Try Adding This To Your Brownie Mix

July 2, 2012   40 Comments

I bet you are wondering what “this” is - and it is a natural ingredient from a plant. Not the plant most of you are thinking of because this is a family website.

Black Bean Brownie Recipe

I am talking about black beans!! I posted this recipe back in 2010, and the feedback has been great. Here is one comment from PattiR:

If you haven't tried this recipe - drop what you're doing....go the store, buy the two ingredients and rush home. IT'S DELISH!

I've made this several times and no one has guessed that there are BB in it. I've found if i undercook them just a little bit, it's more dense which is how I like my brownies. A-W-E-S-O-M-E-N-E-S-S!!!

Why would you add black beans instead of oil and an egg?

First, let's look at calories. For 1/3 cup canola oil and one egg (which is what you add to my favorite brownie mix) you are looking at 705 calories vs. 315 for the can of black beans. But the comparison shouldn't stop there, because the black beans have ZERO saturated fat - while the egg and oil combination has 6.7 grams (for the entire brownie mix).

Also, with black beans you will be adding fiber. Black beans have 24% of your daily value of fiber in 1/2 cup.

How does it taste? It is kinda amazing because I didn't tell people about the beans and they loved the brownies. Why? The mix alone has sugar, chocolate, and chocolate chips! My favorite mix is Ghirardelli Chocolate - Double Chocolate Brownie Mix. How could you mess it up? Honestly, you can't taste the beans.

My brownies turned out a bit more like cake than I like. I like really chewy brownies. PattiR tried undercooking them and I have heard that it works. Even with the addition of black beans, this is still a treat so be careful of your serving size.

I have heard that adding a can of pumpkin is another way to have delicious brownies with fewer calories.

I am reposting this recipe because so many have asked for nutrition information and Points+ values.

Have any of you tried altering brownie mixes? What have you found?


Healthier Brownies Recipe

(no reviews yet)

(Makes 16 brownies)

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1 15.5 ounce can black beans
1 package brownie mix (20 ounces)


Blend UNDRAINED black beans in food processor or blender until smooth. Mix in with brownie mix and bake following package directions. Try under baking them for a chewier brownie.

For the nutrition calculation, I used Ghiradelli Ultimate Fudge Brownie mix as my sample mix. I believe it is representative of these mixes.

Nutrition Facts

One brownie is 154 calories, 4.2 g fat, 30 g carbohydrates, 17 g sugar, 2.5 g protein, 2.3 g fiber, 103 mg sodium, 4 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 40 )

Has anyone tried replacing butter/oil in a regular brownie recipe with black beans?

on July 2, 2012

Great idea!! I've seen a lot of black bean brownie recipes, but never in a pre-packaged brownie mix! Love it!

on July 2, 2012

Yes. Hungry Girl does that all the time.I have heard of this idea too, I just haven't tried any substitutions yet.

You can use: Greek Yogurt

Black Beans,


Canned or Fresh Pure Pumpkin

or a can of Cream soda.

on July 2, 2012

So, if I'm making them from scratch I just leave out the eggs & oil & replace with the same amount of any of the listed substitutions? I always have Greek yogurt in the house. Will that replace both eggs & oil?

on July 2, 2012

Instead of using the beans and the 'juice' from the can, I rinsed them. Then put the beans back in the can and filled it with water. Turned out great.

on July 2, 2012

Forget about the beans! I want to know more about that brownie pan!!!!

on July 2, 2012

@Mark - the brownie pan is really cool - I wrote about it in my first post about the brownies - they just pop out the perfect size - see:…

on July 2, 2012

I like using pumpkin the best as a substitute for oil & eggs or butter when it comes to cake & brownies. It tends to give them a chewier texture along with slightly undercooking them. I use the Vitatop brownie or muffin mix. The best part is you can lick the batter or eat it it straight up without risk of getting sick. I like to make the batter and slightly warm it to where it's still gooey like a pudding consistancy. You can also freeze the batter slightly for a cold treat.

on July 2, 2012

How do you determine how much pumpkin to use?

on July 2, 2012

My daughter's Brownie troop made these when they were camping because some of the girls and their leader are vegan. My daughter (who is a picky eater) came home raving about them and how black beans taste like chocolate. She has been begging me to make them. I will definitely try them. Thanks for putting the nutritional value (calorie count) on there b/c I am counting calories but always allow some extra for sweet treats.

on July 2, 2012

My friend made these -- DELICIOUS!

on July 2, 2012

I have noticed that black beans are typically high in sodium, especially if you don't drain them. Wouldn't using them be bad for you? Love the idea behind this recipe but really need to watch my sodium intake - reason for the question. Thanks!

on July 2, 2012

Have you tried Happy Herbivore black bean brownies? They are healthy and *totally* yummy! To me they taste more like chocolate banana bread than brownies, but they are so, so good and guilt free.

on July 2, 2012

These taste great! I rinse the beans & then put them back in the can & add fresh water to the top. That removes most of the sodium from the beans. Brownies made this way are very rich & no one will guess how they are made unless you tell them!

on July 2, 2012

Love Nordic Ware! What a great idea using a scone pan for brownies.

on July 2, 2012

I don't generally use a brownie mix since I have an awesome and easy "from scratch" recipe. If you know of a way to alter it, I would definitely try it because 2 sticks of butter is a heck of a lot of fat! Recipe is below.

Melt 2 sticks of butter and 4 oz unsweetened chocolate ("Baker's" chocolate") in a pot on the stove. When melted, remove from burner and mix in 4 eggs, one at a time with a wooden spoon or wisk (a fork doesn't work - it gets all weird). Mix in 1 tsp vanilla, a pinch of salt, 2 c sugar, and 1 c flour. Bake at 350 for ____ min. Rats, I can't remember off the top of my head how long you bake it for. This is very similar to the brownie recipe in Joy of Cooking, so you can cook it for as long as they say in there.

These are REALLY fudgy brownies, but are defintely not even remotely good for you (well, there is chocolate in them, but that's about it). If you can magic these up and make them more healthy, you would totally be my hero Lisa. because they are the BEST BROWNIES EVER.

on July 2, 2012

If you're using pumpkin for the average brownie mix and Vitatop mix.I use an entire 15.5-16 oz can and that's it,nothing else

on July 2, 2012

For a low fat banana bread/muffin recipe, I substitute oil with one container of unsweetened apple sauce which is about 1/3 of a cup. A way to cut down on sugar, is putting more nutmeg or cinnamon into the mixture and just adding a bit of sugar. But I'll definitely use black beans for brownies...

on July 2, 2012

This sounds very interesting I may have to give it a try. This weekend I made brownies but I bought a mix from Trader Joe's and all it needed was vanilla greek yogurt, nothing else. OMG!! They turned out delicious not cake like at all very chewy and a lot less calories than using eggs and oil.

on July 2, 2012

Thanks Brandy, I'm going to give this a try today.

on July 2, 2012

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