Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies (Low Carb)

May 17, 2011

in Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Protein Bars, Recipes

I admit it. Its fun to trick people. Especially when it comes to sneaking in healthy ingredients without them knowing. Yes, I do it, and I’m not ashamed at all, in fact, I do it all the time to my kids. Black beans isn’t something they normally go for, but brownies on the other hand? Always a winner.

healthy chocolate peanut butter brownies_2

That’s why I love this recipe so much.  You will never know there are black beans in these, I promise. Just make sure you eat them cold, as it best conceals the black beans.  All you will get is a dense, fudge-like healthy brownie! I’ve tried many variations of black bean brownies and these by far…are the best!

healthy chocolate peanut butter brownies

What’s even better is their gluten-free, grain-free, and low-carb as they are so high in fiber. But disregard that, as they really do taste indulgent, and not healthy.

They look so beautiful before they even go into the oven. Just look at that gorgeous swirl!

healthy chocolate peanut butter brownies

If you prefer to not use peanut butter, you could use almond butter, or omit the nut butter all together and leave them plain.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do. They’re always gone quickly in this house!

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies (Low Carb)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies (Low Carb) Rich tasting chocolate brownies that are made with black beans? Yes, its possible! These are delicious, high in fiber, and its very tough to detect there is black beans in them.
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Yield: 16
  • 1 19oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites (or ¼ cup of carton egg whites)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup stevia baking formula (or approx 15 packets of stevia or sugar or substitute of choice)
  • ¼ cup butter, melted (or vegan margarine for dairy-free)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp all natural peanut butter
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray and 8×8 inch pan with oil.
  3. Blend all ingredients (except butter) in a food processor or powerful blender until very well blended. You may need to scrape the sides and blend again.
  4. When its just about finished processing, add in the melted butter. Then fold in the chocolate chips by hand with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  5. Spread into the prepared pan.
  6. Place spoonfuls of peanut butter on top of the batter. Using a knife, swirl in the peanut butter to make a marbling effect.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until set around the outside and in the middle. It will just start to crack. Don't test with a toothpick, as it won't come out clean. You want them to be fudge-like anyway!
  8. Cool completely and cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
They taste the best when they are completely chilled. I like to make them ahead of time to allow them to cool completely.
Serving size: 1 brownie (makes 16) Calories: 105 Fat: 6 g Carbs: 11 g Sugar: 2 g Fiber: 4 g Protein: 4 g

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I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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  • Liam

    I’ve tried a few black bean brownie recipes online, and I must say this is by far the best! They are so good I almost feel guilty eating them. 😉 And, if you don’t mind me saying, I think are a lot closer to the the real rich, fudgy brownies then in your Triple Chocolate Protein Brownie recipe, and they almost have the same amount of protein!

    I just had one minor problem with mine in that they were a little bit more crumbly than I would have liked. Do you have any tips for how to keep them together more? (I left our the peanut butter ingredient because I wanted just to have the chocolate taste, which may or may not have been the cause for it being a bit crumbly)

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Thanks Liam! What an awesome compliment! Yes I agree, more brownie like than the Triple Chocolate Protein Bars. Anything with the addition of whey (and baked) seems to lose a bit of the fudge-like texture. Was your batter really smooth? If not, that could have made it a bit more crumbly. Did you remember the butter? I forgot it once, and the texture was off a touch. The peanut butter shouldn’t make a difference as its just a drizzle. If everything seemed right, I would suggest perhaps adding a touch more egg or egg whites to help it come together.

      • Liam

        Just to let you know, I made the second batch with 1/2 cup egg white instead of 1/4 cup (as you suggested) and it came together very nicely indeed. Thanks for the tip!
        A couple of my gym mates have tried them and they couldn’t believe they were made from black beans. 😉

        • Kristine Fretwell

          Awesome! Thx for reporting back! Glad your friends liked them too!

  • shauna

    Can’t tell there’s beans in these at all! I even ate one warm to see and I couldn’t taste a bean. They are terrific!

    • Kristine Fretwell

      So glad you like them!

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  • tray

    🙁 just made them today so dissapointed they are pretty much inedible I followed all the instructions they just don’t taste good

  • oneplustwins

    I would rather use regular sugar, do you have a measurement for regular sugar?  thanks

  • Sonja Leiter

    Hi!! I want to try your recipe. Can I use more Peanut Butter instead of the earth balance vegan spread or the butter, or can I use a bit of yoghurt? I never use butter so I don’t want to buy a whole one. Thanks!

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Yes, any of those options should work.

      • Sonja Leiter

         Thank you! Another question: Here in Vienna I just can’t find black beans, not in the reformshop or the asiashop, regular groceryshop etcetc… Do you think it would taste the same if I use white ones instead? Those are available everywhere. Thanks:-)

  • September Kuromi

    I have made these a few times and they are delicious.  My kids love them and unsuspecting guests love them.  Between these and quinoa chocolate cake I may never make conventional brownies again 🙂

    The most important step for me is making sure the beans are blended extremely well. If you have a cheap blender, like I do, it means  blending the beans, eggs, vanilla for many minutes – until there are no little chunks of bean left.  I didn’t do it once and I had chunks of black bean stuck in my teeth and they definitely tasted more ‘beany’.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Thanks, so glad you like them! I agree, blending well is the key to their success 🙂

  • Crazyalin

    What temperature do you bake it at? 350?

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Yes, 350 degrees! Added that in 🙂

  • Runnerchick20

    Will not be making again!
    These brownies tasted very bitter and tasted exactly like black beans. I made whipped cream to disguise the taste. I don’t know if it is just black bean brownies or what, but these were gross. Waste of ingredients. I didn’t say they had black beans in them, but everyone guessed it! 

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Did you follow the recipe exactly? I’ve served these to people that don’t eat healthy at all and they liked them! Did you rinse the beans really well? Use canned beans not raw black beans soaked? Perhaps they weren’t blended enough? Maybe they’re not for everyone, but I’ve never had the issue of people not liking them.

  • Melanie Wade

    Cant wait to try these, I make my brownies with cooked prunes and they are fab, again you wouldn’t know the difference, thanks for sharing x

  • Danielle

    I had trouble finding tinned black beans, so I bought them raw and then boiled them until quite soft before blending. The result was that my slice had a texture as if there was crushed nuts in it – I’m assuming this isn’t quite right? Are the tinned beans super soft?

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Yes, canned beans are super soft and will blend right up to a paste. You may not have cooked the beans long enough….they would almost need to be very over-cooked and falling apart. Bummer they didn’t turn out for you. I’m curious where you live where you can’t find canned black beans…they seem to be readily available almost everywhere.

      • Danielle

        Perth, western austrailia! Going to hit some more oriental stores and try again. I have enough uncooked beans to try again so will cook until mush next time 🙂 also have been unable to source coconut oil, any suggestions?
        Ps brownies still taste great! Just funny texture!

        • Kristine Fretwell

          Black beans are more Mexican versus Asian, not sure if that helps! As for coconut oil, try looking online for it.

  • Shawna

    These brownies are fabulous!!!  They were a huge hit!!!! Will definitely be making them again!!!

    • Kristine Fretwell

      Yay! Glad you liked them!!

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