Heart-Healthy Black Bean Brownies

Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the greatest threat to the lives of women and men in the world?  Women with PCOS commonly experience metabolic syndrome which increases the risk of developing heart disease.  Metabolic syndrome is a combination of conditions including elevated triglycerides, high “bad” cholesterol, low “good” cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and increased belly fat.

Fortunately, each day most of us can help decrease our risk of developing heart disease. Nutritional intake is important with some evidence suggesting to decrease saturated fats and other evidence to decrease trans fats. Decreasing salt intake is also recommended while increasing phytonutrient, fiber-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables. Secondly, regular exercise can reduce body weight, blood pressure, “bad ” cholesterol and increase insulin sensitivity. In addition, sleep deprivation has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and related conditions. Finally, quitting smoking is the single greatest change one can make to improve their heart and overall health.

Now you may be wondering where brownies fit into this heart-healthy lifestyle I speak of. Surprisingly, these delicious, fudgy treats are primarily made from black beans and unsweetened cocoa powder! Carry on to find out how these two ingredients can make a crowd-pleasing dessert that can support a healthy heart. PS. The trick is to not reveal the ingredients until AFTER your loved ones have tried the brownies. I promise they will be shocked. I would love to hear what you do to protect your heart!

Vegan Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried black beans, pre-soaked and boiled (I can’t promise that canned beans will result in the same gooey, moist texture)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil, though may not be as heart-healthy)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (>75% real cocoa)

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Blend all ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a food processor until completely smooth.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into an 8×8 pan pre-greased with olive oil.
  5. Cook for 15-20 minutes being careful not to overcook as this could dry them out.
  6. Let brownies cool before cutting. I popped these in the freezer to firm up even more.

Vegan Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

PCOS Powers:

  • black beans = high in protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamin B6 and phytonutrients which help lower blood pressure, manage blood sugar levels and prevent cardiovascular disease, contains several flavonoids including quercetin which is anti-inflammatory and may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis
  • unsweetened cocoa powder = supports the cardiovascular system by enhancing vascular function and decreasing platelet reactivity, may help improve cholesterol levels, been shown to improve cognitive function, insulin resistance and blood pressure

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Heart-healthy Black Bean Brownies - Low-glycemic, Vegan, Gluten-free

 

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71 Comments Add yours

  1. These look so delicious!

    1. They were too good for even myself to believe!

  2. Sam says:

    Yum!! My 4 kiddos and I eat a lot of rice and beans…but these seem like a way better way to eat beans!!

    1. Mmm, rice and beans are great plant-based foods. And I agree with you. I boil beans a lot and sometimes they turn into mush which inspired me to blend them up further into these delicious chocolatey brownies!

  3. wow black beans.. never thought of it.

    1. Right?! This was my first taste of them too but I promise they will pleasantly surprise you. 🙂

  4. michelle says:

    Wow, very interesting.. They look delicious… hmmm I’m intrigued

    1. Haha, that is pretty much the consensus I am getting on these. They were delicious though!

  5. Oh my gosh I HAVE to try this for my 2 year old and see if she notices!

    1. I would love to hear how they go! Is your 2 year old curious in the kitchen with you yet?

  6. Ashleigh says:

    Wow, this black bean brownie recipe looks so delicious! I love trying new and healthy recipes! Thank you for sharing!

    1. You are very welcome. I love sharing unique recipes. Especially when yummy treats turn into nutritious eats.

  7. MaKenna says:

    I’m not knocking it until I try it… but black bean? I’ve never heard of such a thing, which makes me excited! And the images you used really make them look DELICIOUS. I will for sure be pinning this and saving for later.

    1. I appreciate your openness! I realize it sounds a little shocking at first but the amazing taste left me shocked! The cocoa really overpowers any bean-y taste. 😉

  8. Having a parent with heart disease, this topic is near and dear to me! I take care of my heart by eating pretty healthy and hitting the gym daily. Thanks for this! I will be trying these brownies!

    1. Thanks for sharing your close relation to heart disease. Those are both great ways to protect your heart. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear what you think of them.

  9. I am totally going to try this and not tell anyone at home what i made it with =)

  10. idrisstwist says:

    I still have to try black bean brownie. They look awesome !

  11. Iveta Ongley says:

    This looks amazing, I’ll have to give it a go. I’m always on the look out for healthy snacks I can give to my daughter. Thanks for this recipe

  12. Frazer says:

    As Dylan’s taste testing guinea pig with extremely high standards, I must say that these brownies are one of my favorites! They have a very smooth and creamy texture with the perfect chocolaty sweetness. They taste delicious!

  13. Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe, I will definitely try it. I shared it on my Pinterest group board at https://www.pinterest.com/fannnart/lets-eat-and-drink/.

  14. These look heavenly! do you taste the black beans in them?

  15. Never heard of black bean brownies. Sound super healthy.

  16. jennifer L says:

    Wow I would never have imagined black beans in brownies but it sounds interesting, and frankly absolutely yummy. I def want to give this recipe a go!

