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Grain Free Blender Brownies

Grain Free Blender Brownies

On the rare occasion when I make a sweet treat, I really like brownies. But lately we have been having bad reactions to almond flour, and I often find that I can’t spare the extra eggs to make a treat from coconut flour.

So I thought I’d try one of the many black bean brownie recipes out there on the Interwebs, and adapt it to be gluten free, casein free, grain-free, GAPS/SCD legal (advanced level), and just plain yummy

A little cake-like, but also a little fudgy, you’d never guess the main ingredient in these brownies is black beans. But by using whole, minimally processed ingredients like organic black beans, raw honey, raw cacao powder, coconut oil, and pasture-raised eggs, these gluten free, chocolatey treats actually have decent nutritional value as well. (And if you’re Paleo, they’re a pretty reasonable cheat.;)

Since they are so incredibly easy to make, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this grain free brownie recipe again and again.

Grain Free Blender Brownies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can organic canned black beans or 2 cups cooked, soaked dry beans (where to find BPA-free cans)
  2. ¾ cup Rapadura or coconut sugar OR 1/3 cup honey (where to find coconut sugar)
  3. 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
  4. 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa or raw cacao powder (raw cacao powder is least processed and has more nutrition) (where to find raw cacao)
  5. 3 eggs, preferably pasture raised, which are more nutritious
  6. 1-½ Tbsp. vanilla extract
  7. 1 pinch sea salt
  8. Walnuts, previously soaked and dried, or other brownie toppings (Optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse beans very thoroughly and drain them completely. Now do it again. You really don't want any "beany" tasting liquid in your brownies!
  3. In your Vitamix or blender, add rinsed and drained beans, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, sugar or honey, and cocoa powder. Blend until smooth, then add the salt and pulse until well mixed. Batter will be thin.
  4. Grease an a 8"x8" baking dish liberally with coconut oil, and pour batter into dish. Top with optional walnuts or other toppings.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top and sides are set, and the insides are just a little soft.
  6. Cool before serving and enjoy!
Tools
  1. Vitamix or blender (food processor will work too)
  2. 8"x8" cake pan
  3. (These come out only about an inch thick, so if you like them thicker, double the recipe, change to a 9"x13" pan, and add a little more baking time.)
Small Footprint Family http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/

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65 Comments

  1. These are alright, not much flavor though. Any suggestions except adding more sugar?

    • The flavor comes from the cocoa. Make sure you use a high-quality, fresh cocoa or raw cacao. You can up the quantity of cocoa a bit if that is to your taste.

  2. Hi I would love to make it for a 13 x9 dish but i would need the right measurments can you help me ? thanks donna

  3. I’ve seen lots of black bean brownie recipes, but this one looks the best and healthiest!

  4. I just came across this recipe and made these last night – they came out really well for me! Very moist, delicious and brownie like! Would you mind if I shared this recipe on my site: http://mhgfood.wordpress.com/? I will give full credit and link to Small Footprint Family and link back to this page. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed them. Please just link an excerpt of the recipe, rather than the whole thing. Thanks so much!

  5. Black beans are allowed on GAPS?

    • They are an advanced food for GAPS, not for intro stages.

  6. Silly question, but I can’t figure it out! If I do the soaked dry beans instead of the canned beans, do I cook soak and cook the beans before using them in the recipe or just soak them?

    • The beans must be fully cooked and rinsed before blending them into the brownies. :)

  7. These look delicious. The owner of the all-edible plant nursery that I manage follows a GF diet, so I will make these for his birthday tomorrow. Yum!

  8. These look wonderful. I’ve been thinking about doing black bean brownies for some time. My oven is not working at the moment! But, this is on the docket to be made.

  9. I’m always looking for healthier versions of desserts for my toddler and husband so I’m glad you posted this. I tried this recipe today and it turned out a bit dry. Maybe I overbaked it slightly by a couple mins since I was busy nursing. My toddler thought it was just okay probably due to the texture.

