Dr. Fuhrman’s Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

Dr. Fuhrman's Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

Dr. Fuhrman’s Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

There are so many miracles in life which just cannot be explained. How can an early morning sunrise be that beautiful? Why do the precious toes and fingers of newborn babies always leave parents speechless? How can brownies made with black beans really taste delicious?

Yes, you heard me correctly! I was a skeptic, but now I believe that brownies made with black beans can be so good that they qualify as one of life’s many miracles. I clearly recall watching Dr. Fuhrman on the Dr. Oz show some time ago talking about his Fudgy Black Bean Brownie recipe. I chose to ignore the segment because the thought of brownies made with black beans was simply gross. However, my longtime friend, Helen, recently e-mailed me the recipe saying that she made Dr. Fuhrman’s brownies and they were “unbelievable.” Helen’s word is the only one in the world I would trust concerning a recipe that sounded so unlikely to taste good.

So at the suggestion of my trustworthy pal, I took a leap of faith and made Dr. Fuhrman’s Fudgy Black Bean Brownies. The result was “wow!” Only a few simple ingredients, a high powered blender and 1 1/2 hours to bake were required for this guilt-free superfood treat. You can choose to make them with or without the frosting, although the frosting recipe is also provided below.

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Serves 6


2 cups cooked or canned no-salt added or low-sodium black beans, drained

10 pitted medjool dates or 1 1/4 cups domestic dates

2 tablespoons raw almond butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup natural, non-alkalized cocoa powder

1 tablespoon ground chia seed


Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Combine the black beans, dates, almond butter and vanilla in a food processor or high-powered blender. Blend until smooth.

Add the cocoa powder and chia seeds, and blend again.

Spread evenly into a very lightly oiled (I used coconut oil) 8×8 inch baking pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Cool completely and apply frosting if desired. Cut into small squares.

Store in covered container in the refrigerator up to one week.

*Note: I had a bit of trouble blending the ingredients in my high-powered blender, so I added small amounts of water (a little at a time) to get the batter going.

Dr. Fuhrman's Fudgy Black Bean Brownies Without The Frosting

Dr. Fuhrman’s Fudgy Black Bean Brownies Without The Frosting

If you wish to make the optional frosting, you will only need a few simple ingredients and a high-powered blender.

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1 ripe avocado

1/2 cup of water

4 tablespoons natural, non-alkalized unsweetened cocoa powder

5 medjool dates

Splash vanilla extract


Blend ingredients in high-powered blender and spread evenly on top of the brownies.


Dr. Fuhrman's Fudgy Black Bean Brownies With Frosting

Dr. Fuhrman’s Fudgy Black Bean Brownies With Frosting


  1. Helen Maxman says:

    Thanks for the “shout-out” Debby!!!! I made a second batch within a day of the first batch, frosting and all, because it was eaten so quickly! I like your idea of adding water to the beans because I had trouble blending them also, but I added a bit of coconut oil. Also, I used a food processor the second time and I thought that worked better than the Vitamix! The frosting is so great too, it is hard to believe there is no butter, flour or sugar in this recipe!!!!! A keeper for sure!!!!!

    • There’s only one way to prove that these are as delicious as you say and that’s to make them! Is it less fattening or more healthy than the usual brownie recipe, do you think?

      • It is less fattening AND more healthy than a traditional brownie. Black beans, dates and natural cocoa powder are SUPERFOODS so this recipe can’t be beat!

    • Thanks for sending me this recipe Helen! It is a winner!!!

    • I saw Dr. Fuhrman speak about these on Dr. Oz recently so I had to give them a try. I’ve tried many black bean brownie recipes and have never found one that I could share with anyone but the most die hard healthy eaters. I made this for friends last night. It was sincerely terrible. We all had a good laugh. Now I must admit I added mixed berries instead of the dates. Today I will try with the dates. I find I can eat these with a dab of peanut butter but no one else I know will touch them.

      • Christina says:

        Don’t substitute out for the dates. Those are the best kind of sweetener for these kinds of recipes, and berries just won’t do it. That’s why your batch was terrible.

        If you want to add pieces of dried fruit to the base recipe, I’d recommend kneading them into the brownie mix after you’ve processed it.

        I also make these with cinnamon and a dash of cayenne for some spice.

