Who knew flourless brownies could be so good? Also known as black bean brownies, this sweet treat comes together in no time in a blender and tastes more decadent than its ingredients let on!
There are so many brownie recipes out there...
...way more than you could possibly count.
So why would you want another one?
Let me tell you about this brownie recipe...
It contains no flour, no dairy, and except for what might be in the chocolate chips, there is no refined sugar!
So What Is In These Flourless Brownies?
Now that you know what isn't in these brownies, let's go over what is!
There are the usual brownie ingredients like eggs, cocoa, chocolate chips, baking soda, and salt...but then you also have black beans, pitted dates, and applesauce.
So why black beans? Besides offering some substance, they give they brownies a punch of nutrition you wouldn't get otherwise. Full of protein and fiber, they are a great stand-in for flours or grains. And trust me, once the black beans are pureed into the batter, you won't be able to tell they're even there.
The dates give the brownies their overall sweetness, being a healthier substitute to refined sugar. And again, once blended into the batter, you won't know that they're in there!
Finally, the applesauce gives some moisture, acting as a healthy alternative to oil or butter. Applesauce, like the rest of the ingredients, can obviously be found at your local grocery store, but considering making your own using my Simple Unsweetened Applesauce recipe! It's really easy to make and you can use whatever apples are in plenty at the store or whatever you already have at home.
So...these are not your typical brownie ingredients, but it goes to show that you can get a bit creative and still get delicious results!
How Do You Make The Brownies
Except for the chocolate chips, all the ingredients are thrown into a blender. I actually have an order in which I add the ingredients, based on what ingredients need the most "chopping" and what creates the most optimal blend. Starting from first-in-the-blender-to-last:
- Black beans
- Cocoa, baking soda and salt
My logic goes like this: since the black beans and dates need the most "processing", I add them first so they will be closest to the blades. To blend properly, they need some liquid, so I add the eggs next. On top of that, I add the dry ingredients...so the cocoa, baking soda, and salt go in next. Finally, I top it off with the applesauce, which helps a bit in preventing the cocoa from flying high into the blender pitcher.
I have tried adding the ingredients into the blender in different orders, but I have found that this sequence works best for me. Perhaps your blender is powerful enough so that it doesn't matter what order you put everything in...in which case, you can simply ignore what I've just written!
If you do not have a blender, a food processor will also work. In either case, be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the pitcher/bowl halfway through to make sure you don't miss any chunks.
Finally, the chocolate chips make their appearance! Stir them into the batter with a spatula, and then be sure to sprinkle more chocolate chips on top after transferring the brownie batter to the pan and before baking!
After some time in a 350F/180C oven, this crazy mixture of ingredients will turn into brownies! Keep in mind that these will not be exactly the same as regular brownies or those that use grain flours. However, considering these are flourless brownies and contain ingredients like black beans, dates, and applesauce, the result is pretty amazing!
Tips, Pairings, and Suggestions
Let the brownies cool completely before cutting and store any extra in the refrigerator. Besides allowing them to last longer, the brownies are also great cold!
If you're looking for another flourless chocolate treat, take a look at my Decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake. It looks like cake, tastes like cake, and you would never guess that it's gluten-free and dairy-free. Or try my Flourless Double Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins...also delicious without noticing the zucchini! Or if you're gluten-free and don't mind using flours, check out my Fabulously Fudgy GF Chocolate Brownies.
Seriously...you can never have too many chocolate or brownie recipes, right?
Flourless Chocolate Chip Brownies
- Preheat oven 350F/180C.
- Line baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add all ingredients EXCEPT chocolate chips to the blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the pitcher halfway.
- Add ½ cup chocolate chips and stir into the brownie batter.
- Transfer brownie batter to prepared baking pan and spread out evenly. Top with remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let brownies cool completely but cutting into squares.
- If the dried dates are hard, soak them in hot water until they are soft, about 1 hour. Squeeze out excess liquid from dates before adding them to the blender.
- Be sure to drain and rinse the canned black beans before using.
- If you do not have a blender, a food processor will also work.
- Be sure to scrape down the sides of the blender pitcher/food processor bowl halfway through blending so as not to miss any chunks.
- Let brownies cool completely before cutting.
- Store brownies in the refrigerator to help them last longer. They also taste great cold!
**This recipe was December 4th, 2016 and republished on October 5th, 2020 with recipe updates, and new photos and writing.