Cocoa Black Bean Brownies (Heart-Healthy)

A rich, moist dessert with few of the typical brownie ingredients.

Vegan Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the world? People 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.

You may be wondering where brownies fit into a heart-healthy lifestyle. 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


  • 2 cups dried black beans (must pre-soak and boil)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 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
  • may help lower blood pressure, manage blood sugar levels, and prevent cardiovascular disease
  • contain several flavonoids including quercetin which is anti-inflammatory and may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis

Unsweetened cocoa powder:

  • may support the cardiovascular system by enhancing vascular function and decreasing platelet reactivity
  • may help improve cholesterol levels
  • has been shown to improve cognitive function, insulin resistance and blood pressure


Follow Phruitful Dish:
Follow by Email

Author: Dr. Dylan Cutler, Ph.D.

Dr. Dylan Cutler is the founder of Phruitful Dish. She's a holistic health content creator, vegan, athlete, feminist, social activist, and PCOS fighter. She obtained her Ph.D. in obstetrics and gynaecology specializing in PCOS management using nutrition, movement, and mindfulness. She resides in Victoria, Canada on unceded Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ territories.

87 thoughts on “Cocoa Black Bean Brownies (Heart-Healthy)”

    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!

      1. Are you sure the measurements are correct? I tried making these but they were much too think to blend smooth.

        1. Hi Meagan, I am sorry to hear that! I have had quite a number of people make them without issues so I am not sure what happened there! Did you use canned beans or dried/then boiled beans?

      2. I am interested in this recipe but wonder how long do I have to soak the beans and how long do I boil them?

  1. 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. 😉

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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. 🙂

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

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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!

  15. Hey there, I saw your article online and this was really nice. I cant wait to bake this and let my family taste this kind of healthy brownies. I think this is really good while looking at the recipe.

  16. I have canned black beans I would like to use. Do you know the conversion of canned beans to dry and cooked?
    Thanks! Looks yummy.

  17. Looks like a good healthy alternative to the much-beloved regular brownie recipe. I too am wondering if canned beans couldn’t be used instead of the dry beans which need to be cooked?

    1. You can certainly use canned beans! That does make it quicker and easier. I try to limit canned foods due to BPAs and/or other chemicals that may be in the cans.

Comments are closed.