Happily Whole

Living well from the inside out

Black Bean Brownies

I got it from my Mom. She loves to be in her kitchen creating bakery concoctions. I’m pretty sure she loves cooking too, but baking seems to be her preferred food-creation passion. Whether it’s for her love of food or the excitement of exploring new recipes, I’m not sure. But, either way, it was passed along to me.

For me, baking bestows a blissful therapeutic effect on me. I love to experiment, explore and, most of all I love to cut into the final creation when it’s ready it’s ready to sample. It’s tastefully-satisfying science!

That’s it! It’s the experiment of it; a practical way for me to explore my creative side in the kitchen with a scientific spin on it. The way the ingredients all combine and create a final product, hopefully a tasty success, is fun for me!

I don’t always follow the rules though…which I think might drive my Mom a little crazy in the kitchen. You see, she’s a rule follower and not inclined to taking risks. So, when the frosting didn’t turn out that one Christmas cookie-baking day, she cried. (It could have been the lack of sleep or the long, exhausting day in the kitchen, but I think it had something to do with a recipe flop.)

But, it’s when I’m not quite following the rules that I really revel in the results! Sure, it’s frustrating when something doesn’t work out the way I want it to. But, it’s all a part of the process.

And it’s the process I use here for my Happily Whole recipes, too. Since I’m no chef or professional recipe writer, I usually start with some inspiration (aka, a recipe that works from a book or blog I love). Then, I start my process of tweaking and turning things around. I want a little more of this and a little less of that. I’d like more protein and less processed stuff. I want less white and more whole grain. Perhaps it’s the quality from coconut oil rather than canola I wish to nourish our bodies with.

Well, that’s what happened with this little success of a sweet treat! I started with a couple black bean brownie recipes and worked from there. I never call a recipe my own until I’ve changed at least three ingredients and made the measurements to my liking (which sometimes takes a few flops).

But I finally found the right balance for these black bean brownies! I wanted something sweet to give my girls without batting an eye. They know the main ingredient is black beans…and why wouldn’t it be?! They don’t know refined, white flour is the cultural ‘go to’ for desserts.

There’s nothing unnatural about beans, oats, pure maple syrup and coconut oil. And that’s what’s so REAL and awesome about these! Oh and, by the way, I made these for the Valentine’s Day school treat and the kids all adored them. So, here you are….a real food sweet treat for your little Sweet Tarts J

Yeah, you heard me right! These brownies will love your body with heart healthy, antioxidant rich, fiber-filled, protein-packed black beans. Along with that comes other good stuff like heart-loving, fiber-full oats, natural sweeteners and super nourishing fat from coconut oil. What’s not to love in this little dessert ditty?


  • 1 ½ cup black beans or 1 15 oz can black beans rinsed well
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup old fashioned oats
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut oil*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate bar (72% or higher if possible)

Recipe Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare a spring form pan with either parchment paper or lightly buttered.
  • Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips/chopped chocolate in a good food processor. Blend until completely smooth. 
  • Stir in the chips then pour into pan.
  • Cook the black bean brownies 18-20 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut.

Recipe Notes

*Choose refined coconut oil if you want to avoid a slight coconut flavor

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