Black beans in a brownie!! Sounds strange hey, but it really does work! We are recommended to eat a wider variety of plant foods and this recipe gets in quite a few into a treat that would usually be void of nutrients and just empty calories. You can also adapt this recipe to make it sweeter if you like, but I like it not being too sweet as I don't feel the need to go back for seconds, plus I love the bitterness of the cacao. You can also freeze these, and I even cut them into really small squares and gave them to Isabelle as "chocolate ice cream" and she loved them.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean


  • Blender (s blade)


  • 1 tin black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 3 eggs
  • 70 ml butter (melted) (You could use extra virgin olive oil or even coconut oil or a flavourless oil maybe better, such as avocado oil or organic rapeseed oil - but see well-being note on oils) 70mil is around 50g of butter I believe, and 1/3 cup (NB - I have tried butter, worked very well, also tried 60mil olive oil and 4 tbsp of cacao, just don't over cook them).
  • 3-4 tbsp cacao powder (3 tbsp if you don't like the bitterness of dark chocolate, 4 if you do!)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1/3 cup date syrup ((1/3 cup = 80 ml) or you could use maple syrup, you can also add more syrup if you have sweet taste buds, until you get use to less sweet things, then less if you don't want them too sweet).
  • 1/2 cup dried dates (or 4-5 Medjool dates) (if you are using dried dates, some are harder than others, I filled the cup with the dates and then added some hot water and soaked them first).
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 handful chopped dates


  • Preheat the oven to Gas mark 5/170C. Line an oven proof baking dish (I used a 18 x 20 dish). If you use a larger dish so that brownies are shallower, then reduce the cooking time a little.
  • Place all of the ingredients (save for the melted butter), into the food processor. Pulse a few times and then blend until smooth. If using a liquid oil, you can add at the same time.
  • Add the melted butter very slowly into the mixture whilst the machine is running . Do so slowly to make sure you don't cook the eggs at this step. If using olive oil, you can simply add at the previous step.
  • Taste the mixture to ensure you are happy with the sweetness and the amount of cacao powder used. I use 4 heaped tbsp if I use olive oil as it hides the taste of the oil and I love a rich chocolate flavour. If not sweet enough, add a little more date syrup or maple syrup, or even stevia if you have it.
  • Pour the brownie mixture into the dish and spread the mixture out evenly. Sprinkle the walnuts on top. Bake in the oven for around 25-35 minutes until the brownie feels springy but also firm and the surface of the brownie has started to crack. Do not over cook it - it continues to harden when you take it out of the oven 37 minutes was a little too long for my recent batch.
  • Leave to cool. Cut into squares and enjoy! I refrigerate a few and freeze the rest.