Choc Brownies – Can you guess the healthy secret ingredient?


Hmm, chocolate brownies with a cup of herbal tea – a perfect way to have a mid afternoon break.

These brownies are to die for – fudgy, nutty and super chocolatey. Quick and easy to make. This recipe can easily be changed up by adding different nuts, seeds or dried fruit such as cranberries. They are gluten-free and diary-free (if you so choose).

But can you guess the healthy ‘secret’ ingredient that makes these brownies healthy? I’ll give you a hint…… it is not beetroot.


Give up?

It is black beans!

Now my recommendation is that you don’t tell your guests about the black beans until they have finished devouring their first slice. Otherwise they will be ‘looking’ for the beans rather than enjoying this sweet treat.

Chocolate Brownies

Makes 12-15 brownies


  • 2 tins of cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 230g butter or coconut oil (I used a combination of goat butter and coconut oil)
  • 4 eggs
  • 85 raw cacao powder
  • 150 ml maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon coffee, chilled (optional)
  • pinch sea salt
  • 130g walnuts, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius. Grease a gladd backing dish with coconut oil.
  2. Drain and rinse the black beans and leave to drain.
  3. Gently melt the butter/coconut oil.
  4. In a food processor, place the beans, eggs, cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, coffee and salt. Blend until super smooth. You may need to stop a few times and scrap down the sides.
  5. With the food processor on low speed, slowly add the melted butter/coconut oil. Blend until will well combined.
  6. Set aside a handful of walnuts to sprinkle on top. Add the rest of the walnuts and stir through by hand.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining walnuts. Bake for 45 minutes or so until it is firm but springy and its surface is cracked.
  8. Leave the cool completely before cutting into squares. Refrigerate and served cold for a brilliant fudgy centre.

Time Saver Tip

  • These will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
  • You can also cut them up and freeze them. Then just defrost a piece for about 20 minutes before you want to serve it.
  • Makes a brilliant dessert served with cashew yogurt or homemade ice cream.

This recipe has been adapted from the cookbook Hemsley and Hemsley – the art of eating well.

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This Breakfast ebook is perfect if you’re looking for:

+ 20 gluten-free & dairy-free recipes
+ Nourishing smoothies, Juices, Breakfast & Brunch
+ An overview of smoothies vs juices
+ Time saver tips to set you up for success
+ A bonus printable shopping list to get you started.

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