Outrageously Healthy Black Bean Brownies

The next time you’re craving rich, chewy, densely chocolaty goodness, make a batch of these black bean brownies. 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

By Chef AJ,


  • 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)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper (or use a silicone cake pan).
  • 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.
  • 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 (228)

(5 from 101 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Carrie Smith

These were wonderful— even my children gobbled them down! I used about 3/4 cup date syrup and ran out, so used maple syrup for the rest. Next time I think 3/4 cup would be enough.


I am going to try this with a mix of carob powder and Dandy Blend. If you haven't tried Dandy Blend, you are missing out!


Is 1 cup date syrup aboit 300 grams? That looks insane to me.

Lisa, Forks Over Knives Support

Hi Niels, Yes, the recipe calls for 1 cup of date syrup.


My favorite brownies! One time I didn't have date syrup so I substituted 1/2 agave nectar and 1/2 pomegranate syrup. Totally different but also amazing flavor!

Carolina in the morning

Everything was great but they were very crumbly. Even my husband enjoyed them which surprised me! Taste is wonderful.


Hi Ange, try this recipe with carob powder. Many people use it in place of cocoa. Not sure if carob beans have been tested for heavy metals but it does have other health benefits.


Do you use oat flour or just dump in roll oats???

Lisa, Forks Over Knives Support

Hi Cindy, the rolled oats get added as they are. Their bulkiness adds a nice texture.


Moderator - Please publish this Comment this time. People have the right to know what they're eating (truth in labelling). Otherwise, you're "one of them," complicit with the corruption that has rendered this world into its current state, and it's worsening shockingly fast. Feel free to remove this note, but post the comment. Everyone wants a "better world," but they don't want to do and be what that requires. Et tu, Brutus?? _______ These look amazing however, the "outrageously healthy" part is misleading... literally and figuratively. Cocoa powder especially, as well as all chocolate, has tested out as containing high levels of heavy metals. This should be something *everyone* is made aware of, since they bio-accumulate in the body. The metals grow into the beans from the soil, so separation isn't possible. You are eating this and giving it to your children, and supporting companies with dangerous products. There is an excellent article, as well as a Table for entering in chocolate products and seeing how they tested out, on Asyousow.org called Toxic Chocolate. Neflix’s ‘Rotten: Bitter Chocolate shows the truth about chocolate sourcing. I first noticed the topic due to Trader Joe's chocolate lawsuit (Google it, and the Consumer Reports articles on chocolate). Caveat Emptor.


These look amazing however, the "outrageously healthy" part is misleading... literally and figuratively. Chocolate powder especially, as well as all chocolate, has tested out as containing high levels of heavy metals. This should be something everyone is made aware of, as they bio-accumulate in the body. The metals grow into the beans from the soil, so separation isn't possible. There is an excellent article, as well as a Table for entering in chocolate products and seeing how they tested out, on Asyousow.org called Toxic Chocolate. This is why you see companies trying to hide Prop 65 warnings on their products, on Amazon pages, on their websites - disclosure is required when they exceed max levels. You are actually not only eating & serving these elements to your family, you are supporting companies that sell such products. Cocoa powder has the highest levels; I dumped all mine and eliminated all but the smallest bit of occasional, tested-out chocolate. Forks over Knives should include Voting with Your Money as a lifestyle across the board on all products. Watch Rotten: Bitter Chocolate for the truth on chocolate sourcing. I first noticed the topic due to Trader Joe's chocolate lawsuit (Google it). I emptied my pantry of all chocolate products the next day! You can't assume anymore. Most everything is contaminated nowadays in some way. We need to know about our ingredients and support the companies who are honorable and operate with integrity. Black beans are great, but they won't protect you against the leaded/loaded chocolate. There is an orange cake made with only whole oranges and almond flour; it's amazing. Treats are possible, but chocolate is an industry that does terrible harm and almost nobody knows it; they hide that info. Consumer Reports also has an article (Google them with "high heavy metals"). If you cook with or eat chocolate (who eats 1 ounce of chocolate, lol), at least be aware of what you are eating & giving to your family as a "treat." Caveat Emptor.


California's "Prop 65" rules are not only unscientific, but they spread neurotic fears and false narratives, consequently directing producers and consumers away from healthy foods and towards GMOs and all sorts of nasty processed and dirty agribusiness. I'll have my chocolate and I'll still be healthy.


