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Black bean brownies

March 06, 2018 | UCI Health
plate of brownies made with black beans

Sure, black beans are dark brown like chocolate, but they’d hardly fool anyone to think they are chocolate.

With the right companions, though, they absolutely could.

This healthier take on mini-brownies uses no wheat flour. Black beans and some uncooked ground oatmeal take its place. Add some maple syrup and, yes, a little bit of chocolate, and the result is fudgy deliciousness.

Don’t bother trying to keep the ingredients secret.

These brownies will stand up to all kinds of “are you kidding?” doubters. And they’re great for people on anti-inflammatory diets.

Black Bean Brownies

Download this recipe ›

(from the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, as taught to UC Irvine medical students)

Serves: 12 (2 mini-brownies each)


  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup maple or cane syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed


Gather all ingredients and equipment (mini-muffin pan, blender or food processor, spatula, bowls).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a blender, grind oats into fine powder. Pour ground oats to a medium-size bowl.

In the same blender, combine all other ingredients. Blend until very smooth then add the bowl of ground oats.

Mix well and transfer to a greased mini muffin pan.

Fill cups to just below the top.

Bake for 8-12 minutes until done.

Nutritional Information

  • 180 calories
  • 3 g protein
  • 8 g fat
  • 25 g carb
  • 3 g fiber
  • 45 mg sodium

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