Fudgy Adzuki Bean Brownies {Healthy Brownie Recipe}

If you’re looking for a healthy brownie recipe, these Fudgy Adzuki Bean Brownies are just the thing! These gluten free brownies have no sugar other than from dates, and are incredibly easy to make. Made with coconut oil, cocoa powder, and dark chocolate chunks, just whiz them together in your food processor and you’ll have drool-worthy dairy free brownies ready in no time at all!

overhead photo of adzuki bean brownies on a marble surface with dates, chocolate and adzuki beans scattered around

Ok, let’s talk about treats.

I’m of the opinion that we should just leave treats alone. Let them be treats and enjoy them in all of their buttery and sugar-laden glory.

One time while I was at a party that I had made most of the food for, including a few chocolate cakes (this cake, to be specific), a girl came up to me and asked if there was sugar in the cakes.

I told her of course there was sugar in the cakes. They’re cakes! Chocolate cakes! She gave me the most bewildered look. It was as if she couldn’t possibly comprehend the words that had just come out of my mouth. Finally she spoke, “but I thought you were a nutritionist?!”

I sure am! And because I’m a nutritionist who preaches from the pulpit of moderation and believes in Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size, I have a pretty chill relationship with desserts; I eat them when I’m craving them, I enjoy the hell out of them, and I move on with my life.

There’s nothing worse than settling for a sad healthy imposter dessert only to find it super unsatisfying. I’d rather honour my cravings and have a small amount of an actual dessert than eat a big portion of some bogus carob cookie and find myself still wanting the real deal.

I’m telling you this because I want you to understand that if I’m putting a dessert in front of you made from beans then it had better be damn delicious. 

So here I am, a staunch believer in real desserts putting forth this healthy brownie recipe and asking you to trust me. I promise you, these Fudgy Adzuki Bean Brownies are legit. 

Yes, they also happen to be gluten free brownies and dairy free brownies and sugar free brownies, but that’s not the point. They’re fudgy and chocolately and they’re damn delicious.

Let’s go make some dang bean brownies and see what the fuss is all about!

adzuki beans, dates, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, cocoa, and chocolate on a grey surface

What’s in this healthy brownie recipe?

Here’s what’s up! You’re going to need to grab the following ingredients:

  • Beans! –> We’re using adzuki beans because they’re sweet and delicious. Related: How to Cook Dried Beans.
  • Dates –> Medjool dates is how these sugar free brownies are getting their sweet on. Make sure they’re nice and soft!
  • Eggs –> To bind this beautiful mess together.
  • Coconut oil –> A l’il bit of the virgin cold-pressed kind. Related: Is Coconut Oil Healthy?
  • Cocoa powder –> I used Dutch process.
  • Vanilla extract –> Try making your own vanilla extract!
  • Dark chocolate –> We’re chopping up a bar of the good stuff to take things home.

photo collage of a healthy brownie recipe being made in a food processor

How do you make Adzuki Bean Brownies?

Step 1: Put the dates and beans into the bowl of your food processor. (I have this one and it works like a boss.) Pulse it a few times.

Step 2: Scrape down the sides, and then run your food processor until you’ve got a mostly smooth bean and date paste. This will look kind of like the consistency of a weird hummus at this point.

how to make a healthy brownie recipe photo collage of bean brownies being made in a food processor

Step 3: Add the eggs, coconut oil, and cocoa powder to the food processor. A pinch of salt is good here too.

Step 4: Run the food processor until the mixture is completely smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides and fun it again to ensure everything is smoothly mixed.

photo collage of a healthy brownie recipe both unbaked and baked in a white rectangular dish

Step 5: Scrape the mixture into a parchment-lined pan, and scatter with chopped dark chocolate. I highly recommend stirring a little bit of the chocolate right into the brownie mixture as well, for optimal fudginess.

Step 6: Bake! We’re looking for that perfectly baked but under-baked point that ensures the brownies are fudgy, not cakey. Because everyone knows that cakey brownies are for chumps.

That’s it! You’re done!

overhead photo of sliced sugar free brownies on a marble surface

A few things to note…

While ordinarily my brownie eating style involves eating them still warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, I do recommend you cool these bean brownies before you eat them.

Something about letting them cool and solidify a bit allows them to be fudgy but not taste beany.

What size pan is best for this healthy brownie recipe?

The pan I used in these photos is a 5×9 rectangle. You can also use a 8×8-inch square pan. However, I do NOT recommend going any bigger than that. A 9×9 pan will be too big and the brownies will be thin and just kinda meh.

Can I use a different kind of beans?

If you can’t find adzuki beans then you can use black beans in their place. However, black beans aren’t quite a sweet as adzuki beans, so the recipe will turn out ever so slightly differently.

Can I make vegan bean brownies?

I have not personally tested this recipe without eggs, but my friend Kellie, who’s own bean brownie recipe was the inspiration for this one, suggests using chia eggs or another vegan egg substitute.

Do I need to use the chocolate chunks?

Well, no. You do you. But I strongly urge you to include them as they really contribute to these brownies tasting actually delicious and not like weird hippy food.

I mean, look at this photo and tell me you don’t want the chocolate chunks:

close up photo of adzuki bean brownies on a marble surface

Is this healthy brownie recipe really sugar free?