Yummy but crumbly. I want something that holds together a but better. What could I add?


Rich and satisfying my sweet tooth. What a great healthy alternative. I love that there aren't any eggs.


I've made several healthy-ish brownies from scratch, and these are the best! Nobody would know they're not conventional - they taste totally indulgent.

Deborah Boller

Hi! And OMG these look so delicious!! I'm wondering if you can substitute something for the date syrup, if you don't have dates or syrup handy and you just have to have some of these???


Date paste is just equal parts water dates and boil down.

Rebecca Burgess

Do you have nutrition values for this brownie recipe? Ex: carbs?

Forks Over Knives

Hi Rebecca, We are currently working on adding nutritional information to all our recipes and anticipate for this feature to be live on the website within the next few months. Please stay tuned for updates!

Cynthia Eklund

Love this so much! I make it every week. I used the 6 oz bottle of Trader Joes date syrup and it was plenty sweet. But just tonight I learned that Trader Joes discontinued their date syrup. I then went to 3 other stores and was shocked by all the higher prices. (One store was asking $9/bottle.) To keep my brownies affordable, it looks like I must either make my own syrup OR find a different healthy sweetener. Would maple syrup work? And if so, is it more or less sweet than date syrup?


Oh, and 2 T ground flax with the 4 T. water too!


I cut the date paste to 1/3 cup, unsweetened cocoa to 1/4 cup, rolled oats to 1/2 cup. Added 1/2 ripe banana, 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk and 1 small container of unsweetened apple sauce. Oh, and 2 cups cooked black beans instead. Otherwise keep the same ingredients. This is plenty sweet enough and tasty for me - also, alot less calories (even though I don't count)!


Natalie, did you add chocolate chips too?


I think this is a great recipe for a sweet treat that seems pretty nutritious really. I did a little change, though. I had made adzuki beans which is the traditional red bean paste in mochi and other Asian foods. They had been sweetened just a bit already with date syrup but not by much. I used those ~ 16.5 ozs because that's what was in my jar partially smashed. I also used maybe 3/4 cup of date syrup because that's what I had left in my bottle. (FYI I get good deals on date syrup at Home Goods stores pretty often). I pulverized my oatmeal and I used slightly less than 1/2 cup of cacao powder because that's all I had. I added some cacao nibs in the batter and decorated the top with cocoa dusted walnuts and dark chocolate pieces. It baked up in under 30 mintues. Tasted great but certainly the flavor of the beans and date syrup stood out making this more a dessert cake and not necessarily a brownie IMO. My husband thought it was great - I never told him what was in it. He thought it was simply a brownie.

Janet Nagy Hanley

This is my family’s favorite brownie! I make them in a mini cupcake pan and plant a walnut on top of each. They are festive and yummy. For kids birthdays I put a candle on top.


I don't think I can make these again - I can't stop eating them! I substituted the date syrup for apple puree and the cocoa powder with carob powder. Was still good. I've ordered some carob syrup and next time I make them I will use that for the date syrup. I will just need to make sure someone else is around so I don't eat all of them.


For those of you who are using date paste (soaked dates blended to a paste), what kind of dates are you using? I don't remember if the recipe specifies, but the type makes a difference. Medjool dates are not dried and are sweeter than deglet dates which are dried. Ignore my comment if the date type is specified.


Liz, I am pretty sure these are in reference to Medjool Dates specifically. I have made date syrups before, and they the syrup always turn out really good when done with Medjool Dates.


The flavour of these brownies is outstanding but the texture is kinda mealy what with the oatmeal and the beans. Next time I’ll try to blend them in my vitamix. The date syrup really adds to the flavour but it’s very expensive, I’ll try to make some but it sounds like a sticky, messy process.


It's easy to make and I don't think you need a cup. I use 4 large medjool dates, pitted, chopped pour a little boiling water over not even enough to cover the dates. Let them sit for a minute, mash with a fork. Add a little more water to give a 'slightly' runny texture. Mash again. I use that in my chocolate brownie banana bread and it's great.


I am using carob syrup as I don't have any date syrup at the moment.


How did it turn out with the carob syrup? Did you use one cup? I'm intending to try these with carob syrup substitute. Thanks. I'd actually like to use less than 1 cup, because I think it will be too sweet for me. But I'm not sure how that would go.