  10. any chance you have the nutritional breakdown (carb, etc.) for these?…

    • No. But sites like fitday.com and others could surely help you out with nutritional data for any recipe. :)

  11. These are awesome! Finally, something that satisfies my sweet tooth without guilt! I used 2 eggs, 1/4 cup natural applesauce, and 1/3 cup honey… but to cut the sweetness a bit, I think I’d use either 1/4 c mashed banana and 1/4 cup honey or 1/4 c applesauce and 1/4 c honey next time. You could get really creative with these! Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. I know in some recipes some people find that a can of black beans is interchangeable with a can of pumpkin. Do you think that would work in this recipe?
    Or do the blended beans have more consistency/weight/texture than pumpkin?

    • Beans are certainly drier than canned pumpkin and come in BPA-free cans, but otherwise, I don’t know the answer to that because I haven’t tried it myself. Give the pumpkin a try and let us know!

  13. Just made these with kidney beans and a little ground almond to make them up to 2 cups – delicious, thanks for the recipe :)

  14. Can I use pinto beans instead? I just made a whole pot of them.

    • You could certainly try, but I think the flavor would be different. Good luck!

  15. These look amazing, and judging by the comments, will taste just as good as they look. Thanks for caring enough to share them with all of us!

  16. I substituted the eggs for 3 tablespoons flax meal and 9 tablespoons water which I whipped up in the vitamix to get nice and gooey. It worked pretty well. I cooked them for 20 minutes longer than the recipe said because otherwise they were rolling all over the pan.
    They aren’t holding up well at room temperature, but absolutely rock just out of the freezer.

    • Since egg serves as a binder, that makes sense. I’m glad they were tasty though!!

  17. Would carob powder work instead of cacao powder?

    • You could try, but you might find the carob taste odd. If it does work out, let me know!

  18. If I use raw sugar would I still put in 3/4 of a cup? Thanks!

    • If by raw sugar you mean dehydrated sugar cane crystals, then yes 3/4 cup. Dehydrated cane sugar is a bit sweeter tasting than Rapadura in my opinion, so you could probably cut back a bit, to taste.

  19. I made these last night and they didn’t turn out too good. I’m sure it’s my fault (99.99% of the time it is!). I used stevia powder in place of the sugar/honey in an attempt to make them sugar free. But this is the second time I’ve made sugar free brownies and both times they turned out awful – really bitter. I also think I overcooked them too because they were really dry. I’m going to try again tonight with a few modifications. I think I’ll use honey this time (at least they’ll be refined sugar free!) , and definitely not bake them as long! I’m even thinking about maybe using apple sauce in them?

    • I don’t bake with pure stevia because I find it is very bitter, though I will use it to cut the amount of sweetener required by about half. I also find that if you don’t substitute for the volume and moisture that sugar or honey provide, you will end up with a very dry end product. Definitely give them a try again with a real food sugar. Applesauce would probably work great!

    • I would love to find a way to bake with Stevia. There are recipes on the Sweet Leaf website to get you started but on a regular recipe the sugar actually produces moisture and volume in the recipe. At least honey as a little bit lower glycemic index and you don’t eat them every day. I’m going to make these the next time I need a church potluck recipe. Thanks Dawn! :)

      • Lo Han Guo looks very promising for sugar-free baking, but it is pricey. Coconut sugar is also lower glycemic than cane sugar. Glad these will work out for you with honey!

  20. Just baked these for my picky kids. THEY LOVED THEM (and so do I!). I did not tell the kids they contained black beans, and asked what they thought of them. My son, 7, said “These are better than the brownie mix from the store!” My daughter, 5, said “I want to eat these every day!”

    Thank you for the great recipe! Passing it on to my gluten-free sister.

  21. these look really great! im just thinking that rapadura or coconut sugar are not allowed on GAPS / SCD. is that incorrect?

  22. I’ve been craving brownies. This is my third try this month (I also make zucchini & pastry flour brownies, as well as coconut flour brownies). This is the only batch i actually enjoyed. Thanks for helping a pregnant woman out! ;)

    • Yay! Go mama, go! Sometimes you just really need a brownie when you’re pregnant! So glad I could help out!

