‘Almond Joy’ Black Bean Brownies [Vegan]

by Sarah on September 3, 2013 · 21 comments

So, I’m not really into the whole hiding healthy foods in dessert just to make yourself feel better about eating something you shouldn’t feel bad about eating anyway” thing.*

*As opposed to the whole “sometimes everything a fruit or a vegetable pairs well with chocolate” thing…

Unless, perhaps, your child is going to die of malnutrition unless you stick some carrot puree in their ice cream.

Actually, carrot ice cream sounds kind of good.

But, when someone from my PhD cohort brought black bean brownies to class last week, I must admit, I wanted to give her recipe a whirl.

Not that I followed her recipe.* Not really.

*When do I ever follow a recipe?

I lessened the sugar (also using a NuNaturals stevia baking blend instead of sugar), used homemade coconut butter instead of added oil, and made them vegan.

I also added some intrigue and crunch-and allowed them to be given a more enticing name--by adding almonds and coconut.

Nothing holds a candle to a ‘real’ fudge brownie.

Howver, I might just be a day dream black bean believer after all.

‘Almond Joy’ Black Bean Brownies

[Serves 2-4]

  • 1 can black beans,rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used a stevia baking blend from NuNaturals.)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut butter or oil
  • 2 Tbsp. flax seed 
  • 1-2 Tbsp. flaked coconut
  • 1-2 Tbsp. sliced, slivered, or chopped almonds
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. butter extract
  • 1-2 tsp. brewed coffee
  • cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients except flaked coconut and almonds in a food processor.
  3. Process until smooth, adding no more than a tablespoon of water to help everything blend (if necessary).
  4. Add coconut and almonds. Process or pulse just until incorporated evenly.
  5. Spoon and spread mixture into a small baking pan.
  6. Bake 20-45 minutes, depending on size of pan/thickness of brownies.
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Liz @ I Heart Vegetables September 3, 2013 at 7:30 am

Yummm! You and Heather are on the same almond joy page today! I love it!

Danica @ It's Progression September 3, 2013 at 8:14 am

I’ve always been to nervous to include any sort of beans in brownies….can you really not taste them?! Not that I don’t like beans, I just really love brownies :) Either way, this looks delicious!

Sarah September 8, 2013 at 11:19 am

OK, so I was nervous too, especially because whenever I have tried to make sweet versions of hummus–like ‘cookie dough’ flavors or something–I always can taste the chickpeas. With this recipe I really don’t think you can taste it, although if you wanted to be on the safe side you could up the sugar a bit and maybe add a bit more chocolate or coffee. I like the ‘dark’ flavor, and the beans mostly just add a chewy, fudge-like texture. I gave one to a friend without saying there were beans involved, and the reaction was more “Hmmm, these are good but there IS something different about them,” than “I can taste beans!”

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table September 3, 2013 at 9:11 am

I’ve been craving black bean brownies lately! I may try to marry this recipe and my Mexican black bean brownie recipes… ’cause you know I can’t follow a recipe either. 😉

Emily September 3, 2013 at 9:37 am

We share the same current “wish.” Le sigh. And I don’t like to hide things in food either, but I’ve made black bean brownies in the past and I like to tell people the BBs are in there. People LOVE them!!!!

Jess September 3, 2013 at 10:30 am

Wow – these look amazing. And I do love adding veggies to just about anything, so they’re perfect for me. No shame on the protein frosting and healthy desserts – I prefer them anyway.

Do you think I could replace the flax with protein powder to up the protein content of these? Also, would it be at all possible to have the calories per serving (or just for the whole recipe) please? I know counting calories is frowned upon, but I personally need to and I can’t seem to get any of the online calculators to work for this recipe (probably because I’m an idiot and I’m not using them properly…)


Sarah September 8, 2013 at 11:16 am

I added the flax as a binder, but protein powder may do the same thing. You could also just add extra liquid (maybe some almond milk?) to offset the protein powder. It is definitely worth experimenting!

As for calories, I did a quick mental calculation, and it would probably be about 200 calories per brownie. [That is based on 4 servings, so obviously less if you did 6…but I like big brownies!] That does not take into account a different form of sugar. Since I used stevia there weren’t any added calories from that.

Jessica September 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Great – that’s fantastic. Thank you :) I’ll definitely be making these soon!

Melissa @ Treats With a Twist September 3, 2013 at 10:32 am

Last time I made black bean brownies I totally effed them up! I thought, well nothing is worth this kind of time suck unless its really awesome, so I’ll stick to real brownies…yet, I don’t think I’ve even had real brownies since then.
Almond Joy for the win!! Favorite!

Sarah September 8, 2013 at 11:13 am

The best thing about this recipe is I halved it and then just had a two-serving brownie. I don’t make full pans of brownies anymore because apparently my old iron will around sugar has completely dissolved into a ‘must eat ALL the sweets’ mentality.

Sal September 3, 2013 at 11:44 am

I haven’t made black bean brownies since I was Omni and doing the GI Diet. I used to like them, but these look better! Maybe it’s time to try again.

Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl September 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm

I MUST make these ASAP. I have been wanting to try making black bean brownies for awhile now, but this recipe REALLY makes me want to try them!

Heather @ Better With Veggies September 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm

I’ve seen people talk about these, but as far as I know I haven’t tried them. Glad to see they get the smart kitchen stamp of approval. :)

Ang @ Nutty for Life September 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I keep saying I’m going to make black bean brownies and haven’t followed through. I think this is it though… it is time. I just needed a lil’ push by Miss Smart.

Kristen @ notsodomesticated September 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm

I’ve been wanting to try black bean brownies for a while now. I tried Katie’s chocolate chip cookie pie thing that uses garbanzo beans, and that was really good. So I’m very open to this concept, I just haven’t gotten around to trying it yet! Thanks for the reminder! :)

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance September 3, 2013 at 6:15 pm

I make the most delicious cookies from a garbanzo bean dough . . . it’s amazing what beans can do! This looks awesome, and I like you adjusted the recipe. I’ll have to give it a try. :)

Meg @ A Dash of Meg September 3, 2013 at 9:58 pm

i have a black bean brownie microwave cake recipe on my blog :) i loved that so much! i ate it for weeks and weeks! so yummy! these look amazing, too! great recipe, my love

Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut September 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Black beans taste awesome in brownies! I made black bean brownies once and LOVED the taste, but soon discovered my stomach was opposed to them lol. This reminds me I wanted to try baking with a white bean instead. So thank you for the reminder! 😉

Miss Polkadot September 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Thanks for the inspiration! The can of black beans bought solely for brownie purposes had been hanging out in my cupboard for way too long already. Your post made me finally get creative in the kitchen. Chewy [not chunky] Monkey Brownie Bites – mmh. Though I’ve never had an Almond Joy bar the sound of your recipe is pretty amazing. Bonus points for homemade coconut butter – I seriously need a food processor.

Tricia @ Saving room for dessert September 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm

I am totally into hiding healthy foods in desserts – such as carrot cake, zucchini bread, etc. etc. This looks great and I have always been interested in black bean brownies – thanks for the endorsement for such a healthy delicious treat!

Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli September 29, 2013 at 1:17 am

Dude!! I had no idea we posted Almond Joy recipes on the same day! Get outta my head you evil ginger!! Bahaha!

It’s actually been a long time since I’ve had black bean brownies and I can’t even remember if I liked them or not! Totally pinning this!

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