Followed recipe exactly. My brownies were too liquid. Baked another 5 minutes, little improvement.

Debbie Lindsey

I can't wait to try these, but i don't see anywhere what kind of pan to bake them in...a square 9 x 9? A 13 x 9? Somebody please let me know so I won't mess it up!! (LOL)

Janet Nagy Hanley

Hi, I bake these in mini silicon cupcake form. I omit the chocolate chips. I plant a walnut or a pecan on top of each one. Bake at 350F for 18 minutes. They are so cute and everyone likes them. You may also use a 9” square or round. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.


Line an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan


Absolutely delicious!! Thank you so much. So easy to make. I put mine in the air fryer on bake for 20 minutes


I made these for a ladies get together. They came out beautiful and my friends were eager to give them a try. I really like them but the other ladies said they weren't sweet enough. I used the full amount of date syrup from the Date Lady. I saw many comments saying that the brownies were too sweet so I was surprised that they weren't. I thought they were just right but for non PB eaters it wasn't. If I make them again for another get together I will add more syrup or add a couple of dates to the bean mixture.

Chelsea Boston

I personally love your site;Me & my Mom made this recipe,the brownies were fudey and delisous!!!


WOW! Made these yesterday and I was licking the bowl like I was a child. These brownies are fantastic and will be making them again....


Isn’t licking the bowl just about the best part? :-)


Outrageously Healthy Brownies recipe


Has anyone ever doubled this recipe? If so how long would you cook them if they baked all in same glass pan with parchment paper? Thanks Janet


I always double recipe. I bake them in a cake pan and cook them for the stated time (35 mins).

Jane MacArthur

Amazing!!! So good even non PB peeps like.


Excellent brownies! I had no pistachios so I subbed with raw walnuts otherwise I followed it exactly. Delicious! They look like any yummy brownie you would make. It will be nice to enjoy these guilt free brownies as an occasional treat! Go Chef AJ!


After reading other reviews, I also ground my oats into flour first, reduced the date syrup to 3/4C, and added 1/2C plant milk. Because there are no eggs or wheat flour in this recipe, you can always taste the batter and adjust the sweetness before baking. When serving at a dinner party, I drizzled with the chocolate sauce from Frozen Grapes With Chocolate Sauce recipe (Also delicious BTW)

Elizabeth C

I've fixed this recipe numerous times and served it to both plant-based and non-plant based eaters. Everyone has raved about them, and I don't tell the latter group what's in the brownies. Good topped with date syrup or strawberry-pineapple preserves, too. I put the pistachios in the batter.

James Leibensperger

We could make these Carob brownies, and use Carob powder instead of cocoa powder! I remember when carob was used in a lot of Vegan cooking! Let's give it a try! This is an awesome recipe , because the black beans add that extra boost of protein, and fiber! Thanks


This turned out rally nice, even my grandchildren loved. I subbed the date syrup with 1 cup of dates soaked in some soy milk


Made this with hesitancy but WOW...so surprisingly good!!!!


Me too... I was like.. I don't know, I don't know.. while I was making it and then I was like WOW. So easy, so good, so healthy!!! It's a winner.


I happen to have unsweetened cacao powder on hand instead of cocoa powder. Can I substitute with cacao powder?


Cacao works well, too.


does this recipe freeze well?



Isabelle Payne

Delicious! I used cannellini beans as I didn't have black beans. Added some maple syrup as didn't have enough date syrup and crushed hazelnuts to the top as I didn't have pistachios! Very popular with the whole family! Will definitely have to make them again.


Looks yummy


These are ridiculously good!!! And healthy!’

Pamela Flores

I needed a good review from another Pamela, now I will definitely make these! Thank you Pamela!


What is the nutritional breakdown? Specifically the carbs and sugar.

Susan Wright

we love them and I am going to make them before Thanksgiving so we can have Dr Joel Furnham's pumkinpie because we love that too


Absolutely delicious! I've made these several times and they are always a hit. Question:. Can I freeze them?


You sure can !

Diane Hart

I have learned that it’s really important not to overcook the brownies. If you do they will come out dry. They may not seem quite done when the time is up but they will set once they have cooled. Baking too long will definitely make them dry. Depending on where you live and the relative elevation and humidity, you will have to experiment with this. When they are good, they are very very good!

Marian Blum

Thanks for the tip, Diane!


