Healthy Dessert Recipes – Black Bean Brownies

Healthy Dessert Recipes – Black Bean Brownies  – Dietitian Approved

Nutrition grad school was dreadful. There’s nothing like being surrounded by a cohort of other miserable science nerds with dogmatic views about food for three years competing for one of seven slots in a dietetic internship. There was; however, a diamond in the rough. One very earthy professor did enlighten us about the power of substitution in Healthy Dessert Recipes (it was a food science class where we actually got to bake and I actually almost failed because I nearly set the kitchen aflame making soy muffins, but that is neither here nor there).

Nearly ANY Dessert Recipe on this green earth can be “healthified”; it just takes a bit of creativity and nutrition finesse. My personal favorite? A creation which has dazzled many unsuspecting friends of mine for nearly half a decade: black bean brownies. I suggest you keep the fact that these brownies aren’t traditional until after they’ve been assaulted at your office holiday party. The best part is alluding to the fact that these brownies are “special”…and observing the resulting facial expressions ranging from horror to glee.

Conventional brownies rely on vegetable oil and white flour to lend a moist, gooey mouthfeel. They’ll also ensure that your rear becomes as lumpy as a heap of black beans. Black beans, though seemingly an unlikely substitution, have such a mild flavor and perfect consistency that they camouflage seamlessly into a brownie recipe. They’re rich in both insoluble and soluble fiber which contribute to the formation of butyric acid in your colon allowing for proper bowel movements and balanced intestinal microflora. The fiber in the beans also can bind circulating cholesterol and reduce risk of heart disease.

As the rockstar of all the beans, black beans are magnificent sources of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and Vitamin B6. Like a chic New Yorker, their black on black ensemble not only lends a flair of coolness, but represents the various anthocyanins, phytonutrients with various anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer health effects, that make up the humble bean. Black beans are also supremely high in protein, 15 g per cup, which will keep you satiated and regulate blood sugar levels/discouraging overeating. But you’ll probably overindulge in these babies.

Black Bean Brownies

Healthy Dessert Recipes – Essence Nutrition Black Bean Brownies That Will Stupefy Your Friends


  • 1 can no salt added black beans
  • 1 dash sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup non-Dutch cocoa powder
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • 2 large organic, free-range eggs
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 3 TBSP melted extra virgin coconut oil + more for greasing


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 9×9 brownie pan with melted coconut oil
  3. Puree the beans in a food processor or blender until smooth. Do not pre-rinse them.
  4. Poor pureed beans into large mixing bowl.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  6. Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Optional: add cacao nibs, raw nuts, or dark chocolate chips to batter.
  8. Trick your friends into eating beans.

Monica Heather Auslander, MS, RD, LD/N is the Owner of Essence Nutrition, LLC, a boutique private nutrition practice, launching in January 2016 in Coral Gables, Florida. She previously worked as a clinical dietitian at Jackson Memorial Hospital. She has personally convinced her entire family that the above recipe was not made of beans. But then she confessed after they demolished them.

Click here for a Lemon Garlic Edemame Hummus Recipe.

Leave a Reply