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Black bean carob brownies save a desperate woman

When desperation hit, I riffed off an internet recipe and created these brownies that fit the bill for everyone in the house -- no chocolate, no gluten, no white sugar ... but still a tasty and appreciated treat.

black bean brownie on plate 550x366 Black bean carob brownies save a desperate woman

As I was dumping the ingredients for these brownies into my food processor, making this recipe for the first time, I was thinking to myself, “This may be the grossest dessert I have ever attempted. OK, maybe not the grossest. That would have to be the carob avocado banana pudding, which actually isn’t half bad.

People, I have hit rock bottom. This recipe doesn’t come from a place of healthy love for all foods good for you — I am desperate. Keith and I have given up caffeine, chocolate and white sugar for a couple of months to cleanse and I’m flippin’ hungry. Sure, I’ve lost five pounds and quite frankly look fabulous in my summer clothes, but I’m not sure the trade-off is worth it … I’m wasting away, I tell you!

I jest a little because I honestly don’t miss my nightly dose of chocolate as much as I thought I would, though I do wish I could have the occasional special treat. Enter these black bean brownies. Now, I’ve been making a recipe similar to these black bean brownies for years, but this recipe was a little bit different. It caught my eye because there were bananas in it, which cut back the amount of sweetener by over a cup from my other recipe.

I had to change things up a bit, but there was no time like the present to try, since Owen is going to a birthday party tomorrow and he can’t eat the cake with all his food allergies. Believe it or not (I’m still in awe), what I came up with works. It really works. I’m not feeling like I’m eating a second-rate dessert (the cinnamon is brilliant!) and they just looked so pretty when I took them out of the oven that I almost don’t care that they don’t stay together very well after you cut them.

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Black Bean Carob Brownies

printer famfamfam Black bean carob brownies save a desperate woman Print This Recipe


  • 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 whole bananas
  • 1/4 scant cup of agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup carob powder (or cocoa powder if you’re not cleansing….)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (brilliant, I say!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup carob chips (any other day I’d use grain-sweetened chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8×8″ pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients except the carob chips in a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping sides as needed. Stir in carob chips. Pour batter into the pan. Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing. (This is very important. If you try to slice them too soon, they don’t hold together.)

black bean brownies in pan 550x366 Black bean carob brownies save a desperate woman

A few notes:

  • Store them in the refrigerator after cooling, and cut them when chilled if you don’t want them falling apart on you. They still taste good, but tricky to bring to a party.
  • They are mushy, so the chips are a great addition and I’d even throw in some roasted, chopped almonds next time.
  • The cinnamon is brilliant — have I mentioned that yet?
  • A dollop of coconut milk ice cream sprinkled with granola would top these brownies perfectly.
  • The taste is a huge hit with the men in the house, and anyone who likes banana desserts will adore these.

Let me be clear — this is not my favorite dessert in the world, but it satisfied my craving and was pretty yummy. Not perfect, but just what we needed.

UPDATE: My men will not stop going to the refrigerator and snitching from the pan of these brownies. They obviously like them better than I do, or I am not the desperate woman I thought I was….

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Photo Credit: Debbie McDuffee

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