Aloha, I read through all the comments and picked and chose what I wanted to add to my first try at these little beauties. I opted for a little vanilla, oatmeal flour and chopped pecans. A little extra water at the end. My brownies turned out perfect! Can’t wait to make more for my Halloween get together. No one will ever know the better nor guess there are black beans in dem brownies- ha! Dey are da bomb! Mahalo for such an amazing recipe.


Ok if they’re da bomb, I definitely will try making them. Mahalo

Jan R

Oooey Goooey and gooood! So rich and satisfying with nothing in them that spikes allergies for me like nut butters. I left off the pistachios because I’m allergic to nuts but sprinkled a few chocolate chips on top. So good. Will make these again for sure!

Diane Lynch



The first time I made these, I disliked the texture of the bits of oat that were left when following the order of the recipe as written. I made them again, processing the oats into a flour first, then proceeded. Much smoother. I also decreased the date syrup to 2/3 cup and replaced the remainder with plant milk - still plenty sweet. Yum!


Did you use quick oats or old fashioned the first time?


Love this recipe and made it multiple times. I have made adjustments based on my taste. Too sweet so I use half cup of date syrup and half cup of unsweetened applesauce. Everything else the same.


I used sugar free maple syrup...less sweet and came out really good.


ah! That's a good idea! - applesauce. I might try that as I'm sure with 1 cup of date syrup it would be too sweet for me. Thanks!

Anne Marie Tate

I make these brownies all of the time. A family favourite. Can you please tell me the fat in each serving.


If you use the chocolate chips & pistachios, then you can look on the label to see how much fat is in the amount you use (same with oats). If you omit the chocolate chips and pistachios, then the only fat is in the oats & that can also be found on the label.

Darlene Loves

You can always use My Fitness Pal and upload the recipe and it will tell you the nutritional break down.


I followed the directions to a T. No substitutions. My brownies came out dry and not sweet at all. Not sure how others say they turn out sweet and gooey?? I have read other reviews about using maple syrup instead of date syrup for the sweetness. Following the reviewers that used blended dates instead of date syrup should help the moisture level, but I was also thinking of adding applesauce for moisture... Anyone try this? Maybe I should have left some liquid with the beans after rinsing them?

Stephanie Cavallaro

Mine also turned out like yours. I was very disappointed and my husband thought the same thing. Other recipes are better. Easy? Yes. Delicious? Not so much.


I used Date Lady date syrup and they turned out WAY too sweet even though I increased the cocoa powder to 3/4 cup. I may try them again, but would definitely cut the date syrup in half and just add water.


First time making these and they came out gooey and delicious! Thank you for this recipe! Definitely will become a regular treat in my house!


And because it was too sweet in your own opinion then it’s only 3 stars? Maybe wait and Adjust to your own preference and give it 5 stars?


Carb count/nutritional info on all your recipes would be really helpful for type 1 diabetics.

Megan Edwards

Hi Grace! We have chosen not to include nutritional information for our recipes as we would not encourage nutrient tallying and calorie counting, which we believe can create more problems than they solve. The general guideline to follow is that, with a whole-food, plant-based diet, you can eat until comfortably satiated. The higher water and fiber content of whole plant-based foods allows our bodies to more accurately gauge how much food we need to eat. Whole plant foods contain all the essential nutrients (with the exception of Vitamin B12), and in proportions that are more consistent with human needs than animal-based or processed foods. However, we do understand that certain medical conditions do require knowing specific nutrient information, so for those instances we recommend entering our recipes into online nutritional software: www.cronometer.com. If you have a health issue or have concerns, be sure to consult a physician.


If you have MyFitness Pal and upload the recipe to "recipes," it will calculate info for you.


You can easily figure up all the nutrient content yourself with simple math and label reading. FOK leaves it out on purpose, but it’s not rocket science.


I am making these now. Idk why, however, I cannot stomach dates. So I will be using maple syrup,


Absolutely DELISH! Defi improved with vanilla flavouring and I add some pre-soaked sultanas


I might give these a try. But date syrup is expensive so I would sub with pure maple syrup and use half a cup to 3/4 of a cup max.

Stacey Heiny

I highly suggest just making your own date syrup with equal parts dates and water in your blender until smooth. :-)

Bob Sacamano

10/10 on first attempt, double batch. Will def make again. I ground up the rolled oats (ROLLED OATS == OLD FASHIONED OATS) in the food processor separately before combining other ingredients. Only had 3/4 cup of date syrup (out of the 2 cups total needed), so made up the difference with pure maple syrup. Added 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract for fun based on comments here.


