I live in a house with 4 boys (if you include our 1-year-old) and they all LOVE to eat. Something I’ve had to adapt and get used to, however, is how to satisfy a sweet tooth. I tend to gravitate toward salty/savory snacks, and I’ll always grab potato chips over a chocolate chip cookie any day. Usually, all I need to satisfy my sweet cravings is a single little block of dark chocolate. Done.

But these boys who surround me LOVE sweets, love candy, love chocolate, and love anything dessert-y they can get their hands on. So, I’m always looking for ways to give ’em what they want… while also sneaking in some #healthy stuff in there, too.

Enter: black bean brownies.

Now, I don’t claim to be the inventor of the black bean brownie. Delicious recipe variations have been floatin’ around the internet for yearssss – so I definitely drew my inspiration from the many other talented chefs who came before me. Let’s be real and give cred where cred is due.

But you know me. As Type-A as I am, I’m a busy mom and sometimes I just don’t have the time (or the energy) to go to the grocery store and get every. single. ingredient. needed to follow some of these uber-complicated recipes. I live my life my this motto: K.I.S.S. – keep it simple, stupid.

This adaptation contains ingredients we already had in our kitchen: a can of black beans, agave nectar, vegan chocolate chips. No need to overcomplicate things, right? If you don’t have agave nectar, use honey. Don’t have quick oats in the house? Fear not: flour will do just fine. Use what you’ve got!

Your kitchen tool of choice is also totally up to you! I like how smoothly our food processor mixes everything… but I hate the clean-up. So, oftentimes I’ll opt for my Ninja blender instead. It’s a little less effective, and sometimes it takes a little more liquid to get things to really start mixin’. For this recipe in particular, you can slowly add tablespoons of non-dairy milk to the blender to help get things going.

Vegan Black Bean Brownies

Total Time: 10 minutes prep, 18 minutes cooking
Yields: 9 brownies


  • 1 15-oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. cacao powder
  • 1/2 c. quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. agave nectar (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1/8 c. coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1-4 tbsp. non-dairy milk (only as needed to thoroughly mix)
  • 1/2 c. non-dairy chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all ingredients (except chocolate chips) to your blender. Blend until smooth. If needed, add a tablespoon at a time of dairy milk to help the blending process.
  3. Pour into a greased 8×8 glass baking dish.
  4. Top with chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, then let cool for at least 10 minutes. If they are still extra gooey and seem a bit undercooked, place them in the fridge for several hours (or overnight) for them to firm up.
  6. Cut into 9 equal sized brownies.
  7. Serve, and enjoy!



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