Vegan chocolate & black bean brownies

Makes 8 brownies  |  10min + 20min  |  Easy 

We both have a crazy sweet tooth and a few years ago we used to bake a lot. And as always when you bake traditional desserts, that means using a lot of sugar and butter. Those two magical ingredients that make anything good. The good stuff, which you can't get enough of? Well we had enough. At some point we realized that sugar really isn't that good for you (duh!) and we wanted to eliminate it from our diet. Don't get me wrong, we still eat candy and icecream every now and then, but now we do it more seldom and we never keep any sugar at home. So what made us change our ways? One word: Dates.

Those sweet little fruits are amazing with just about everything and they can replace white sugar in many recipes (although, chemically they of course don't react in the same way, so say goodbye to meringue). This is my favourite recipe that we make almost every second week -- we always have the ingredients at home so its super easy to throw it together when your sweet tooth starts to ache...

  • 1 can of rinsed black beans

  • 8 dates

  • 1 dl almonds

  • ½ dl rye flakes

  • 1 ½ tbsp cocoa powder

  • 1 tbsp coconut flakes

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

  1. Turn your oven on to 200 °C
  2. Remove the pits from the dates (if you are using fresh dates, dried dates work just as well)
  3. Throw the dates into your food processor because they need the most work (especially if you're using dried dates) -- this will be loud, don't worry, your neighbours love you regardless of your cooking
  4. Add the almonds and crush them until they become as close to a flour as possible
  5. Add all the dry ingredients, beans, and coconut oil and mix until you feel good about the mixture
  6. You want the consistency to be runny but relatively thick, so add more flakes if needed
  7. Anton likes to throw in an egg and increase the amount of flakes, to make everything stick together better, but I don't do that -- and it works just as well either way (optional)
  8. Pour the mixture into a baking dish (it should fill a 20cm x 30cm dish) until it covers about 3cm of the bottom (depending on how thick you prefer your brownies)
  9. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 min at 200 °C
  10. Take them out, throw some coconut flakes on top and enjoy!

PS. If you prefer your brownies sweeter, try adding some honey or any kind of syrup to the mix.

The taste is very similar to a chocolate brownie, without 99% of the guilt and this is seriously the easiest way to cut out sugar from your diet. Cake & Beans encourages you to try your own variations on this recipe -- Anton likes to add some blueberries or lingonberries into the mix, but I'm a purist and I enjoy a regular brownie.

You could also add some coffee, chocolate chips or strawberries, let us know what you come up with! Share your pictures with us on instagram where you can find us @cake.and.beans 

You can also let us know if you like the brownies! And if you don't like them - well, that will make me sad and you don't want that now do you?