I made these with homemade date paste the first time and did not love them. The second time I also used homemade date paste but added a banana, soymilk, oat flour instead of rolled oats, and a bit of peanut butter. They were definitely better. I think I might try them again but next time add maybe another banana, a bit more flour, maybe a flax egg, and bake them a bit longer.


Why is this recipe not on the actual site?


Delicious! I used 1 cup of dates pureed. I added, I banana, 1/3 cup of peanut butter and about 1/4 cup of soy milk. Also 1 cup instead of 3/4 cup oats. I love all of the comments. Next time will add coffee and vinegar. I like that with chocolate brownies.


Thank you for the great suggestion for how to substitute dates for date syrup. This is very helpful!


I made these without any sweetener. Then plated a slice and lightly sprinkled with turbinado sugar. That was a lot less sugar, not sure what the FOK docs would think...

Randy Weisbin

Is there a table on this site for amounts to switch sweeteners? Like how much stevia to maple syrup to date syrup, etc? I’m thinking of doing half Truvia and half maple syrup. I have to cut back on sugars. Too lazy to make date syrup. Or is there a better bean brownie recipe for me? Thanks.


Trader Joe’s now sells pure date syrup…reasonable and tastes delish! Nothing but dates….


Yummy and filling!

Robin Roth

I loved these, soft fudgy, chocolaty, delicious. I did read through the reviews and make some minor changes and additions, used oat flour, added vanilla and Tahini. Will definitely make these again. Mindblown they are made with black beans but taste like a brownie. I am going to try adding coffee in the next batch. Recently started following The Meditteranean way of eating and came across balck bean brownies, did a little research and found this recipe. This gets 5 stars for me!

Ellie Fournier

Wondering if you'd mind elaborating on some of the additional ingredients you incorporated? I'm especially interested in how much tahini you added. Also, did you use 3/4 c. oat flour (same amount as recipe called for using rolled oats)? Or did you modify the amount of oat flour? Any tips or cautions? Thanks so much for your feedback!


I halved the recipe and baked in an 8” loaf pan but I made a mistake and used the entire can of beans and they still turned out fine and less sweet than if I had used half a can. I also used 1/3 cup of oat flour instead of the rolled oats and I added 1 tsp of vanilla and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. I mixed in chopped walnuts and topped with whole walnuts. The first time I tried them I really missed the buttery flavor of regular brownies and the lack of fat reminded me of Snackwells cookies from the 90s lol, but in subsequent days I got used to the taste and they satisfied my dessert cravings. Next time I want to use a high end cocoa such as Valrhona and Adzuki beans as someone suggested, and perhaps add a little tahini for fat and top with a few salt flakes…


These brownies are so fudgy delish! Even my meat eating friends love them and have no idea how they are made ; )

Chuck Hudgins

Best brownies I have ever eaten. Fooled our grandkids


I made these today and they were pretty good, but they need a little salt. I used maple syrup instead of date syrup because that's what I had. I agree with someone else who said they would use oat flour instead of rolled oats next time to create a smoother texture.


I made these but your recipe for date syrup is all wrong. It makes date paste not syrup. I added some water and maple syrup to thin it down. They turned out fudgey and very good.


Fabulous! These tasted just like conventional brownies, great texture too. I added: -1/2 tsp vanilla -1 tsp. instant espresso powder (to enhance the chocolate flavor). -1 tablespoon ground flax seeds -1 tsp white vinegar (a necessary acid to give the baking soda a quick lift). I topped the brownies with walnuts & vegan chocolate chips.


I'm curious about what the flax seeds add to the brownies?

Corissa Turner

Awesome. Excellent consistency. A delicious chocolate delivery system that doesn't make me sugar crazy. I'm a little bit lazy so I use a combination of whole dates and maple syrup. And i add a splash of soymilk.


Yum! I just made them and had to convince myself to save more for tomorrow! I added 1 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract, which was the BOMB. Next time, though, I would sub with oat flour or another ground up grain, because the rolled oats made the texture rather gritty.


Delicious!! Even my non vegan family members love them and ask for again and again. Have always made them exactly as the recipe except without any nuts. Just know that if you use date paste instead of date syrup they will turn out different. Not bad, just different than the original recipe.

