Bargaining for Brownies

Never miss a recipe! Subscribe through email and I'll send you FREE healthy recipes straight to your inbox!

Since I visited my parents for dinner last weekend, they drove up north on Friday night to eat with me. My “uncle,” one of Dad’s old college buddies, flew into town midweek, so he tagged along to join us for burgers, falafel, fries, and stew at a local grill and pizzeria.


As soon as we sat down, Uncle began raving about the best brownies he’s ever had. He confessed to eating four the night before and another two that afternoon (although he did run 20+ miles both days!). Describing them as rich, fudgy, and addictive, Uncle mentioned the treats another four times in our dinner conversation and mulled over the baker’s recipe.  


Mom and Dad stared pointedly at me each time, but with the hectic week at work, I completely forgot that I had made them brownies when I went home. Uncle kept complimenting my baking! So we struck a deal: I would give him this recipe in exchange for his eggplant dip. Enjoy, Uncle!



Flourless Black Bean Brownies

modified from Carly Sulli’s recipe 

makes 16

Do NOT taste the batter before pouring it into the pan!! I know it’s hard, but wait until the brownies have come out of the oven to try a taste. Because of licking the spatula, I wasn’t able to get past the subtle taste of the black beans to fully enjoy the rich fudgy brownies.

1 (15 oz) can black beans (50% less sodium), rinsed and drained

3 egg whites

⅓ c. unsweetened applesauce (approx. 1 individual snack-size container)

½ c. unsweetened cocoa powder

½ c. granulated sugar

3 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder (opt.)

½ c. Ghirardelli bittersweet (60%) chocolate morsels

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°, and lightly coat an 8×8” baking pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips. Purée until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into a bowl, and stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350° for 30-35 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (may take 40-45 min). Cool in the pan for 10 min before cutting into squares.

View Nutrition Information



*Disclosure: Some of the links included in this post may be affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. I really appreciate your support!


  1. mrswebbinthekitchen says on November 10, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I made that same mistake when I made black bean brownies!! The batter is definitely not a good indication of what the final product will taste like!

    • foods for the soul says on November 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      I’m glad someone else thinks that way too! I’m considering trying another bean-baked-good recipe soon, and I will NOT be trying the batter — I guarantee it!

  2. Aleksandra says on May 8, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Me and my friend are keeping a calorie count on everything we eat this week (an attempt for us to stay healthy for at least a little while..), so I was wondering how many calories there are in this recipe?? ^^ They look really tempting and are definitely a healthier choice !

    • Amy says on May 8, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks Aleksandra! I just added the Nutrition Information in a link beneath the recipe. Good luck to you and your friend this week! :)

  3. Lindsay says on May 25, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Oh heavens! I made these last night and they are DELICIOUS! I told no one in my family about the beans and everyone was SHOCKED when I told them there were beans in their brownies! I love that I also dont feel like im ruining my diet eating one… or four! Do you think I could add raspberries in there without messing up the consistency? And what about using semi-sweet chocolate chips, for those who aren’t such fans of super dark choc as I am? Thanks for an INCREDIBLE, guilt free dessert!

    • Amy says on May 25, 2014 at 11:04 pm

      I’m so happy you and your family enjoyed the brownies Lindsay!! Guilt-free treats (especially chocolate ones!) are my favorite. You could definitely substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips, and I think that adding raspberries would be just fine too. I’d probably recommend chopping them before folding into the batter, which will make slicing the brownies a little easier after they bake. I’m really excited to hear how those modifications turn out for you!

Leave a Comment