Apr 29, 2017


Really, I meet the nicest people through this website and blog. Just yesterday a new friend sent me a kind message and included this amazingly simple recipe for what I like to think of (read justify) as “emergency brownies”. Oh yes you do know what I’m talking about. Times when we HAVE TO have a brownie…not a question of IF it will happen, but WHEN.  Anyway, sweet Linda explained that these “shockingly” good, chocolate fudge type brownies are made from one regular box of brownie mix and one can of pureed black beans. That’s it! They’re not only a perfect dessert for storing in our three-month supply but the recipe comes from Weight Watchers and has only 2 points per brownie. I immediately phoned my husband and asked him to snag a box from the store. It was an emergency.


Storage Ingredients

1 box brownie mix (19 oz.)

1 can black beans (15 oz.)

Rinse and drain the black beans. Then spoon the beans back into their can and fill the can with fresh water. Pour beans and water into a blender and puree until smooth. Add puree to the brownie mix and stir. Pour into a sprayed cake pan and follow the directions for baking as printed on the back of the brownie mix box.

I of course, felt obligated to sample these lovies, okay a few times, and can now say with confidence that they are good hot, cold, and one day old. My personal favorite is to enjoy them with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and banana slices. Very happy!


With families here, there, and typically everywhere during the month of July, I decided that Black Bean Brownie kits might be a fun visiting teaching gift. For my drive by, I assembled a copy of the recipe, a brownie mix, one can of black beans, a few bananas, and a little pint of ice cream for each of the sisters I visit. Hopefully this will be a message that the whole family can enjoy.

Thanks for the great idea, Linda!


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38 Responses to “BLACK BEAN BROWNIES”

  1. jennifer Says:

    Awesome! I love sweets with hidden nutrition. Do you mind if I steal the visiting teaching idea?

  2. Liesa Says:

    Steal away, Jennifer!!!

  3. Kristine Says:

    I have made these bofore and they are wonderful. I served them to the family and kept the seceret to myself, they had no idea they were eating something so nutritious. I love having healthy little food secerets!!

  4. Liesa Says:

    Covert cooking. What they don’t know won’t hurt them. Although, Lizzie thought the addition of black beans was pretty cool. She even suggested that the name be changed to Fudge Beanies.

  5. Kristine Says:

    Did Lizzie ever get to try that cake recipe I sent you? Just curious.

  6. Marilyn Says:

    Do you want to be my visiting teacher? I have also heard of a similar recipe using a spice cake and a can of pumpkin.

  7. Kristine Says:

    That would be for very yummy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!!! I just had some of those today.

  8. Beth Says:

    I made these yesterday for dessert and served them with strawberries and whipped cream. I will never tell my family the “secret ingredient.” There was no hint of bean taste at all! They did not know they were eating healthy brownies!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  9. Liesa Says:

    Good news Beth! I thought it was a great recipe and I’m happy that it worked for your family.

    Silly Marilyn. Count your many blessings…I can be trouble.

    Kris! We have not tried that recipe yet, but we still want to. How about if you share it as a comment with this post so that everyone can have a crack at it?

  10. Kristine Says:

    This fun cake recipe is in one of my ward cook books and I love it. It is called “Cakes for kids & grandma”. I’m not a grandma but when I get a craving for cake and I don’t want to make a regular size whole cake, this is just right.

    1 chocolate cake mix
    1/3 cup water
    chocolate chips

    Help the children measure 1/2 cup cake mix into a cereal bowl (use paper bowls for easy clean up). Have them pour the water in and stir for as long as it keeps them happy. Microwave for about 90 seconds. Let the kids sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Cool and enjoy. One cake mix makes 8 individual cakes. Try other flavors of cakes mixes and other toppings.

    I eat mine plain, right out of the microwave and I LOVE it!! It’s just the right size and satisfies my craving.

    Thanks Liesa for letting me share this recipe on your blog :)

  11. Liesa Says:

    You’re kidding me, right? THANK YOOOOOU, KRIS! As soon as Lizzie comes home from Beehive camp (woohoo!) I’m going to let her try this.

  12. mentalutopia/ElizabethJ Says:

    My 5-year old LOVES brownies. He also happens to be diabetic, which means brownies really aren’t very good for him. Black beans are much better for him. I think I’m going to have to try these and see if they pass the Levi test.

    I’ve got to say, though, that the fact that you had any brownies left to determine whether they were still good when day-old makes me skeptical that these are as good as everyone says.

    Chocolate cake mix made with a can of pureed cherry pie filling is also yummy if less healthy.

  13. Kristine Says:

    Elizabeth, I have a recipe for chocolate cake mix with cherry pie filling, two eggs and some almond extract but the pie filling isn’t pureed. Would you mind posting that recipe, I would be interested in trying it! I hope you don’t mind Liesa. Thanks, Kris

  14. Liesa Says:

    Of course friends! Post on!