Tobin Larson

I’ll be making these next weekend for Valentines Day to share with my beautiful wife. I know I am supposed to make them because date syrup was the only thing I don’t have close at hand and when I went to Trader Joe’s yesterday on the “new products” shelves was Trader Joe’s Date Syrup! I’ll send a review after we’ve tried them next week.


I just made it and it is delicious. I used 3/4 cup of maple syrup instead of date syrup and it was sweet!


Holy cow! These are AMAZING! So moist and rich! I just cannot get over the fact that the main ingredient is black beans! I felt no guilt any time I wanted one - I will be making these regularly (probably too regularly ;)). Thank you!

Debbie Hogan

Wish I could post a picture, nobody knew the difference.


I followed the instructions and made date syrup and then, step by step, I followed the recipe. The results are brownies that are very dry and in need of sweetening. So disappointed.

Debbie Hogan

Mine extremely sweet, it’s 1 full cup of date syrup. Check your bottle.


I would delete my one star review if I could and rewrite because I realize it is actually a very good recipe once taste buds and expectations for a "sweet" are adjusted. I didn't have date syrup and made my own (which was a bit of a chore) so that's where I got lost and why the brownies were not at all sweet. Looking forward to making these again when I've bought date syrup.


I think you will enjoy them much better with date syrup. The homemade version was of date syrup is really date paste with water added. It’s just not the same.

Lisa Ham

These ARE delicious! I used a cup of date paste instead so they weren't overly sweet but they still gave off a true brownie impression. The texture was nice, it held together easily but didn't feel heavy. I don't like things too chocolatey so I thought the half cup cocoa was perfect. I did add a spoonful of vanilla and instead of chocolate chips on top, a teaspoon of powdered sugar covered the whole pan and fooled your tastebuds into thinking the brownies were far sweeter than they really were. My husband says to spread rasberry jam on one and make a brownie sandwich but I leave that idea up to you!


Just made these today. They are amazing!!

Kris Errecart

I asked my 8 and 9 year old grandkids to taste test, letting them know that they were healthy enough to have for breakfast. They both asked for seconds and gave 5/5 stars. Delicious. I did make my own date syrup/paste. It was a bit thick. The brownies were soft and chewy.




Thanks for that detailed review....


Doesn’t anybody just make it according to the recipe? I want to know how the recipe turns out please.


I made it exactly how the recipe is written and they were delicious


I have — I love them as the recipe is written and so do those I’ve shared them with.


Yes, they are amazing as written! (I used jarred date syrup, fyi, rather than making my own).

Chuck Hudgins

Yes we filled the recipe to the letter I have been a meat eater all my life.I am one of those guys who. Loves bbq grew up in Tenn. We started this journey to WFPB just 2 months ago. I must admit. That I have not found anything in Forks over Knives that I have not liked. We have not eaten any red meat or chicken or meat at all in the last 2 months I have a freezer full of our farm raised chickens and another full of red meat. We have a organic hobbit sized farm We have raised our own garden for 35 years We are now looking at ways to grow even more fruit and veggies. I am a changed man We have watched the documentary. Plus just last night watched the 10 year anniversary of forks over knives we love this new lifestyle. I now want to open a food truck that is whole foods plant based.


Instead of date syrup, I soak 1 cup of dates in 1 cup of hot water for about 1 hour or longer. But all the other ingredients and amounts are good. This recipe is a winner


I made these and they didn't turn out very good. So I got online and went to Chef AJ's youtube to watch her making them and see what I did wrong. She calls for added ingredients in her recipe which are 1/2 cup of unsweetened plant milk; 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds and 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder. Those are in addition to the other ingredients listed in this recipe. I will try her recipe next and see if it makes a difference. I am wondering if anyone else has tried this.


No body will ever know this was made GF, SF, DF, and with BEANS. It is a straight up chocolate brownie that takes less time and is more tasty than traditional brownies.


OMG You have the audacity to give this recipe only 1 star WHEN YOU DIDN'T EVEN FOLLOW THE RECIPE! LOL


Easy to make and provides a nice dense chocolatey dessert that is even sneakily healthier than others. I don't drain the beans (sometimes partially) or add pistachios, and find it to turn out gooey and tasty especially when warm. (The first time was on accident, then I kept making them this way). Tried it with maple syrup when I was out of date syrup. It was spongier in texture and tasted OK, but I prefer date syrup. I've shared it with a few others and it's been a hit or miss pending individual preferences (if they do/don't like darker chocolate taste or prefer conventional brownies) but it's become a staple dessert to make.


date syrup? what is that

Laura Kelso

How did Shingo's unkind remark make it past Admin?

