Decadent Chocolate Brownies with a Secret Ingredient

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I’m always hesitant to announce at a potluck or party that a dessert is healthy. People always assume that it’ll taste like cardboard (and can you blame ’em?). That’s why, when I baked these super-healthy brownies for family barbecue, I made it a point NOT to mention that they were any different from good old-fashioned sugary, buttery treats.

And guess what. Everyone was obsessed! They taste so fudgey and chewy and chocolatey, my fam never guessed they’re actually good for you (I ate three, but that’s neither here nor there). And it’s all thanks to a special secret ingredient.

BLACK BEANS! I know. Veggies in your dessert? Kinda weird, but awesome. Thanks to the beans, almond butter and dates – plus zero oil or flour – these gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free brownies are packed with fiber, protein and healthy fats...and are about about as guilt-free as it gets. Enjoy!


  • 1 can unsalted organic black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 heaping cup medjool dates

  • 6 tbs cocoa powder

  • ½ cup creamy unsalted almond butter

  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips



  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ¼ tsp baking soda



  • Soak dates in warm water for 20 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.

  • Line 8X8 pan with parchment paper.

  • Remove pits from dates.

  • Blend dates with 3 tbs of its soaking water in a food processor or Vitamix.

  • Add the rest of the ingredients except for chocolate chips and blend well until smooth.

  • Mix batter with chocolate chips in a mixing bowl.

  • Pour batter into pan and spread evenly.

  • Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through.

  • Let cool for 1 hour before cutting. Makes 12.


Inspired by this original recipe.


Posted on September 14, 2015 and filed under Food.