    And Kris, I have a question for you. When you make the little mini cakes you said that you measure 1/2 cup of cake mix into a paper cereal bowl, but in the recipe it says 1 cup of cake mix. Are you just cutting the recipe in half for your single serving?

    Elizabeth, for your son, I wonder what brownies made from a scratch would be like using whole wheat flour and then the pureed black beans for the oil and eggs. Nothing beats the ease of the mix in a box but I think the added fiber from the wheat flour would be healthier for all of us.

  15. Kristine Says:

    The recipe is just saying that you need a box of cake mix to get started. Out of that box take 1/2 cup of the cake mix and mix it with 1/3 cup water. One box should make about 8 little cakes.

    Did that help clarify things? Sorry that I made it sound confusing.

  16. Cricket Says:

    I leave with this Thought: Skinny Cooks Can’t be Trusted. Need I say more? I love the idea and will sell it to my husband.

  17. Liesa Says:

    I agree! Good luck Cricket!

  18. becky Says:

    i have to admit, i didn’t really believe the brownie and beans thing. BUT, i have to say, it’s YUMMY! thx so much for a another way to use my food storage.

  19. Liesa Says:

    Becky! I’m glad you liked them. For me, besides knowing how to make healthier brownies, I’m glad to have learned the trick of substituting pureed beans for the oil and eggs in a recipe. I’m storing the beans anyway so I might as well know how they can be used in baked goods.

  20. Preparedness Pro Says:

    It’s absolutely amazing the lovely desserts one can make from beans! I make desserts people would never KNOW are even beans :) Here are some of my favorites: http://tinyurl.com/qxmm73

  21. Liesa Says:

    Awesome! I can’t wait to check out your bean recipes! Thanks for the tip!

  22. Jeni Says:

    sounds yummy …is there any way this could be made from scratch ?
    would anyone have a recipe to substitute for the packet brownie mix ?
    thanks !

  23. Liesa Says:

    Hey Jeni, you’ve touched on the real reason I was so excited about this recipe. For me, and besides having yummy brownies to nosh, I was happy to learn the trick of using beans to replace the oil and eggs in a recipe. It seems like it has to work the same for a homemade brownie recipe. My thought is to use any brownie recipe that would fill a 9 x 13 pan. You should give it a try and report back. Brownies are sort of like a controlled substance in our home. Less is more.

  24. Jennifer Says:

    Amazing! If it wasn’t 11pm I’d be trying those brownies right now, I am so excited to find a super-easy way to make some desserts. :)

  25. Liesa Says:

    I’m with ya, Jennifer. And when you experiment with this recipe, try to have the vanilla ice cream and bananas ready to go. It’s the only way to fly!

  26. Katie Says:

    Google these words and phrases and you’ll get links to chef Rocco DiSpirito’s recipe for black bean brownies (from his book “Now Eat This”):

    “rocco DiSpirito” brownie “black bean” “now eat this”

  27. Liesa Says:


  28. Teresa Says:

    I am trying this recipe tonight!! My husband curled his nose when he saw me pureeing the black beans but I am gonna make him try them anyways! Thanks for all the ideas. I am on Weight Watchers so all the healthy recipes would be greatly appreciated.

  29. Liesa Says:

    I hope you and your husband liked the “healthy” brownies, Teresa. Wild concept but tasty, especially with the sliced bananas and vanilla ice cream.

  30. Sharon Says:

    Does anyone have a receipe for black bean brownies with cherry pie filling and almond. Please send to my email if you do!
    many thanks,

  31. Liesa Says:

    Wow. I’m trying to not do sugar but I would love to hear about THAT recipe, Sharon.

  32. Kim Says:

    My husband made these for our 4 teenagers and their friends – not one of the kids would eat them, not even our 15 year old son & I have never seen him spit out a bite of food until now. Sorry, but we didn’t care for this recipe – at all.

  33. Liesa Says:

    Darn. That’s too bad, Kim. I always say that there is no such thing as a perfect recipe. Better luck next time!

  34. Sam Poulter Says:

    I can’t say that i’d feel good about mixing brownies and beans, but it does sound interesting. Maybe I’ll have to give it a try one of these days!

  35. c Says:

    I just stumbled onto your site tonight. I love these because they can be used for emergency times like after a hurricane, If you need to live on canned goods for a bit, and have young kids who wont eat beans. Now just need to modify the recipe slightly to homemade beans and brownie batter…………… cant wait to play with the idea !

  36. Liesa Says:

    C Says, so glad you found this and I love your idea of going all homemade. Love to hear about your results!

  37. Jeannette Says:

    In the oven, I can’t wait to try them!

  38. My'Kia Says:

    Hi, I have a quick question about the ingredients. If you make it do you make the brownies how the box says and then mix the beans in?

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