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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Brownies

The main reason to make these is because, I think, they taste great.

The second reason is that they use beans instead of flour so contain protein and fibre, making them really sustaining.

The third reason is that all the ingredients can be blended in a food processor making it quick and easy to put together.

Finally, as it doesn't need to rise you can put it in the bottom of the oven while cooking your meal without worrying about opening the door to check on dinner.

Great for lunch boxes or after school.

Any beans can be used: black beans, kidney beans or adzuki. The best way to prepare the sweet potato is to bake it whole in the oven in advance. Then split the skin and scoop out the flesh.


  • 2 x 400g tins cooked black (or red beans), drained (or 480g cooked beans if soaking and cooking dried beans).

  • One medium sweet potato, cooked (baked or steamed)

  • 230g butter or coconut oil

  • 4 medium eggs

  • 100g unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 150 – 175ml maple syrup/rice malt/honey. You can use sugar, too, if preferred.

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


  • 130g chopped walnuts (not if a nut-free school)

  • 100g chocolate chunks

  • cacao nibs to scatter on top


  • Preheat the oven to 170°C

  • Rinse the black beans and drain

  • Melt the butter or coconut oil in a saucepan over a low heat. (NB I have also added cubed butter straight to the food processor and it has worked fine if you want to avoid washing another pan).

  • Place the drained beans, sweet potato flesh, eggs, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract (and a pinch of salt if using oil) into a food processor or large bowl and use a hand blender. Pulse a few times and then blend until smooth

  • Add the melted butter, slowly and blend

  • Taste the mixture, and add more syrup if needed

  • Then, stir in most of the chopped walnuts, reserving a few, and the chocolate chunks, if using

  • Grease and line the inside of a 24 x 20cm baking dish, pour in the brownie mixture

  • Sprinkle over the remaining walnuts and or cacao nibs (if using) and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the brownie feels firm and springy and its surface is cracked.

  • Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares, they become even more dense and fudgy if left in the fridge


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