The Secret Ingredient for Delicious Grain-Free Brownies

There is a secret trick many nutrition-seeking bakers use to add surprising depth to chocolate recipes. It might sound shocking at first, but trust us when we say these black bean brownies are worthy of any self-respecting brownie-lover!  Nutritionist Meghan Telpner shared her trusted grain, dairy, and gluten-free recipe with us:

“As a nutritionist, it doesn’t mean I want every dessert recipe I make to taste like a whole grain, fiber rich, dried out brick. Yes, keeping recipes healthy and whole is a priority, but deliciousness always comes first! These brownies are my current favorite recipe and definitely worth trying! The secret to the amazing body of flavor in these brownies is the instant coffee. The flour being a combo of buckwheat and black bean making this completely grain free! The added bonus that they are egg, dairy, gluten and nut free is sure to make every healthy chocolate lover very happy.”

  • Black Bean Brownies, Prep Time: 20 minutes, Cook Time: 35-40 minutes

  • Ingredients:

    3 ounces (or about 1 bar) unsweetened chocolate

    1/2 cup black bean flour
    3/4 cup buckwheat flour
    1/4 cup organic instant coffee
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/8 tsp freshly ground cloves
    1/8 tsp freshly ground allspice

    2 Tbs coconut oil
    1/2 cup coconut sugar
    2 cups black beans
    1/2 cup pureed sweet potato
    1/4 cup raw honey
    1 egg or 1 tbsp ground chia + 1/4 warm water
    2 tsp vanilla extract

  • Instructions

    · Preheat the oven to 350

    · Coat and 8 inch square pan with coconut oil and powder with flour.

    · Melt the chocolate over low heat or use a double boiler.

    · Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

    · Combine all wet ingredients in your food processor or blender.

    · Add the melted chocolate and combine until smooth- should be creamy, not too dry.

    · Mix wet ingredient mix into the dry.

    · Add water if needed for desired consistency.

    · Pour batter into the pan, smooth it out with a spatula & bake it for about 35-40 minutes.

    · Insert a tooth pick in to make sure cooked through, they should be firm when you press down.

    · Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

From our friends


  1. YUM! I was wondering if the sweet potato is baked pureed or raw?

    annette | 10.19.2012 | Reply
  2. Hey Annette,

    Good Q! The sweet potato was steamed and pureed- generally the easiest way to work with it for this recipe. Hope you enjoy and let me know how they turn out!

    – Meghan

    Meghan Telpner | 10.22.2012 | Reply
  3. These sound amazing! One question, though- where is the chocolate in the recipe? Did I just miss it?? Thank you! 🙂

    Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles | 10.22.2012 | Reply
  4. Ooops, I did! I see it now 🙂

  5. This looks amazing! Where can I get black bean flour? My local whole foods doesn’t carry. Thanks!

    Shannon | 12.23.2012 | Reply
    • Hi Shannon, Bob’s Red Mill is a great brand and sells their flours in Whole Foods, natural stores across the country, and on their website. Let us know how your brownies turn out…we’re sure they will be delicious!

      The Chalkboard | 12.27.2012 | Reply
  6. The black bean flour is not available anywhere near me. I wondered if there was a substitution that may work, like garbanzo bean flour? Please help! Have food allergies and haven’t had brownies in so long. These look incredible!!!

  7. Also looking for a sub for the black bean flour! …. would chick pea flour also work … or couldn’t you just add more buckwheat flour & more black beans?? Thanks for the help….these look way better than the other ones I’ve tried!

    Amanda | 03.13.2013 | Reply
  8. FYI – do NOT sub chick pea flour for the black bean flour. I didn’t receive a response from this blog, so tried it anyways….they are so dry and hard I don’t know how we are going to get these things down!!

    Amanda | 03.17.2013 | Reply
  9. I will most definitely be trying these! Will be sure to post and let everyone know how they turn out…

    Gail | 09.08.2014 | Reply

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