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The next time you’re craving rich, chewy, densely chocolaty brownies, make a batch of these. Cooked black beans keep them lusciously moist, while date syrup (also called date molasses) lends a caramel-like sweetness. If you can’t find date syrup at the store, you can make your own by simmering equal amounts of chopped dates and water in a saucepan for 30 minutes, then allowing the mixture to cool before puréeing until smooth. The syrup can be strained through cheesecloth for more of a syrupy consistency, if desired. Store these healthy brownies in an airtight container for up to three days.

Recipe from chefajwebsite.com

Healthy Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1½ cups cooked)
  • 1 cup pure date syrup
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Unsalted pistachio nuts, finely chopped (optional)
  • Vegan semisweet chocolate pieces (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper (or use a silicone cake pan).
  2. Combine the beans, date syrup, and cocoa powder in a food processor; process just until smooth. Add the oats, baking powder, and baking soda; process just until combined.
  3. Spread batter into the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle with pistachios and chocolate pieces (if using). Bake for 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into wedges.

Comments (77)

(4.72 from 47 votes)
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Cynthia6 days ago
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I’m allergic to oats any other option to use? I’d rather not use quinoa flakes as a replacement as they do have a strong flavor.

Tonya Skelly3 weeks ago
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Get in my belly!!!! I just made these suckers…substituted pinto for black beans as that was what I had. Added vanilla and tablespoon of tahini. I double the recipe. I will be taking these to church functions going forward just to get the church ladies tongues a wagging!

Bri1 month ago
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These are great. I used homemade date syrup (1 cup hot water + 1 cup packed dates, blended with a high-powered blender) and skipped the toppings. Used an 8″ baking pan lined with parchment paper, and 35 minutes at 350°F was just right. Delicious!

Jojo1 month ago
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I just made this. Moist and rich but a bit too sweet with a full cup of date syrup. Not bad with a cuppa strong black coffee. Will use less date syrup next time and maybe add walnuts.

kat2 months ago
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Which diameter bake pan for that temperature and cooking time?

Liz2 months ago
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I haven’t made these yet, but have made black bean brownies before, by modifying a non vegan recipe. Instead of sugar I use date paste. 1:1 ratio. The key is not to bake it for too long. The middle should not be as dry as the edges. Black bean brownies are fudgie and moist and delicious. The concept or preference of a brownie’s texture is subjective to each individual.

Catherine2 months ago
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These didn’t turn out well at all. Used maple syrup instead of date syrup, and added some vanilla extract and a bit of salt. They were really bland and dry, practically inedible, and ended up in the trash.

MB2 months ago
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Made a few modifications. Half cup maple syrup (replace one cup date syrup), ground almonds (replace rolled oats), one teaspoon baking soda (instead of half). Blended with everything else in one go. Topped with chopped Lindt 70%, no other nuts, baked for only 25 minutes, left to cool in pan for 7 minutes before turning out on wire rack to cool completely.
Result – decadent, rich, moist and just right on the sweetness, that the whole family loved.

MB2 months ago
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I also added about 3 tablespoons of orange juice for more moisture.

Claudine3 months ago
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Delicious!

Rebecca3 months ago
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These surprised me. I’ve made black bean brownies before and could taste the beans. I couldn’t taste them here and could swear they were made with flour. I also appreciate that they’re not overly sweet. I added walnuts on top. Excellent!

Donna3 months ago
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This was delicious!

Ronja4 months ago
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These brownies taste so good! They did turn out to be a little dry, so unfortunately, I have to make another batch to make it even better ;). I used quite a big cake form, so I baked the brownies for only 25 minutes on 180 degrees. Also, I added pistachios to the mixture (so not only on top), which turned out really well. I think I’ll add a bit of vanilla next time. Oh, and I used half the amount dried (but sticky) dates and half the syrup. Maybe that’s why they turned out a little dry, so I will soke the dates next time and use a little more. Long story short: I recommend these brownies! Greetings from The Netherlands

Colleen Hannegan2 months ago
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Like the vanilla add idea!

Ryan Paddle4 months ago
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Absolutely delicious. Made a double batch with Blue Agave instead of date syrup, and served with the FOK Aquafaba whipped cream and it was delicious.

Sunnyside4 months ago
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It means date syrup as in the Date Lady date syrup (which still has 2g of fiber in each Tbsp.). Do not use date paste.
We use D’Vash brand date syrup and it’s wonderful in these moist chocolately decadent brownies..enjoy!

Melanie4 months ago
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I made this as directed. The brownies tasted terrible- the flavor and texture were nothing even remotely close to traditional brownies. No one in my family liked them. When I took a bite, it was so wretched that I had to spit it out.

L Reg4 months ago
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When you list “date syrup” does this mean the product such as Date Lady date syrup or a homemade date syrup that is more like a paste and includes all the date fiber?

Courtney Davison1 month ago
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You can use store-bought date syrup like Date Lady. If you can’t find any, you can make your own: Simmer equal amounts of chopped dates and water in a saucepan for 30 minutes, then allow the mixture to cool before puréeing until smooth. Strain the pureed mixture through a cheesecloth, for more of a syrupy consistency.

