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  • 1 (15-oz can) unseasoned black beans, very well-rinsed and drained
  • ⅓ cup agave nectar or pure maple syrup
  • large eggs
  • ⅓ cup low-fat milk
  • 3 Tbsp virgin coconut oil, warmed until melted, or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup lightly packed all-natural sweetened chocolate or vanilla whey protein powder
  • ¼ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • ⅓ cup miniature semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips


Black Bean High Protein Brownies


  1. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the beans, agave nectar, eggs, milk, oil, espresso powder, and vanilla in a food processor.
  3. Process, using on/off pulses, until the mixture is blended and completely smooth, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl several times with a rubber spatula.
  4. Add the protein powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt to the bowl;
    process using on/off pulses until all of the protein powder is incorporated, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl once or twice with a rubber spatula.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan; sprinkle with the chocolate chips.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top appears somewhat dry and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  8. Using the liner, lift the mixture from the pan and transfer to a cutting board.
  9. Cut into 12 bars. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

COOK'S NOTE —These brownies will look different from conventional brownies in two ways when they are done:

  • First, the top will look much drier, and second, the center will feel gooier when lightly touched.
    Once cool, though, they are fudgy, not dry; the center will set up once the bars are completely cooled (and even more so when refrigerated).
  • Pinto beans or soft white beans (e.g., cannellini or Great Northern beans) can be used with equal success in place of the black beans.
  • For a lower sugar brownie, omit the agave nectar and add 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid stevia.
    Increase the total amount of milk to 2/3 cup. —1 tablespoon coffee powder (regular or decaffeinated) may be used in place of the espresso powder.

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