The Brownie Challenge

By Natasha Muller
Brownies are a favorite treat in my family. Inspired by Rocco Dispirito’s television show Now Eat This, I’ve been curious to try a healthier brownie recipe swap for quite a while. So, with an extra amount of a secret ingredient on hand, I’ve been hinting that a brownie challenge was approaching. Of course my family members were eager for a brownie taste test, yet, perhaps leery of the secret ingredient. For that reason, I suggest you simply make a batch of these brownies and let people try them before revealing the healthier ingredient swap. Anyway, it finally happened. I made two batches of brownies, and my family tried them in good humor with eyes closed so they couldn’t detect a difference visually. At first bite, the observations were similar: one brownie was fudgy another was more cake-like. Either way they were both tasty. So enjoy!

Total Time: 15 minutes

Black Bean Brownies:


  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well)
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder 
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup + ¼ cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well.
  1. Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. 
  1. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. If they still look a bit undercooked, you can place them in the fridge overnight and they will magically firm up! Makes 9-12 brownies.

For the full recipe including nutrition facts and other recipes by Chocolate Covered Katie click here

For Rocco Dispirito’s brownie recipe click here