BlakeMakes5 months ago
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I made this last night and cannot believe how delicious it was! They taste just like Little Debbie’s Cosmic Brownies! What’s even better, my kids devoured them! I loved being able to tell them after the fact that they’re made with black beans. We’ll finish off the pan today (Day 2), I’m sure of it. Looks like I’ll be making a batch of these weekly, if not daily. 😉

Kathy5 months ago
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Very good, vegan or not

Selma H.5 months ago
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I love this recipe. I’ve made it a handful of times already and it’s one of the few ways I can get my 3 year old to eat beans at the moment. Thank you!

Stacey Coia Gabryszek5 months ago
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I don’t have a food processor so I put the beans and syrup (and a tablespoon of vanilla) in the blender until smooth. I put all of the dry ingredients, including the cocoa, into a large bowl. I added the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and used a hand mixer to blend. Worked perfectly.

The only suggestion I would make on this recipe is to double it because 8 brownies this good won’t last!

Kristina5 months ago
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I am very picky about brownies. These are absolutely amazing! I used Date Lady date syrup and followed it exactly. So excited to have a delicious brownie again!!!!!!!

Lizzy5 months ago
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These are seriously easy and delicious. They’re not going to be like a traditionally full-fat brownie, but are hands-down the best healthy alternative I’ve ever had. I’ve made these 4 times now, once with bottled, date syrup, once with dates/water blended first into syrup, and twice with maple syrup. I’ve even made these in an old blender while visiting my parents, just pulsed oats first. I like to add a few tablespoons strong coffee and because I only have a toaster oven, I bake at 325 for 20-30mIn depending on how thick they are. I’ve made in aluminum pans and ceramic, and as long as you keep an eye on them toward the end of baking they’ll come out fine.

Lee4 months ago
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What a great review! Thank you for telling us about all the alternatives you tried. Can’t wait to make it this weekend! I love to add finely ground coffee, too, to chocolate cakes, cookies, etc. plus a sprinkling on top of kosher salt. Really adds a bit of depth!

Kendra B6 months ago
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Just made these! OMG! They are so yummy! My husband loves them too! Super moist and not overly sweet. Love these brownies!

Tara Baker6 months ago
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These are so delicious!
Is there a nutritional breakdown for these? How many calories etc per serving?

Kl6 months ago
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These are AWESOME. I added blueberries, crystalized ginger, apricots, almonds, walnuts and then rolled them into balls and covered in long shredded coconut…

Eva6 months ago
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Deserts look delicious

Shannon6 months ago
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I’ve already made these twice and they are delicious! Not overly sweet which is why I like them and also very filling. I didn’t have date syrup so I used maple syrup and they came out so good.

Teresa Cabrera6 months ago
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Because I was in a hurry to try this recipe and didn’t have date syrup, I decided to improvise. I had dates on hand and just pulled with water until I had a good consistency. I added all other ingredients and am so impressed on how moist these brownies are. Thank you for this great recipe.

Mark Atkins7 months ago
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Made these last week, turned out great, even my wife, who is not plant based, loved them! Thanks FOK.

Amy7 months ago
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I used organic maple syrup vs date syrup and they were delicious !!! I would love to know the nutritional information of this receipe.

Deb2 months ago
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Is the maple syrup actually organic?

At a local farmer’s market I asked if the honey was organic. They said, it depended where the bees got the pollen.

Dawn7 months ago
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Just find the nutritional info for each item at the quantity used in the recipe, then divide by how many servings you’re portioning it into. (It’s always better for me when I do it that way, especially if I decide to make substitutions or measurement changes.)

Cathy7 months ago
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How much maple syrup did you use?

Anna Chang7 months ago
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These brownies were delicious! My husband who is a tough critic loved them. I also added 1TBS of vanilla and a splash of coffee to the batter to enhance the chocolate. Will definitely be making these again. I also think you could sub maple syrup for the date syrup.

Magic Brownies7 months ago
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Made exactly as recipe calls for . Simple and delicious! No one will know they are eating beans or healthy!

Alena7 months ago
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To meet my pantry inventory, I used some sweetener (erythrit) and a cup of water instead of the dates syrup. Also 2 extra tbsp cocoa powder and a pinch of salt. What a nice treat for a Sunday 🙂

Maria Schexnaider6 months ago
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They weren’t awesome as the recipe stated above?

Deb6 months ago
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Hands down the best chocolatey brownies ever!! Love that they’re plant-based and healthy too. You don’t taste the beans at all – just yummy deliciousness! Not sure why the recipe states these take an hour to make..they mix right up in the blender (3 minutes tops) and bake for 35 minutes – so super easy and quick to make. We use D’Vash date syrup and add some Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate chips (63% cacao) on top for complete chocolate nirvana.

Tracy7 months ago
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How much Erythitol did you use?

Chocaholic7 months ago
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Can coconut or almond flour be used instead of oats?

Ashu Thakur7 months ago
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If we don’t have canned black beans what alternative can be used ?

Gautam7 months ago
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You could cook the black beans from scratch too. I do that in my instant pot and it’s super easy!

