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Guilt-free chocolate brownies

Tired of saying no to brownies as you attempt to make healthy choices? When you keep these guilt-free brownies on hand, you can finally treat yourself and feel great about the decision.

Black bean chocolate brownies

Black bean chocolate brownies

Recipe inspired by cHow Divine

Serving size 12

With ingredients like black beans, flaxseeds, applesauce and walnuts, you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in one of these delicious brownies come dessert time. They’re lightly sweetened with maple syrup, have no added oil and rely on dark chocolate chips rather than the less healthy milk chocolate variety. So dig in!

Find out more about how to make your desserts healthier >>


  • 1-1/2 cups black beans
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, divided, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Black bean chocolate brownies collage


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flaxseeds and water, and then chill the mixture in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  3. Place the black beans, ground flaxseeds and water mixture, applesauce and vanilla in a food processor, and blend until smooth.
  4. Add in the cocoa powder, maple syrup, 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips, baking powder and salt, and blend to combine.
  5. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and walnuts, but do not blend.
  6. Lightly grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan.
  7. Pour the mixture into the pan, and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of chocolate chips if desired.
  8. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is fairly firm to the touch.
  9. Let cool, and then transfer to the fridge to help solidify.
  10. Once completely chilled, cut into squares, and transfer the brownies into a resealable container, which can be stored in the fridge.

More healthy desserts

Healthy dessert: Nutty banana “ice cream”
Guilt-free truffles
Coconut and berry chia pudding

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