Black Bean Brownies

Brownies. Warm, fudgey, chocolatey deliciousness that tends to go well with anything from peanut butter to ice cream. They’re a classic dish for any baker. And I, in my attempt to health-ify these delectable little fudgey wonders, absolutely RUINED them. So please note as you read down from these that I DO NOT recommend using my substitutions to make these brownies. However, please feel free to use the Minimalist Bakers recipe as she has written it/suggests to cook it.


It all started out very innocently. I had a last minute day off and not much to do ’til this afternoon, so what better way to fill some time on a Saturday morning then baking some delicious brownies. Better yet, baking some healthified black bean brownies.

I’ve made these once before, many years ago and to be honest, they went over pretty well as I recall. So, armed with the necessary ingredients from the Minimalist Bakers Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies, I set about making my masterpieces.

These were the ingredients from the Minimalist Bakers recipe.

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Here’s where I went terribly, terribly wrong.


  1. Instead of using 3/4 cups of cocoa powder, I used only 1/2 (since that’s all I had between the two containers). To sub for this, I added 4 squares of the Lindt 70% dark cacao.


  2. Instead of cane sugar, I used 1/4 cup maple syrup (I currently have an aversion to granulated sugars and prefer to use maple syrup where I can).
  3. When blending the mixture together, I found some black beans were sticking to the bottom of my container and that the mixture wasn’t fully blending together. To help move this along, I added some Soy Delicious unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  4. I used a blender rather than a food processor. This was purely out of being too lazy to go down to the basement and rummage around for the proper equipment. I instead used my NutriNinja.
  5. They were in the oven WAY longer than what the Minimalist Baker had recommended due to the fact that every time I checked them they were still runny on the inside. The spent at least 30 minutes in the oven.


So, how did these taste? They tasted so awful I put them immediately into the garbage, which is rare for my cooking. They definitely tasted like there were beans in them. The top was also so DRY and almost burnt looking, while the inside was still semi-raw.

Generally I would’ve ate at least a full one to determine their worth. Alas, after just tasting the tops of a few of them, I deemed them only suitable for consumption by the garbage. My hopes of converting this black bean monstrosity into a possible black bean brownie lava cake cover up would not be lived out.

So my question for you (if you take the time to read this), is how do you make your ‘healthy’ brownies? I would love to hear back on some more tried-and-true recipes, or your own favourite additions, to inspire my own comeback attempt. Please note that they do not have to be vegan for me to test drive them!


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