Makes 16

A delicious healthy treat from our Nutrition Director, Louise Keats.

I recently heard gut health expert Dr Jason Hawrelak remark in a podcast interview on the benefits of black beans for our health: “With black beans we’ve got the black polyphenols, we’ve got a range of soluble and insoluble fibres, we’ve got resistant starches and we have oligosaccharides, all in one package. You can’t find anything else that’s got four or five different ways of feeding the microbiome like you get with a legume like that.”

Plus, they taste absolutely amazing in a brownie. Bonus!

Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free


  • 170g dried black beans (see Tips)
  • 60g virgin coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 100g quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa – use dairy free if needed) (see Tips)
  • 3 eggs
  • 30g raw cacao powder (see Tips)
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 80g rapadura sugar, coconut sugar or brown sugar (see Tips)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
  • 50g walnuts (optional – omit for nut free)
  • Raw cacao nibs, for sprinkling (optional)


  1. Place dried black beans into a bowl, cover with water and set aside to soak for 5–6 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse beans.
  2. Place drained black beans into a saucepan well covered with water and cook until tender. Drain and set aside to cool slightly (you should have approx. 350 g cooked black beans).
  3. Preheat oven to 160°C fan. Grease and line a square cake tin (20 cm), then set aside.
  4. Melt dark chocolate. Transfer to a food processor or high-powered blender and add reserved cooked black beans, coconut oil, eggs, cacao powder, vanilla and sugar. Blend for about 4 minutes at medium speed or until smooth. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula.
  5. Add baking powder and walnuts (optional). Lightly blend until smooth and well combined.
  6. Transfer mixture into prepared tin. Smooth top with an offset spatula, then sprinkle over raw cacao nibs (optional). Bake for 25 minutes or until just
    cooked through. Set aside to cool in tin, then cut into 16 squares to serve.


  • You can replace the dried beans with 350g tinned black beans (rinsed and drained weight).
    Two tins of black beans will be enough, with some left over to add to salads or soups. If using tinned beans, omit the steps regarding soaking and cooking your beans. However, dried beans are the best option if you wish to avoid possible toxic chemicals (such as bisphenol A, also known as BPA) sometimes found in the lining of tins.
  • For a milder flavour, use dark chocolate with a lower cocoa content (but be aware that it will probably contain more sugar).
  • If you prefer, you can replace the raw cacao powder with regular cocoa powder.
  • You can use coconut sugar, Rapadura sugar or brown sugar in this recipe. Brown sugar will give a sweeter result.