Matthew Ciuccio

What a game changer! Thank you for this recipe. I was a bit nervous if it didn't taste good, what with a CUP of date syrup, that is expensive. I made mine with carob also so there was no caffeine from cocoa, and well, it was FANTASTIC. Yum Yum.

Lisa Reyes

What the purpose of the oats? Are they used as a binder? Can homemade almond meal or chopped walnuts be used instead?


The MB comment below replaced the oats with ground almonds and it worked well.


Yummy! Made this by using 1/4 cup of date syrup and 1/4 cup of maple syrup. I added walnuts too.


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.

Gale Roanoake

Cynthia, try replacing oats with rolled spelt.

Tonya Skelly

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!


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!


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.


Which diameter bake pan for that temperature and cooking time?


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.


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.


OMG You have the audacity to give this recipe only 1 star WHEN YOU DIDN'T EVEN FOLLOW THE RECIPE! LOL


Maybe you should have followed the recipe!


Dammit Catherine


Oh gosh my comment went to the wrong place... the comments for the 1 star are hilarious!!!!


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.


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


Thanks for your mods and rating. Sounds even better your way!


This is hilarious!!!!




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!


This was delicious!


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 Hannegan

Like the vanilla add idea!

Ryan Paddle

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.


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!


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 Reg

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 Davison

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.


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. ;)


Very good, vegan or not

Selma H.

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 Gabryszek

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!


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!!!!!!!


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.


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!


I also add the coffee, really amps up the chocolatey richness. I also sometimes add about a cup of baked sweet potato and/or some pureed prunes to amp up the moisture and nutrition. After reading through the comments, I'd like to add... anyone expecting a fluffy, fatty, brownie needs to look elsewhere. This is a dense, healthy fudge brownie, which for me is perfect on the rare occasions I want a sweet treat.

Kendra B

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

Tara Baker

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


Yum !!!!! Just made them and they are amazing!!!! Agree with previous comments, next time I will use oat flour, I think the texture will be better. And so easy to make , especially for someone like me who is really hopeless in baking !!!!


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


Deserts look delicious


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 Cabrera

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 Atkins

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


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


How much maple syrup did you use?


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.)


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.

Anna Chang

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.


I think the addition of a couple of tablespoons of espresso would be better - but coffee will do in a pinch!

Magic Brownies

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


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 :)


How much Erythitol did you use?


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.

Maria Schexnaider

They weren’t awesome as the recipe stated above?


Can coconut or almond flour be used instead of oats?

Steven, FOK Support

This recipe has not been tested with these options, though you may wish to give it a try! Our whole grain flour guide will hopefully provide some helpful guidance/ideas: https://www.forksoverknives.com/how-tos/types-whole-grain-flour-guide-whole-wheat-flours/

Ashu Thakur

If we don’t have canned black beans what alternative can be used ?


I was thinking I may try baked sweet potato or white beans


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


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!!!


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


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.

Kaye Smith

Sounds interesting but more fiber rich foods could have been added.


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!


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


How much monkfruit sweetener did you use?

Sandy LV

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.


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


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!


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 Wehbe

Look at reply above yours!:)


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.


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


How do I make date syrup

Mary Hickcox

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.


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!


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 :D yum


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 Hanley

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!


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.


Don't let the title scare you away if you have a sweet tooth like me! Super rich and yummy. It doesn't feel like I'm missing anything.


All the chocolate without the guilt! I couldn't resist licking the mixing spoon afterwards...

ian h.

SO good for any brownie cravings. Trader Joe's is my go-to store to find vegan chocolate chips!


Went with both the nuts and the chocolate.


A healthy yet deliciously rich brownie! Super easy to make and so moist.




So delicious!

Therese McMahan

These brownies are so good. This would be a good item to take to a potluck. No one would ever guess the base is black beans.

About the Author

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About the Author

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 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. She is the host of YouTube show Chef AJ Live. She is proud to say that her IQ is higher than her cholesterol. In 2018 she was inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.
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