Skip to main content

Allergy-friendly recipe: Black Bean Brownies

I admit, "black bean brownies" does not sound appetizing. Except for the "brownie" part when you ignore the "black bean" part. When you're working with as few ingredients as we are currently and you're a 3 year old girl that hasn't had anything resembling dessert in 10 months, you don't CARE what the brownies are made out of as long as they don't taste awful! (and they didn't)

My favorite part about this recipe (aside from how few ingredients it takes & that Raya isn't allergic to any of them) is how EASY it is. Since you're working with whole black beans, you have to use a blender to mix the batter. That means you throw everything in the blender so you only dirty the blender, a couple of measuring cups/spoons, a rubber spatula, and the pan you bake them in.
The batter might look a little scary but it smelled WONDERFUL and since it was something I was finally able to bake for Raya, it was the most beautiful batter ever.
{I ♥ my Vitamix!}

I had made some alternative-ish desserts before (like chocolate cake with beets in it and chocolate chip cookies with white beans in them) but had never made anything quite like these brownies so I didn't know how they would turn out. They smelled great in the oven!
While they didn't taste like or have the texture of a boxed brownie mix (who could expect them to though, right?!) they turned out great! They're extremely moist and don't have even a hint of bean flavor to them. I would imagine that if you ate too many, they would have the same effect as eating a lot of beans would have, if you catch my drift. They tasted good enough for me though, so I was pretty sure Raya would be happy with them too.

The reason I had hunted down a "Raya-safe" recipe was because we were having a birthday party for her big sister and I am so tired of handing her Smarties and expecting her to be happy with that and not wish she could eat the cake everybody else is eating. It's crappy. The smile on her face when I handed her a little purple plate with HER "brownie-cake" on it totally made my heart melt.
She LOVED sitting at the table with the other kids and eating her brownie while they ate their cake & ice cream and I loved seeing her so happy. (although I was a bit nervous watching the wheat-laden cake crumbs flying & crossed my fingers that she wouldn't accidentally eat any)
Unfortunately, she woke up with a stomachache later that night. We're not sure yet if it was because of the actual brownie or because she ate so late in the evening. (we usually don't let her eat solid food after about 5:30pm because it sits in her stomach for hours) Beans & legumes are not gastroparesis-friendly so we will limit her bean brownie intake to once in a great while and only early in the day. Last time she ate a little piece (at lunch time), it was coming out her stoma a little while later so yeah, stomach problems, but whatever. It made her happy. :)
Here's the recipe, which is adapted from this recipe:
  • 1 can of black beans (15.5 oz) drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 3 eggs (or equivalent amount of a safe egg substitute)
  • 3T vegetable oil (we used canola but could have also used coconut)
  • 1/4C cocoa powder (I used a generous 1/4 C, so probably 1/4C + 1-2 T)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C white sugar (I used slightly less)
  • 1tsp baking powder (if you're not able to use corn products, make sure it's a cornstarch-free baking powder)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Add black beans (drained & rinsed), eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and sugar to the blender pitcher and blend at high speed until well combined and smooth. (If using a Vitamix, blend for about 1 minute on high speed.)
  3. Pour batter into the baking dish and bake in preheated oven until the top of the brownies appears dry (about 30 minutes).
*Note: the baking powder was not in the original recipe but was added to give the brownies a little more of a cake-like texture, so it could be omitted if necessary
The other great thing about this recipe is that I was able to slide a fork under the edge of the brownies (because the pull away from the edges a little) and then lift the whole slab out of the pan. I wrapped it all in plastic wrap & put it in the fridge. It is VERY moist, so after being in the fridge for a while, it is even more fudgy now. I plan on cutting them into individual serving sizes and freezing them so we'll have treats for Raya when we need them.


  1. So this reminds me of a blog I used to follow, and where I got a recipie for choc. chip cookie dip using Maybe you've already found this, maybe it doesn't apply (yet), but anyway, good sounding/looking stuff. Honestly this blog is like my pintrest boards, something I look at but rarely try. But I want to!

  2. Even though I can no longer eat, I still enjoy baking...and it has to be free of my allergies by default since I cannot bake or cook with food I am allergic to. Thanks for the recipe! I can alter this and I have a group of discerning test subjects ;)


Post a Comment

All comments will require approval from blog owner prior to being published.

Popular Posts

Adhesives Part 1: Adhesives & Taping Techniques for NG tubes

This series has been a long time in the making. Back when Raya got her NG tube, I had no idea there were so many different adhesives on the market. At the hospital, they had used some kind of fabric tape in a box that had to be cut with scissors and that was the ONLY thing we accidentally left at the hospital. Raya caught her little pinky finger on the tube a couple days after we got home and the only medical tape I had ended up bringing home was Durapore. This tape is VERY sticky, very strong, and definitely not the best option for the tender little cheek of a 2 month old baby. A couple days later, we went to the GI doctor and the nurse saw the tape and told me that Duoderm would be much gentler on her skin and she gave me a couple of 6x6 sheets to try out.
That was the beginning of our trial-and-error process of figuring out which types of adhesives were better for all of the different things we used them for. This will of course NOT be an exhaustive review of every adhesive out the…

Sensory Processing Disorder: How to Make a Weighted Blanket

Lately I've been toying with the idea of making Raya a weighted blanket. She loves heavy things and has a lot of sensory seeking behaviors in regards to proprioception. Translation: she craves sensory input that helps her to gain awareness of where her body is in space, and it takes stronger than average input for her to get the feedback that her body is craving. (or at least that's how I understand it :) She seeks out "heavy work" activities, like carrying heavy things, pushing heavy things around on the floor (chairs, full laundry baskets, etc), and anything that gives heavy resistance to her muscles and joints. Lucky for us, carrying her backpack is a good heavy work activity because the poor kid gets to do that for a few hours a day. :)
The idea behind a weighted blanket and other heavy work activities is that when the child gains greater body awareness through proprioceptive input, the nervous system can be calmed and the need for constant fidgiting, moving, jump…

Feeding Tube Terminology: G tube words

One of the many things I didn't have a clue about before Raya got her G tube was the fact that there are LOTS of different kinds of G tubes, all with similar but different features & functions. Some of the terminology that was tossed around in the beginning was very confusing. When I met with the surgeon to pick out a button for when Raya's initial tube was ready to be changed, they pulled a bunch of tubes out of a cupboard, put them down on the table in front of me and said, "What kind do you want?" I had NO idea what to pick, all I knew was that anything would be better than what we had at that point.

Here are a few things I wish someone could have explained to me before Raya got a G tube:

1. What the heck does PEG mean?
PEG stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy. In other words, a gastrostomy tube is placed through the abdominal wall using an endoscope to visually guide the surgeon to the best location to place the tube. The term PEG is used to refer to …