        If I don’t tell anyone what these are made of, folks love them. But I don’t call them brownies. I call them chocolate bites.

  2. Helen Maxman says:

    Plus, don’t forget that chia seeds and avocado are super foods, right??????

  3. Made these tonight and must admit….I got nervous about the taste so I added 2 Tbsn of brown sugar, Tbsn of coconut flakes & an extra Tbsn or 2 of Cocoa. Also added 3-4 Tbsn of lowfat milk to help batter mix. So perhaps it caused the following:

    So far…its got that black bean taste (and after taste). I know the key to black bean brownies is to let the set/cool. Perhaps if I let it sit overnight?

    Maybe my black beans are just potent 🙂 In the mean time, the texture is actually good & “fudgey”.

    • You should have trusted the original recipe. They are surprisingly good! I know, it’s hard to believe, but it’s true! At least yours are fudgey. That’s always good.

  4. These are incredibly delicious, no need to add any other ingredients to them (especially not any gross animal products) . I could eat these everyday and have been (guilt free) since discovering the recipe, everyone loves them and requests more. They actually get even yummier after they’ve been in the refrigerator overnight. Make these, they are so worth it!!

  5. Greg Adams says:

    Regarding the fudge icing for brownies is it possible to use anything else besides the avacodo, I am unable to eat avacodos.


    • I think you could make a vegan chocolate frosting from tofu also, but I don’t have the recipe off hand. I’m sure you could google “vegan tofu chocolate frosting” and find a great recipe. I previously posted a recipe about a vegan chocolate cake with frosting, but that one has sugar in it so it’s not as healthful.

      • Hey! The cookbook from “Forks Over Knives” actually features a DELICIOUS frosting that is avocado-free and delicious:

        1 cup boiling water
        1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
        1 1/2 cups dried, pitted dates, tough ends removed
        1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
        Pinch salt
        1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

        1) Put the boiling water and cocoa powder in a blender. Blend on high speed for about 30 seconds, or until the mixture is relatively smooth. Scrape down the sides of the blender. Be careful not to let steam build up.
        2) Add the dates, brown rice syrup, and salt to the blender. Blend until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated. Add the vanilla and blend until combined.
        3) Transfer the mixture to an airtight container. Let’s chill completely, for at least three hours, until it becomes firm and spreadable.

        Thanks for the brownie recipe! Can’t wait to give it a try!

        • Thank you so much for this recipe!!! It’s a great alternative to one with avocados! Thanks again!

          • I just made frosting from the following
            a cooked sweet potato
            half of a banana,
            5 tbsp. peanut butter or other nut/seed butter (that’s all i had)
            3/4 cup almond milk
            1/2 cup dates
            1/4 cup cocoa powder
            tsp of vanilla
            10-20 drops chocolate stevia (optional)

            Toss in a food processor and enjoy.

            …..its good. my 3 year old approves.

          • Sounds amazing!!! Thanks for sharing Nicole!!! xoxo

  6. Bernadette says:

    I made them twice, each time I followed the recipe exactly. The first time I used dried beans and the second time I used canned beans. Both times I thought they were so disgusting I threw the batches out. I’m not sure what’s going on, but maybe those who like this recipe never ate a brownie made with traditional ingredients. I’ve been eating nutritarian for about 8 months now and I love other dessert recipes from Dr. Fuhrman, but I can’t understand how anyone could like these brownies.

    • I’m quite surprised. Everyone I know loves them, but I don’t think they were meant to taste exactly like traditional brownies. I think they were just meant to be a healthy good tasting dessert. But that’s ok. Different strokes for different folks. That’s what makes the world go ’round. Right? Which of his desserts did you like?

    • I thought I was the only one! I cared for neither the texture nor the flavor (nonexistent).

  7. Tired these and they are amazing. I gave samples to 4 people and so far they all want the recipe. One of them would like to know what they could use as a substitute for the almond butter since they have a severe nut allergy. Thank you for posting this recipe….YUMMY!

    • You’re welcome! I’m not quite sure what to substitute for the almond butter but I’m thinking maybe pureed dates. I’ll have to think about that one a little more, but glad you liked this recipe!

    • I’ve got my first batch in the oven right now. But this recipe is very different from the Dr. Fuhrman Black Bean Brownie recipe I am familiar with and have made many times. It doesn’t have nuts (except optionally adding chopped walnuts to the batter after blending). The recipe here:

      • Thanks, Gina, for posting the link to the black bean brownie recipe which you already have. Let me know how your current batch turns out. I would love to know!