Staci7 months ago
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I was thinking I may try baked sweet potato or white beans

Kanthi7 months ago
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It didn’t work for me. I made the date syrup as per the instructions given before the recipe. It turned out to be a paste and not a syrup. I used dates and water in equal parts by weight. I don’t have a big food processor and I used my vitamix. It couldn’t blend all the ingredients without the help of some liquid and I had to use 2 cups of water to get it to blend. I continued to bake it for 1 hr and it was as wet the batter.
I am a baker and I have baked a lot of regular cakes and brownies which means that I can follow instructions to the t.
I am not sure what I did that was wrong. Should I be using a store bought date syrup? It’ll be helpful if the author puts in a link to the ingredients he/she used.
Clearly I am very disappointed!!!

Cath5 months ago
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I make these often using my nutribullet blender with the cheap pitted dates instead of date syrup. Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 cup dates and soak for 10 minutes. Wizz all dry ingredients in blender. Tip in bowl. Wizz dates and soaking water with black beans. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and bake. Works every time.

Amanda6 months ago
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Hi Kanthi, check out Dr Michael Greger’s date syrup recipe, it’s just soak dates with hot water and it comes out like a syrup

Kaye Smith7 months ago
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Sounds interesting but more fiber rich foods could have been added.

Donna7 months ago
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Where is the nutrition info? Looking for calorie count, because you know if I make these, I’ll want to eat them all in one day!

Debbie7 months ago
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I used Monk fruit sugar instead of date syrup to reduce calories and carbohydrates dramatically. I also added a little bit of vanilla. It needed more liquid so I put it in a little almond milk and to bind it I added a quarter of a cup of flaxseed meal and water

Michelle7 months ago
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How much monkfruit sweetener did you use?

Sandy LV7 months ago
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OMG! I must admit I was a bit skeptical at first so I made a half recipe in an 8 in loaf pan & baked it for 25 mins. I ate half if it when it was barely cool. So good. Satisfies any sweet tooth.

Jo7 months ago
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Can you substitute the black beans with another kind. Maybe chickpeas or Northern White beans?

Victoria7 months ago
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I tried the recipe using ¾ cup of Carob powder instead of the cocoa powder, and my husband and I thought they were great! Best of all, he can now have a brownie, and not get a migraine as he would have with the chocolate. Thanks for the recipe!

Victoria7 months ago
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I haven’t made these yet, but wonder if anyone has substituted carob powder for the chocolate. Chocolate being a trigger for husband’s migraines, I want to try carob.
Thank you.

MaryBeth Wehbe7 months ago
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Look at reply above yours!:)

Elaine7 months ago
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Really good but I purchased ready-made date syrup (which was really hard to find in my area – had to get it on Amazon) and they were way too sweet. Maybe instructions should be included in the notes of the recipe for the homemade version of the syrup (in the comments) so no one else makes the same goof.

Mary7 months ago
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I made this recipe for our Mother’s Day dinner. This was so easy to make and so chewy and delicious!

tamashiro & speed7 months ago
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mahalo nui loa
ippe nifee debiru

Jane7 months ago
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How do I make date syrup

Mary Hickcox7 months ago
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1 lb medjool dates pitted, 4 c of water. chop up in food processor. Simmer in water for about 30 minutes. After cooled, pulse again in food processor.

VeggieTater7 months ago
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I love these dense fudgy brownies! I never seem to have enough ingredients on hand when I go to make something, and often sub. Once I only had half the cocoa so added some strong coffee to amp up the chocolatiness. I didn’t have enough dates last time and made up the difference with pureed prunes, raisins and apricots instead of resorting to sugar… still delicious. Where there’s a will there’s a way!

Xena7 months ago
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Swap out the black beans for adzuki beans and they turn out even better! Same texture but the adzuki are a sweeter, less beany tasting bean 😀 yum

MSc3 months ago
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I made my beans from scratch and cooked them with some dates. Made them nice and sweet, perfect for this recipe A tip for those who can’t find adzuki beans.

Janet Nagy Hanley7 months ago
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Wow! These are irresistible brownies!All the family raves about them!!! I baked them in mini muffin silicone pan and I plant a walnut on top or a pecan. Bake on 350 for 18 minutes.
These are a must have dessert at any party. They are so cute on a fact tray!

Kimberly7 months ago
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These didn’t taste like brownies at all and were very dense. The batter tasted okay but once they were cooked I didn’t even want to eat one. 2 stars because my husband liked them.

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Chef AJ

Chef AJ has been devoted to a plant-exclusive diet for over 44 years. She is the host of the television series Healthy Living with CHEF AJ airing on Foody TV. A chef, culinary instructor, and professional speaker, she is author of Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight and the best-selling books The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss:  A Revolutionary Approach to Conquer Cravings, Overcome Food Addiction and Lose Weight Without Going Hungry and Own Your Health. Chef AJ was the executive pastry chef at Santé Restaurant in Los Angeles where she was famous for her sugar-, oil-, salt- and gluten-free desserts.  These recipes can be found in her upcoming book A Date With Dessert. She is the host of YouTube show Chef AJ Live, which broadcasts live daily. She is proud to say that her IQ is higher than her cholesterol.  In 2018 she was inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame.

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