Black Bean Brownies with Dates (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

Are you looking for allergy-friendly brownies that are easy to grab-and-go or perfect for a holiday party? Well, you’re in luck! These brownies are made with black beans (instead of any wheat or nut flour) and free of gluten, grains, dairy, nuts, and refined sugar (these guys are sweetened with dates and no added sugar!). This recipe also conveniently works with a muffin pan/cupcake pan so you can make perfectly-portioned brownies without the hassle of trying to cut them into even squares, making them super easy for sharing! And, you can easily double the recipe (or triple!) to make multiples of 12 brownies.

These brownies are made with clean ingredients so you can feel good about making a nutritious treat that won’t leave you craving sugar nor feeling deprived.

Date-sweetened gluten-free brownies in muffin pan
Gluten-free black bean brownies sweetened with dates
Gluten-free black bean brownies sweetened with dates

What are some nutritional benefits of this recipe?

  • Dates make a great natural sweetener and have been shown to improve bone and heart health due to their fiber, vitamin D, iodine, magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus content. Like prunes, dates can help relieve constipation (once again, due to their fiber content).

  • Black beans not only make a great flour substitute (perfect for a gluten- or grain-free diet), they also contain protein and fiber which helps with satiety that you likely wouldn’t get from a grain-based product. Black beans have been shown to decrease inflammation, prevent cancer and heart disease, manage diabetes, and promote a healthy weight. Black beans contain an array of vitamins and minerals, like folate, copper, manganese, thiamine, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron!

  • Cacao is best known for its rich antioxidant profile which positively impacts blood pressure, lipids, and inflammation. Other benefits include improved muscle and nerve function (hey, magnesium!), weight management, and mood enhancement (due to phenylethylamine and anandamide).

  • Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory and important for heart and skin health. Lignans are another component, best known for aiding in hormonal balance. Flaxseeds also contain a type of fiber than can help with both diarrhea and constipation.

  • Hemp hearts are rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which has been shown to improve PMS symptoms, ADHD, diabetes, blood pressure, heart health, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases (like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, eczema), and risk for cancer.

Recipe: Black Bean Brownies with Dates

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dates

  • 3/4-1 cup hot black coffee

  • 1-15 oz can black beans

  • 1/4 cup cacao powder

  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds

  • 1/4 cup ground hemp hearts

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil

  • 1/3-1/2 cup chocolate chips

  • Coconut or avocado oil spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Add dates to a 2-cup measuring cup or bowl and add just enough coffee to cover the dates.

  3. Drain and rinse black beans in a strainer or colander until water runs clear. Allow water to continue draining while mixing dry ingredients.

  4. Add cacao powder, flaxseeds, hemp hearts, and baking soda to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

  5. Add black beans, eggs, vanilla, and melted coconut oil to a blender or food processor and blend for 30-60 seconds or until smooth.

  6. Add soaked dates and coffee to blender and blend for another 30-60 seconds or until smooth.

  7. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until well combined.

  8. Stir in chocolate chips, ensuring they are evenly dispersed.

  9. Spray a regular-sized muffin tin with oil spray.

  10. Scoop batter into muffin tin, filling about 3/4 full (around 1/3 cup in each muffin).

  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean and the tops should be soft but firm.

  12. Let the brownies cool in the muffin tin for 20-30 minutes, then remove and store in an airtight container - at room temperature for 2 days or in the fridge for 5 days.

Details

  • Prep time: 15 mins

  • Cook time: 30 mins

  • Total time: 45 mins

Notes

  • Hot water or milk of your choice can be used in place of coffee.

  • Avocado oil (or any bland oil) can be used in place of coconut oil.

  • Cocoa powder can be used in place of cacao.

  • Enjoy Life brand has many dairy-free products - I used their chocolate chips but any brand that fits your dietary needs will work!

  • There are many varieties of dates - Medjool dates are known for their caramel-like taste (yum!), but any will work!

Print Recipe
Black Bean Brownies with Dates

Yield: 12 brownies

Ingredients
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 3/4-1 cup hot black coffee
  • 1-15 oz can black beans
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup ground hemp hearts
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3-1/2 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Add dates to a 2-cup measuring cup or bowl and add just enough coffee to cover the dates.
  3. Drain and rinse black beans in a strainer or collander until water runs clear. Allow water to continue draining while mixing dry ingredients.
  4. Add cacao powder, flaxseeds, hemp hearts, and baking soda to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  5. Add black beans, eggs, vanilla, and melted coconut oil to a blender or food processor and blend for 30-60 seconds or until smooth.
  6. Add soaked dates and coffee to blender and blend for another 30-60 seconds or until smooth.
  7. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until well combined.
  8. Stir in chocolate chips, ensuring they are evenly dispersed.
  9. Spray a regular-sized muffin tin with oil spray.
  10. Scoop batter into muffin tin, filling about 3/4 full (around 1/3 cup in each muffin).
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean and the tops should be soft but firm.
  12. Let the brownies cool in the muffin tin for 20-30 minutes, then remove and store in an airtight container - at room temperature for 2 days or in the fridge for 5 days.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time:
Notes
  • Hot water or milk of your choice can be used in place of coffee.
  • Avocado oil (or any bland oil) can be used in place of coconut oil.
  • Cocoa powder can be used in place of cacao.
  • Enjoy Life brand has many dairy-free products - I used their chocolate chips but any brand that fits your dietary needs will work!
  • There are many varieties of dates - Medjool dates are known for their caramel-like taste (yum!), but any will work!
Collette SinnottComment