Holiday Peppermint Brownies (gluten free + vegan)



by Brittyn Howard, MS, RDN/LD


With the holidays coming up, calorie and sugar-packed desserts are almost inevitable. But what if I told you that you could have your brownies and be healthy too? If you’ve been looking for a low-sugar, high protein, high fiber dessert- man have I got the thing for you!! The surprise ingredient that makes these brownies so nutritionally packed is (drumroll please…) black beans!! Now for all of my bean-haters, this recipe has been taste tasted and so positivelyapproved by some avid bean and veggie haters. So if you’re already shutting this recipe out, give it a second thought. You can’t taste an ounce of beans in this recipe- only chocolate-y and minty goodness. Plus I would bet you already have almost all of the ingredients in your pantry.


This recipe makes about 12 brownies, each having about 150 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fiber! That is almost a third of the fiber you need each day, my friends. So while you’re mentally preparing yourself for your New Years health goals, you can totally convince yourself you’re already making a healthy choice by eating brownies. 



• 1- 15 oz can (~ 1 3/4 cups) black beans, rinsed & drained

• 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

• 1/2 cup cacao powder** (or sub 3/4 cup cocoa powder)

• 2 flax eggs (how to guide: or use "Neat Egg" found at most health food stores or any egg replacer

• 1/4 tsp sea salt

• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

• 1/2 cup organic cane or coconut sugar (if using larger crystals, grind in food processor to make finer crystals)

• 1.5 tsp baking powder

• 2-3 candy canes or 5-7 peppermints (crushed)

** I used cacao powder in this recipe because it is a less refined and processed version of cocoa powder. It has a slightly more bitter and strong taste than cocoa. If you only have cocoa, sub 3/4 cup cocoa for 1/2 cup cacao powder!


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Lightly grease a standard size muffin pan (12 slot).

3. Thoroughly drain and rinse your black beans

4. Prepare flax egg and add to blender with black beans

5. Add remaining ingredients (besides peppermint) and blend in blender or food processor until smooth. Scrape down sides until all is completely blended.

6. If the batter is too thick, add a Tbsp or two of water and blend again. The consistency should be thick (think a little less thick than frosting) but not runny!

7. Use a spoon to fill 12 slot muffin tin

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking at 20. The brownies will begin to pull away from the pan

9. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Top with peppermint directly after they come out of the oven.

Note: They can be fragile, so be careful removing them. (If the insides are fudge-y, that's toootally fine and also so delicious. Plus since they're vegan- no need to worry about uncooked eggs!)

10. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container

11. Enjoy!! Drizzle with peanut butter or Jason's chocolate hazelnut butter for an extra treat!

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