- so I ran a few tests. I can only eat so many brownies in a week, so I had to pace myself with the recipe coming to the blog.
My favorite variation of these is either the whole cashews or almond flour over the peanut butter as the nut/ nut-butter of choice. I felt like the peanut butter variation was good, but it felt like the peanut butter was trying to compete with the chocolate, and I just wanted a pure chocolate taste. You could try other nut butters of choice, I just happened to test with peanut butter. Notes for the nut butter/ nut variations are in the notes. I also found the smoothest brownies were created when using my Vitamix over the food processor. I tested both methods, but felt I got the best results using the Vitamix. I will leave the food processor variation in the notes section— your food processor might work better than mine did too!
A few notes before you get started:
NUT/ NUT BUTTER:
- CASHEWS: the recipe calls for a 1/2 cup cashews. I also tested with 1/3 cup just try using less in the recipe. Both variations were good, but I think the 1/2 cup was just a it more fudgy while the 1/3 cup was a bit more firm. If you like a firmer brownie, feel free to use 1/3 cup here.
- ALMOND FLOUR (or other nut flour): If you prefer to use a nut flour- use 1/3 cup in the recipe. I found that 1/3 cup almond flour has similar results in consistency as the 1/2 cup cashew recipe. Creamy, fudgy, delicious!
- NUT BUTTER: if you want to use a nut butter instead of whole nuts or nut flour, use 1/4 cup nut butter and only use ½ -¾ cup soymilk. You’ll just blend the oats on their own until smooth- and then add them to a bowl with the cocoa powder. Then blend the nut butter with the dates, soymilk, and black beans.
- NUT-FREE: I have not attempted a nut-free version of this recipe. If you have a nut-allergy, feel free to swap in a seed butter. You’ll need 1/4 cup seed butter and you’ll add it with the soymilk in the blender or food processor.
PLANT MILK VS WATER: For plant-based milks, I generally recommend unsweetened soymilk (this is my preferred plant-based milk of choice for it’s nutritional profile), feel free to make this with whatever plant-based milk suits your needs. Water also works well in this recipe. The difference between water vs. soymilk in the recipe was very subtle- I think the soymilk version was just a slight bit creamier, but honestly not sure if it really made too much of a difference.
FOOD PROCESSOR METHOD: You can make these brownies using a food processor. Depending one how well your food processor works, there might be a bit more grit to the recipe- but it’s still super delicious! My first few attempts with this recipe, I used the food processor variation and I’d still consider them a winning recipe! My food processor has a bit harder time making hummus super creamy- so it may also just be the food processor I am using. METHOD:
- In a food processor, combine the oats and cashews. Process until like a flour.
- Next Add the dates to the food processor, and pulse until the dates are fine. Add the soymilk and the vanilla to the food processor, and process until the mixture starts to become smooth. If there is still some grit to the mixture, add 2 Tablespoons of soymilk. Add an additional 1-2 Tablespoons more of soymilk, if needed to help get the mixture as smooth as possible. Avoid adding too much soymilk, or it will impact the consistency of the recipe.
- Add the black beans, and process again until smooth.
- Finally, add the cocoa powder to the food processor and process until well-combined.
- Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
½ cup raw cashews (or ⅓ cup almond flour)
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup pitted and chopped dates
1 cup unsweetened soymilk (or water)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups cooked black beans (or 1-15 oz BPA-free, salt-free can- drained & rinsed)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a high speed blender, combine the oats and cashews (or almond flour). Process until like a flour. Pour in a bowl and stir in the cocoa powder. Set aside.
Next, blend together the dates with the soymilk and vanilla, and blend until smooth. Add the black beans and blend until the mixture is as smooth as possible.
Add the oat, cashew, and chocolate mixture to the blender with the black bean mixture. Blend on low until well combined. The mixture is going to be really thick, so go slow to try and prevent over heating your blender. It may help to scrap down the edges and stir the mixture a bit by hand to help it blend easier.
Line a 8X8 glass dish with parchment paper. Add the brownie batter, and spread until smooth and even.
Bake the brownies for 20 minutes. The brownies will be really gooey when they come out of the oven, so allow to cool completely before cutting. Makes 8-12 brownies.