Gluten-free black bean chocolate brownies you’ll find irresistible

brownies, brownies recipe, healthy recipe

“These chocolate brownies, made from black beans and maple syrup, are proof that whole food flour, grain and gluten-free baking tastes amazing,” say best-selling cookbook authors and Hemsley + Hemsley founders, the UK-based food star sisters Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley.


“You can replace the walnuts with dried cranberries for any nut allergies. Play around with the sweetness. Less maple syrup is better for you and gives a slightly more crumbly texture,” they told Sporteluxe.

“If you have a sweet tooth, start with the 180ml and gradually decrease whenever you make them so that your tastebuds can adjust. You can also use a few drops of stevia to reduce the amount of maple syrup you use while still enjoying a sweet taste.”

Black Bean Brownies by Hemsley + Hemsley

What you’ll need (for 12 brownies):  brownies, brownies recipe, healthy recipe

  • 2 x 400g tins of cooked black beans or 500g home-cooked beans (dried weight 200g)
  • 230 g butter or coconut oil at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 4 eggs
  • 85 g cocao powder
  • 150–180 ml maple syrup
  • 11⁄2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coffee extract or use extra vanilla extract
  • Sea salt
  • 130 g chopped walnuts (preferably ‘crispy’ activated)
  • A few drops of stevia, to sweeten (optional)

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to fan 170°C/Gas mark 5. Grease the inside of a 39 x 27 cm china or glass baking dish. Rinse the black beans and leave to drain. Melt the butter or coconut oil in a saucepan over a gentle heat, then set it aside.
  2. Place the drained beans, eggs, cacao powder, 150ml of the maple syrup, the vanilla extract and coffee extract, if using, into a food processor with a pinch of salt. Pulse a few times, then blend until smooth.
  3. Add the melted butter or coconut oil very slowly so as not to cook the eggs, while the machine is running. Taste the batter, adding more maple syrup or a few drops of stevia if needs be, then stir in most of the chopped walnuts, reserving a handful.
  4. Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and gently tap the baking dish on a kitchen counter to even out the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts on top and bake for 40–45 minutes, until the brownie feels firm but springy and its surface is cracked.
  5. Leave to cool completely before cutting into squares. Refrigerating the brownies makes them wonderfully fudge.

TIP: FOR A MOCHA-FLAVOURED VARIATION THAT’S CAFFEINE FREE use 150ml of maple syrup and 75g of carob instead of cacao powder. Carob is sweeter than cacao and not bitter so you don’t need as much maple syrup.

TIP: TRY MAKING BROWNIE BITES by greasing and lining a shallow baking tray, instead of the dish, before pouring in the brownie batter. Bake for 30–35 minutes and when cooked and cooled cut into small bite-sized pieces.

Who are Hemsley + Hemsley?

Loved by the food, fitness and fashion industries alike, sisters Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley have a passion for wellness and delicious, nutrient-dense cooking. Their best-selling cook book, The Art of Eating Well, is packed with over 150 nourishing and fun recipes, all free from grain, gluten and refined sugar. The Hemsley spiralizer is out now and their second book, Good + Simple, will be released in Spring 2016. Visit their site here, or follow them on Instagram for behind-the-scenes sneak peeks.

For their super-healthy ‘Flower Power’ pizza recipe, click here.