        • They came out pretty good! I don’t know if it’s my oven, or I just don’t know how they are supposed to be when done, but I always have to cook these way longer than the recipe calls for for them to not seem raw just below the surface. After the 1 1/2 hours at 200 degrees, I turned it up to 350 for another 40 minutes. They came out quite dry on the outside, nicely cooked another layer, and fudgy in the middle. So I made the frosting today – but I didn’t want too much, so I halved the recipe, which caused the medjool dates to not want to get blended. I had to do a lot of stopping my food processor every couple of seconds and scraping everything into the middle – and finally gave up and added some maple syrup. But everything tastes good. Although this recipe is quite different from the one at Diseaseproof, they taste remarkably similar.

          • So glad to hear they came out pretty good! I remember following the baking directions exactly when I made them and they were fine, so maybe it is your oven. IDK! Clever to just add the maple syrup for the frosting when you did.

  8. Can you freeze them?

  9. Is there approximate nutritional values for these brownies? (Calories, fat, protein, carbs etc.)

  10. Tried these tonight and not sure what went wrong, but my batch was super dry. I couldnt pour the batter but had to press the clumps into into the pan? There isn’t any liquid in this recipe, so not sure how others are getting a fudge-like texture? May try again but add some applesauce or some kind of liquid.

  11. 200 F ? it is very low?

  12. Uncle Aus says:

    I REALLY wanted these to be good. So much so, I made them twice assuming that the first time around, cooking them in a Pyrex baking dish was my blunder. Nah. I whipped up a second batch in a baking PAN and WITHOUT the optional frosting and they are barely palatable (unless you’ve been locked in a dungeon and have been subsisting on stale bread and water for three weeks). The frosting is the saving grace but when I made these the first time, the consistency of the whole mess was that of unbaked cake batter. In all fairness I did have to add about a 1/4 cup of water to the brownie “batter” to get it moving in the food processor so, given that, I added another 30 minutes cook time to my second attempt and the finished consistency improved. I’m bummed. I really really wanted these to be “these-are-so-delicious-did-you-really-make-them-with-black-beans” good but it’s not to be. RATS!

  13. valerie sobus says:

    I plan on making these once i get a chance to go to the store and buy some black beans! but my question is, if using canned black beans, do i RINSE them after i drain them? i have only ever made one other black bean dessert in my life and the rinsing step was very important.

  14. Tiffany says:

    This recipe is delicious but like some of the other commenters, since there is no liquid ingredient in this recipe, I had to slowly add water to get the food processor to mix the ingredients at all. Otherwise I followed the recipe to the letter.

    So I was quite surprised to find that after the 1 1/2 hours of baking in the 200-degree oven, the consistency of the “brownies” was much more like raw brownie batter. There is no way to cut a slice out of it; you have to eat it with a spoon like a molten chocolate pudding. It is still quite delicious, though!

    (Note: I made it without the frosting)

  15. Is there a substitute for Dates? Or is it worth getting some? I have date sugar, will that work?

  16. Hello Debby, If I can’t find raw almond butter will roasted almond butter work?

    • Dear Sean–Roasted will work but make sure that salt or sugar is added because it will affect the flavor even more, although experimenting can yield interesting results. Let us know how it turns out! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  17. I’m very allergic to chia seeds, is there something I could replace them with? Am I correct in assuming they act as an egg substitute?

  18. Bev Sutton says:

    Mine are in the oven as we speak, looking forward to them. I used home-cooked black beans that I’d frozen and then defrosted … so I added filtered water bit by bit until the batter looked like batter and everything was well blended.

    I used NuttZo PowerFuel Organic 7 Nut & Seed butter because I didn’t have almond butter. I used the 1 1/4 cups of dates because I had Deglet on hand and not Medjool … note that Medjool dates are much moister and much sweeter than Deglet dates.

    Finally folks, remember that this recipe is perfectly safe to eat uncooked … so taste it before baking it, I did and the uncooked batter tastes great to me. Adjust as needed for your tastes … add another date to sweeten, small amounts of water or almond milk to moisten and be sure you use GOOD quality cocoa powder. I used Ah!Laska cocoa powder.

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