Healthy Dessert Recipe: Healthy(ish) Brownie with a Secret Surprising Ingredient!

These brownies have a very surprising ingredient that you probably have in your pantry right now…sometimes we serve them as breakfast because they have so many redeeming qualities and just some honey as a sweetener. 🙂

FREE DOWNLOAD: 10 Snacks Kids can Make

Healthy Dessert Recipe

The recipe is from my eBook “The Everything Beans Book.” I know, a brownie recipe in a bean book? You’ll have to trust me on this one. No one will ever, ever guess what your secret ingredient is, and they’ll all be blown away that there’s not one speck of flour in the whole thing.

Can you guess the secret ingredient now?

black beans

That’s right! Black beans form the base of this grain-free dessert recipe!

RELATED: Grain-free cardamom cranberry cake. (Also made with beans!)

Make a giant batch of beans in your Instant Pot to use for dinner and use the leftovers to make these brownies the next day!

This recipe is naturally gluten and grain-free. You can use coconut oil instead of butter to make them dairy-free and the walnuts are optional if you need a nut-free dessert.

Make sure you watch the recipe video for some little tips along the way. Now here’s the recipe!

Black Bean Brownie Recipe Made by Kids


  • 1 ¾ c. cooked black beans or one can, drained and rinsed well
  • 3 eggs (or 2 large eggs)
  • 1/4 c. melted butter or coconut oil, either refined or unrefined
  • ¼ c. cocoa powder
  • a pinch of salt (if using home-cooked beans, none for canned beans)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ c. honey OR 3/4 c. sugar or sucanat
  • ½ c. chocolate chips (optional, but helpful)
  • 1/3 c. walnuts (optional)


  1. Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish.
  2. In a food processor, blend everything but the chocolate chips and walnuts until absolutely, totally smooth.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts (or you can sprinkle these on top in the pan).
  4. Pour into the greased pan and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30-40 minutes. The brownies are done when a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean, more or less. Watch the edges for blackening/drying out if you’re unsure.
  5. Store at room temperature for a few days, but any longer than that demands cold storage for
    these goodies.

Makes 16 squares

Recipe adapted from Natural Fertility and Wellness.

Some Black Bean Brownie Flavor Variations

  • Coconut brownies: Use unrefined, virgin coconut oil and dust the top of the brownies with shredded coconut (mostly just to alert your eaters that they’re choosing a mildly coconut flavored brownie).
  • Minty brownies: Add a few drops of peppermint extract or peppermint oil (like that used for rock candy).
  • Chocolate chip blondies: Use white beans and leave out the cocoa powder.

FREE DOWNLOAD: 10 Snacks Kids can Make

Additional Recipe Notes:

  • Can I toss in extra beans? Unlike most of my favorite bean recipes, do not “toss in extras” to this recipe. Be sure to measure the cooked beans carefully even if you’re soaking beans just for this recipe.
  • There’s an appreciable consistency difference between the final product using a can of beans vs. home-cooked beans. I recommend the can for your first try unless you absolutely feel the need to soak.
  • Also, I don’t recommend previously frozen home-cooked beans. You can get very good results with home-cooked beans, but the brownies get a little chalky if the beans have been frozen.

My friend Heather has over 100 great ideas on simple ways to get your kids involved in the kitchen.

Find more cooking videos for kids here!

If you had fun with this recipe, check out our online cooking course!

grain free black bean brownie recipe


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