  23. This sound very interesting! I’ve seen brownies made with black beans, but not quite like these.
    Fig Foods has black beans in Tetra Packs. From what I understand, those companies that say BPA free can still have a trace of BPA in the cans.

  24. I look forward to trying your recipe out. I’ve made black bean brownies before and LOVED how they tasted. Yours look especially fudgy! I’ve been meaning to try subbing in black beans into other cake or cookie recipes instead of flour. Thanks for sharing this with the real food community at Whole Food Wednesdays.

  25. these look awesome! I can’t wait to try them.

  26. These brownies look absolutely perfect-moist and filled with pure cacao. My kind of treat! Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous recipe on Allergy-Free Wednesdays!

  27. Dawn–these look really yummy! I’ll be sharing this link with a friend who is a gluten-free vegan : )

    I have to ask–why raw honey? From all I understand, the benefits of raw honey are nullified when heated above a certain point, which is well below 350°F. Personally, I would just use the cheap stuff in things like this & save the pricey raw for when I can get full benefit out of it.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Raw honey has minerals in it that won’t be harmed by heat. If you can get local honey that is filtered that’s great. I don’t use cheap store-bought honey anymore, since 99% of it is from China, or is mixed with honey from China to make it cheap. The risk of contamination and toxicity just isn’t worth the price.

  28. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  29. These are one healthy brownie. Can’t wait to make them for my grandchildren.

  30. Last week I tried a recipe for black bean brownies and they were AWFUL. Blech. I look forward to trying these instead! Thanks for the tip!

  31. Oh Dawn, I was smug enough to think for just a minute, that I was in possession of the healthiest brownie recipe ever, but these ingredients-wow. This has to be nominated for the healthiest brownie recipe on the web! Good on you;-) Thank you so very much for sharing this with us on Seasonal Celebration Sunday! Rebecca @ Natural Mothers Network x

    • Aw shucks, Rebecca. :) That’s a very high complement. Thanks!

  32. Great recipe! Thank you for sharing at Rural Thursdays this week.

  33. What would be a good egg substitute for this recipe? I’m a dietary vegan. I’ve got egg allergies. But everything else is Kosher.

    • I haven’t tried using an egg substitute with this recipe, so I can’t vouch for the taste or consistency, but I have heard of black bean brownies made with banana, applesauce, or “flax goo” in place of the eggs. If you use fruit, you might want to reduce the sugar a bit. Enjoy!

      • I have been reading a blog called “A whole new mom,” wholenewmom.com and she has a homemade egg substitute you could try!

  34. thanks for sharing this amazing recipe, that bean brownie looks delicious and tempting.

    i’ll definitely have to try it out over the weekend.

    thanks for sharing:)

  35. I’ve tried black bean brownies before and they really are good!

  36. MMM!! I can’t wait to try this. I made black bean brownies once before and they were pretty good, but they had bananas in them. My husband HATES bananas. This recipe might just be the success we need!

  37. They definitely look good, I keep meaning to try brownies with black beans, but haven’t yet. I would have to do it when the kids were at school though so they wouldn’t know.

  38. Wow! You have my mouth watering! I love brownies and so does my family. I’m wondering if I could use applesauce of Tofu as an egg replacement in your recipe. I’ll have to give it a try and see how it works out ?
    Thank you for participating in our recipe hop this week! I enjoyed visiting your site.

    • I haven’t tried using an egg substitute with this recipe, so I can’t vouch for the taste or consistency, but I have heard of black bean brownies made with banana, applesauce, or “flax goo” in place of the eggs. This is a soy-free blog, so I just can’t speak to the tofu. :) Enjoy!!

  39. These sound great, but are NOT paleo friendly. The paleo lifestyle/diet prohibits all legumes. The black beans make it unfriendly to paleo people. Otherwise I would be all over this!

    • For the purist, you are correct, but I know plenty of Paleo folks that add a bit of beans or wild rice to their diets from time to time.

  40. I have grandkids coming this weekend and can’t wait to share these with them. Thanks for the great recipe and very interesting blog.

  41. Delicious bean brownies I love to try this one. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop.

  42. I’ve tried similar recipes before with some success. I think I’ll give it another go with this one!

  43. These look yummy!

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