Chocolate black bean brownie bars with a fudgy black bean brownie topped with a creamy coconut middle and chocolate ganache with a healthy secret ingredient. Made with pantry ingredients, this recipe is vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar free, and such an elegant yet healthy treat.
Chocolate Black Bean Brownie Bars
These chocolate brownie bars look so sophisticated but are really so easy. The base is an easy black bean brownie that comes together in a flash, sweetened with dates, and topped with coconut butter, and a creamy chocolate fudgy ganache. These brownies make a great snack to have ready to eat, or stored in the freezer.
Why You'll Love These Brownie Bars
The brownie layer is a DREAM. You can even make it alone and it uses BLACK BEANS. Such a perfect justification to eat brownies, right? AND the other layers are so easy to put together with JUST pantry ingredients. Just LOOK at that chocolate ganache made shiny with a secret ingredient!..(avocado oil)
And the bars store beautifully in the freezer and provide you with an energizing treat within reach.
How Healthy Are My Chocolate Black Bean Brownie Bars?
Very healthy. Coconut meat, shredded or otherwise, is high in iron, fiber and considered a strong immune booster, with anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Dark chocolate is a terrific source of magnesium, fiber and mood boosting properties. And black beans have all the protein and nutrients associated with beans.
How Do You Make Brownies From Scratch
This recipe has layers that feature a wonderful baked-from-scratch brownie recipe. Easy because it uses pantry items, including black beans. I have so many recipes that use white beans - like this vegan cookie dough - it stands to reason I should use black beans in a recipe. And made-from-scratch brownies are perfect use for black beans.
The flavor disappears behind all the other ingredients, and all that remains is a fudgy texture and a nutritional protein base. Win-win!
How to Make These Black Bean Brownie Bars
You make these bars from the bottom, up and in a loaf pan.
Start by making the brownie layer - you can freeze this or bake it. Personally I like the cakey texture that baking it creates. I made this layer rather thin, but I think making it again, I might double the recipe for just the brownie so I get more brownie. Because...well..brownie. haha.
To make the brownie, whip up the ingredients, pour into a parchment-lined loaf pan and bake. While it cools, make the middle layer.
Like the middle child, this middle layer is very easy-going. Just pour shredded coconut into a blender and process for a few minutes until creamy dreamy.
In order to keep the middle layer creamy dreamy as it hardens, I add in some full fat coconut milk and maple syrup to taste. Coconut meat is pretty sweet naturally so be sure to taste-test before adding any maple syrup.
The top layer is even easy peas-er. Just melt some dark chocolate and stir in a bit of oil to make things shiny. I used avocado oil but you can use your favorite.
Chill the finish product in the refrigerator for about an hour or until set enough to slice. I use a sharp knife dipped in hot water and wipe it dry before cutting, and between each slice.
Store these bars in a sealed container on the counter for a day or so, or longer in the refrigerator and rejoice that you have such a dreamy treat waiting for you.
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Chocolate Brownie Bars
Coconut butter layer
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Line loaf pan with parchment paper. I used a 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan here.
- Drain and rinse black beans
- Add chia seeds to water and set aside for 10 minutes
Make brownie layer
- Add ingredients to blender and process.
- Spoon the batter into the loaf pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until top is cracked. Allow layer to cool.
Make the middle layer
- Add shredded coconut to a high speed blender, and blend for 3-4 minutes until it is a creamy butter. Pour in the coconut milk. Blend again. Then, taste test. Coconut butter is naturally sweet so I like it as is, but if you want it sweeter, by all means add a tsp or two of maple syrup and blend again. Pour onto the cooled brownie layer.
- I set the pan into the refrigerator for 15 minute or so to allow the coconut layer to harden just enough to support the chocolate layer.
Make the chocolate top
- Melt 1 cup dark chocolate chips and 1 tbsp oil in microwave at 60 seconds. Stir until all melted and pour on top of white layer.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight. Cut into 8 squares and serve.
- Store in a sealed container one day, then in the refrigerator for a week, or freeze for longer.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients and another immunity-boosting smoothie shot book, 4-Ingredient Smoothies + Juices , due out in January 2021. On this blog you'll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism, editor at The Feedfeed and a nutritional expert at WikiHow. More about Dee Dine here.