Super Secret Brownies – flourless and gluten free

If any of you ever tells my children what’s in these brownies I’ll never forgive you.  I’ve managed to keep it a secret so far by stealthily whipping them up late at night after they’ve gone to bed.  I don’t mind at all though, since they take less than 5 minutes to prep for the oven. My kids really love these brownies, and I really love that they love these brownies.  Everyone gets a little giddy in the mornings when they discover a new batch has been delivered, and I’m determined to keep it that way.  Thankfully neither of them has gotten the hang of the whole reading thing yet, so I should be safe posting the recipe here for a while longer.  My hope is that by the time each of them learn the truth they’ll be so addicted to them that they won’t care.

You see, these fudgey, melt in your mouth, decadently rich brownies are made from black beans.  Protein packed, fiber filled black beans.  And no one knows it but me.  All they know is that it’s a new gluten free recipe I found.  And it had better stay that way.

You’re probably thinking it’s not possible for anyone to be suspicious, but I’m telling you that if I weren’t the one dumping the beans into the bowl I’d never believe it either.  These brownies rank right up there with some of the best I’ve ever had.  Minus the guilt.  Which is kind of a problem for me because it’s way too easy to talk myself into having just one more…you know, for the protein and the fiber…

Super Secret Brownies
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed well
3 large eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted, plus more for the baking dish
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (gluten free or regular depending on your diet)
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar(*see below) or cane sugar 
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (gluten free or regular)
1/3 cup walnuts (optional) 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter an 8″ square baking pan and set aside.
Place black beans, eggs, melted butter, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Remove the blade and gently stir in chocolate chips and nuts if using.  Pour into prepared pan, using a spatula to spread evenly.  
Bake for 30 minutes, or until just set in the middle.  Let cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.  
recipe originally from the Whole Foods Cookbook

* I use Coconut Palm Sugar in most of my baking because it’s high in nutrients and low on the glycemic index.  (GI35, lower than cane sugar, agave, and honey.)  Organic Evaporated Palm Sugar is high in potassium, magnesium, and zinc, as well as vitamins B2, B6, and B12.  It’s deliciously sweet, and can be substituted 1:1 for regular sugar.  You can find the same one I use in my Amazon Store, or click here.

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  1. Lauren says

    Susan! I never would have given this recipe a second look if it wasn't on your blog. These brownies are delicious! Mine fell apart when I took them out of the pan though. Perhaps I didn't let them cool long enough? Do you think that melting the chocolate chips might help "glue" the brownies together?

  2. Our Family Eats says

    Lauren, I'm so glad you took a chance on these brownies! Amazing,aren't they? I had a little issue with crumbling after a day or two. I like your chocolate chip idea. It is really important to let them cool completely before removing from the pan. I try to let mine sit overnight, if the kids let me.

  3. Rika says

    Oh my! These were ridiculously good!! My 2,4 and 14 year old scarfed these down. I later told the 14 year old, and she still ate more! No complaints! Simply outstanding! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Rika says

    Oh, and there is NO way I'll even have to worry about these lasting more than 30 minutes around here!

  5. Eva says

    Was nt sure about the black beans, but thought I’d give it a shot for my 3 & 6 yr old. They loved them as did I several batches later they are still loving them.

    • Eva says

      Also wanted to mention I have spoken to my 6 yr old about the many hidden chemicals in food (after reading your blog). He is so0000 eager to try the 6 week challenge, so thank you :)

  6. Michelle says

    I live at 9000 feet and normally when I make brownies I have to add extra flour, do you have a suggestion as to what I can do to make these rise a little? I have made them twice and they are more fudgey than brownie. They still taste awesome, but my husband says they don’t seem cooked. Thanks!

    • says

      Wish I knew more about the science behind baking – sorry I can’t help with this one, but I will post the question on the Facebook page and see if anyone else has a suggestion.

  7. Denise says

    We made these twice & really liked them. The strange thing was the second time they got moldy with in a week?? Do you keep them
    In the fridge?

  8. Angela says

    Hi Susan, I have been wanting to make these brownies for so darned long, but don’t know what to substitute the black beans for here in Australia…? Any suggestions? I did manage to buy a tin of Adzuki beans. Do you think these would do the job? Angela

    • says

      The Adzuki beans might do the trick. I think the black beans work best because of the dark color – it maintains the dark color of the brownies. Let me know how the substitution works out – I’d love to know.

  9. Trish says

    What do you think about using flaxseed instead of the eggs? I think I’m going to try that next time. My kids LOVED them…and my mom loved them so much she took the recipe to school and the school kitchen is going to make them for school lunches! Your Changing lives!!!! Thanks!

    • says

      First WOW! I’m thrilled to hear about the switch to the lunch menu! Whoohoo! I’m not sure about the flaxseed substitution though, I’ve never tried it and I’m not fully up to speed on the sciencce behind how the flax/egg replacement works. I know it works in most of my baking, but there is usually some kind of flour involved. Since this is so different I’m not sure what the results would be. If you try it please let me know how it turns out! Thanks so much for making my day with your comment :)

  10. Cristina says

    Hey Susan! I made these brownies a while ago and my kids just loved them!!! However, we recently found out that my 5 year old is allergic to eggs (and a bunch of other foods too!)… Any ideas for a substitute that would work and still hold the brownies together? He has a wheat allergy, so flour is out, which is why I loved this recipe in the first place!

  11. says

    Hi Susan I have to say I was very skeptical about this recipe, but interested in trying. I am speechless! They are delicious. The batter tastes like chocolate pudding! I served them at my event last night. They were a hit & everyone wants the recipe! I will be making them again.

    • says

      That’s awesome Carole! Everyone thinks these brownies sound crazy but they all come around after they taste them. So glad they were a hit!