Black Bean Brownies with Coffee Coconut Caramel

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black bean brownies

Legumes have unfairly been restricted to the savory side of the kitchen. 

We have no issue taking wheat, grinding it up and using it everywhere from gravy to birthday cake. But hearing that there are beans in your dessert for some reason feels a bit weird. 

It shouldn’t! Lentils, black beans, chickpeas–the whole legume gang–aren’t inherently savory. Like wheat, they are pretty much a blank canvas, ready to take on whatever flavors you throw at them. And they just happen to be packed with fiber and protein, which aren’t typically characteristic of dessert, but they can be if you just get a little inventive (and keep an open mind). 

black bean brownies

Dessert is usually thought of as a guilty pleasure, something that has no connection to hunger or nourishment and only serves to appease a calling for something sweet and indulgent. But with just a few swaps you can really make dessert work for you.

Functional indulgence.

That’s what these black bean brownies are all about. 

black bean brownies

You can keep the brownies plain, or further convince them that they’re dessert by topping them with this coffee coconut caramel–more proof that “healthy” and “luscious” can be used to describe the same thing. 

Coconut cream gets boiled down with some coffee, coconut sugar, and salt until it thickens up into a drippable, drizzleable, sticky-sweet sauce. 

black bean brownies

Note: This recipe will leave you with extra caramel, that I’d highly recommend stirring into some hot chocolate the next day.

black bean brownies

The brownies get protein and fiber from the black beans, extra protein and healthy fats from the eggs, antioxidants from the raw cocao, and every other health benefit in the world from coconut oil.

This batch got topped with some cashews, Jackson Pollocked with some of that lusciously healthy caramel, and sprinkled with just a bit of extra sea salt.  

Which felt like a winning combination. 

black bean brownies

Healthy brownies that you can feel okay about eating for breakfast?

black bean brownies

They do exist!

Black bean brownies adapted from Whole Foods

*If beans give you digestive trouble, try soaking and sprouting them before you cook them. 

*This recipe was updated on 3/27/16 because after making the brownies a few times I wanted a more fudgy version, which is why one of the original 3 eggs was replaced with 2 tbs of avocado. 

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