  17. I’m doing my best to work out so that i can be healthier and put less strain on my heart. Doing that AND eating these brownies would be sooooo perfect!
    Danielle | http://www.FollowMyGut.com <3

  18. fatima says:

    looks healthy and yummy,thank you

  19. kage2015 says:

    My mom use to make black bean brownies, they really are very good.

  20. asipofbliss says:

    These look so decadent! And healthy?? win win!

    xo Jen
    http://www.asipofbliss.com

  21. emily says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. Wonderful! I would love to hear what you think of it after you taste them. 🙂

  22. Louisa says:

    Now this looks delicious! I don’t really care for brownies but healthy, black bean brownies? Heck yeah!

    1. Haha, right?! Suddenly brownies became my new favorite treat 😛 Thanks for dropping by.

  23. Ammu says:

    We can make brownies with black bean!!! That’s new to me. I have never made brownies before. So this could be my first one.

    1. I think it is a new idea to many, not just you! This was my first taste and attempt at them and they were too delicious not to share. 🙂

  24. Love the idea. healthy and yum

  25. Mmm, you had me at brownies! Love that these are made a little healthier too!

  26. Wow these look awesome! I tried vegan black bean brownies a few months ago and would love to try your recipe next!

  27. I’ve never baked with black beans but I made vegan blondies using chickpeas a few times. I love adding unusual ingredients to baked goods

  28. I have always wanted to try these! These look so good!

  29. Oh my god I am so hungry now! I need to try these…Im pinning them for later, thank you for the share!

  30. I honestly never would have thought to combine black beans with chocolate, let alone use them to create a “Brownie”, However, since I am always up for converting an unhealthy food fav into a healthy one…why not?! They look delicious, so I will definitely be giving them a try!

  31. Jessica says:

    Wow, these brownies look really good! And I agree, I never tell my husband what “secret ingredient” maybe hiding in my baking until afterwards. It’s best to let them taste and like it first. 🙂

  32. I love the added chocolate chips, a few go a long way in making healthy desserts taste decadent. These look so fudgy!

  33. Teresa says:

    Black bean brownies are on my ‘to do’ list and yours seem particularly tempting. Bonus points for the health benefits!

  34. My sister’s best friend makes black bean brownies for her 5 year old. He doesn’t know there are beans in them but he loves them!

  35. Cynthia W says:

    I have few vegan friends that would love to try this recipe. Heck, anything with chocolate in it is a win win situation…lol

  36. This looks so good but so healthy! I’ve recently made changes in my diet to improve my health, and this fits in perfectly with my new plan.

  37. Chrissy Z. @ The Brave Wanderer says:

    Mmh, these really do look delicious! I am always on the look out for healthier dessert versions, so this is perfect! Thank you!

  38. Holly says:

    Black bean brownies are the best! My dad got a recipe for them when he was in physical rehab after getting heart surgery, and they are so delicious. It’s amazing how many people don’t even notice the difference! xx

    http://theblondechiffon.com

  39. I’ve made zucchini brownies but haven’t tried black bean brownies yet. I’ll have to give these a try!

  40. These look so good! I didn’t even know you could make brownies with black beans!

    xo
    Sami
    http://www.theclassicbrunette.com

  41. lynsire says:

    I never thought of making brownies with beans, never tried one. I think I should make it. Thanks for sharing!!

  42. Chloe says:

    I was a skeptical at first of using beans for sweet dishes but once I’ve started I am hooked! I’ve used chickpeas in cookies but I am excited to try black beans. Thanks for sharing!

  43. What a clever idea. I’ve heard of people using courgettes and sweet potatoe and beetroot in cakes, but would never have thought of this

  44. Brandon says:

    I love brownies I may have to try and make this soon maybe for xmas eve party were having

  45. Amber says:

    Ooo these look so amazing! Mmmm.

  46. nlampert says:

    I have a pretty big sweet tooth which is always getting in the way of my health goals so I’ll have to give this recipe a try!

  47. Thank you for sharing this recipe, I am a PCOS sufferer so excited to try these as a treat.

  48. cybella28 says:

    This not only looks healthy but absolutely yummy. I am going to try this very soon.

  49. Tyler says:

    Oh my goodness I want 10,000! I’m bookmarking this page.

  50. OMG these look delicious! I need to try these out and see what people think like you said before telling them the ingredients!!

  51. Kimberly c. says:

    Wow these look yummie.

  52. Elizabeth O. says:

    I love brownies but the sugar is just too much to handle! I would love to learn this recipe, it’s perfect for people like me who are trying to stay away from sweets but still crave for desserts like brownies and cake!

  53. I am going to be honest, I was skeptical at first, but by the end of the article I was a believer. Can’t wait to try these.

  54. Ourfamilyworld says:

    I will definitely add this recipe on my list. This is a healthy brownies and I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing this.

  55. Ourfamilyworld says:

    This is good for everybody. The taste of the regular brownies that we used to eat is quite the same with this healthy brownies.

  56. I’ve never imagined using black beans on brownies but it’s an awesome idea! I would love to give the recipe a try. It looks filling as well, which is great because you won’t overeat!

  57. I am not a great fan of brownies – a bit too sweet for me. I would never have thought black beans would make brownies so I might have to try.

  58. Omg these brownies look absolutely delicious!!! I must give your recipe a try!

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