Chocolate Walnut Flourless Brownies with a Nutritious Twist


Walnut Black Bean Brownies - Gluten-Free and Dairy-FreeSweet Sundays: Amy Green ~ If you’ve never baked anything gluten-free before and would love to give it a try but don’t want to buy a bunch of flours you’ve never heard of, then this recipe is for you. If you’re already used to baking gluten-free, you’ve still got to add this one to your ‘must make soon’ list because it’s not only delicious but it’s healthier, too.

Yes, this dessert is healthier because it uses pureed black beans instead of flour– but don’t bother telling anyone. They won’t believe you when they bite into a brownies and get that rich, fudgy mouth feel.

My first version of black bean brownies used butter, but to make these dairy-free I opted for coconut oil.  A non-hydrogenated shortening would work, but I like how the light coconut flavor pairs with the walnuts and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate brownies …

If you want to add even more coconut flavor and another layer of texture, toast one-half to three-fourths of a cup of unsweetened coconut flakes in a 350ºF oven for three to five minutes, just until it begins to get lightly golden brown.  Sprinkle this across the top of your brownies before baking. 

A note about the chocolate – unsweetened chocolate is 100% cacao so it’s completely dairy-free [if cross-contamination of milk is a concern for you, always check with the manufacturer on processes before purchasing].  Also, make sure your banana is very ripe before popping it in the freezer – it adds both sweetness and nutrition to this healthier dessert.


Chocolate Walnut Flourless Brownies

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted coconut oil, packed
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 very ripe frozen banana, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 extra large eggs
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped and divided
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup unsweetened, toasted coconut flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper.  Spray pan and paper with oil.

Put the chocolate and coconut oil in a large, microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1-1/2 – 2 minutes and then stir to melt completely.  Stir in instant coffee and salt.  Mix well.  Set aside.

Make sure that your black beans have been well-rinsed and drained.  Fit a food processor with a steel blade, add beans, banana, vanilla extract and one egg.  Process until completely smooth, about 2 – 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.  Add chocolate mixture and process again until smooth.

In a separate bowl, place remaining 3 eggs and beat with electric mixer until light and fluffy, 1 -2 minutes.  Add agave and beat for another 1 -2 minutes, until light.  Put bean mixture into bowl with eggs and mix on medium thoroughly incorporated.  Mix in 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Top with remaining walnuts and press into batter.  If desired, sprinkle coconut onto the top of the brownies and press in lightly.

Bake for 25 – 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean.  Let brownies cool before cutting them.  Store covered in the refrigerator.

makes 24 brownies


Amy Green, M.Ed., authors Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, a blog about eating well, eliminating refined sugars and wheat, and maintaining a healthy weight.   Over the years she’s learned that eating healthier doesn’t equal deprivation.  Look for Amy’s cookbook, Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free: 180 Recipes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less, at and Barnes & Noble.   

Walnut Black Bean Brownies - Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free


About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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