Well, no. They’re sweetened entirely with dates, so are completely free of refined sugar, but dates to contain an actual butt-load of sugar to be certain.

How much is a butt load? 100g of Medjool dates (about 4 pitted) contains roughly 265 calories, 75g carbohydrates, 2g protein, and only traces of fat.

Of that 75g carbohydrates, about 90% is sugar, which is mostly in the form of glucose and fructose. This means that of those 265 calories, about 240 come from sugar.

But don’t let the calories stop you from eating dates! They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber (about 7g in that 100g serving), and dates are especially rich in soluble fiber, which is the kind that helps maintain healthy blood cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels.

Plus, dates are rich in a host of different vitamins and minerals, so eat ’em up!

adzuki bean brownies on a marble surface with a small white bowl of beans in the background

What’s the deal with adzuki beans?

Adzuki Beans, also called aduki or azuki, are sweet little red beans that are commonly found throughout east Asia. You’ll recognize the sweet taste if you’ve ever had a red bean dessert before.

Like all beans, adzuki beans provide a good amount of plant-based protein, and are rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Beans tend to be very satisfying, as the combination of protein and fiber helps to slow digestion and moderate the uptake of sugar into the blood stream.

Adzuki beans also provide folate, phosphorous, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and vitamin K. A good source of antioxidants, adzuki beans have been linked to improved heart health, blood sugar control, and contribute to a healthy gut microbiome.

Other healthy desserts you might enjoy:

Vegan Chocolate Mousse
Black Bean Fudge Pops
Chocolate Energy Bites
13 Healthy Chocolate Recipes

adzuki bean brownies with dates and beans scattered around them
4.8 from 10 votes
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Fudgy Adzuki Bean Brownies

These gluten free brownies have no sugar other than from dates, and are incredibly easy to make. Made with coconut oil, cocoa powder, and dark chocolate chunks, just whiz them together in your food processor and you'll have drool-worthy healthy brownies ready in no time at all!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Beans, Gluten-free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 196 kcal
Author Katie Trant

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line a 8x8 or 9x5 baking pan with parchment paper, or grease well.

  2. In the bowl of a food processor combine the pitted dates and adzuki beans. Pulse until they're broken up and well combined.

  3. Add the vanilla, cocoa, oil, and eggs, and run the food processor until the batter is very smooth.

  4. Stir half of the chopped dark chocolate into the batter at this point, if desired (I highly recommend this!)

  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan, and then scatter the remaining chopped chocolate over the top.

  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are set but the middle is still just very slightly jiggly. You can bake them a bit less for fudgier brownies if you like.

  7. Remove from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes before you cut into them.

Recipe Notes

  • Nutrition values are an estimate only.
Nutrition Facts
Fudgy Adzuki Bean Brownies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 196 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 42mg14%
Sodium 21mg1%
Potassium 380mg11%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 78IU2%
Calcium 33mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Black Bean Fudge Pops
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Vegan Chocolate Mousse
These luscious little pots of Vegan Chocolate Mousse are made with a base of coconut oil, avocado, and banana. Dairy-free, raw, and naturally sweetened, it takes just moments to whirl together this simple, healthy dessert. 
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Chocolate Black Bean Smoothie
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Chocolate Energy Balls
These Chocolate Energy Bites are naturally sweetened with dates for a healthy snack. They've got lots of protein and healthy fats thanks to almonds, use only 4 ingredients (plus spices), and are incredibly easy to make! 
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This recipe was originally published March 13, 2014. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated August 13, 2019.

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Comments

  1. Cedar says

    I have a random question, as exciting as this recipe sounds, there’s not much mention of how much dry adzuki we need to leave overnight before cooking them? Like what amount of dried adzuki beans I need to measure out the night before?

  2. Luke says

    Just gave this a try, and enjoyed it a lot. I really like azuki beans as an ingredient in Japanese desserts, so pairing that up with chocolate was fun. I tried a sous vide recipe for I initially cooking the azuki beans themselves.

    When cooking the azuki beans for making a dessert like this, I’m always impressed at how something that tastes so… beany at first can develop the flavor that it does when you make it into a dessert like this one or like anko. (Anko admittedly involves a lot of sugar) You mention that black beans can work in this recipe as well. Do azuki beans just have a higher natural sugar content, or some other flavor that makes them work well in desserts? Could other bean types like pinto beans be coaxed into desserts as well?

    • Katie Trant says

      I don’t think that adzuki beans contain a whole lot more carbohydrate (sugar) than black beans, but they definitely have a sweeter flavour. Some people use chickpeas in desserts, like chickpea blondies or even dessert hummus (which to me sounds disgusting, but some people love it), so I’m sure there is the potential for using other kinds of beans in desserts. I have a chocolate black bean smoothie recipe on the site (https://www.heynutritionlady.com/chocolate-black-bean-brownie-smoothie/) which was inspired by another blogger putting canellini beans in her own smoothie, so I suppose that anything is possible, really!

  3. Ines says

    Recipe went straight to my all time favourite! It’s super easy to make, healthy and most importantly delicious. Even my 10 month twins liked them (minus chocolate chips).

  4. Claire says

    Hello : )
    Would it be possible to have the ingredients in gram instead of cup? I tried to look at it online but I probably found the wrong converter as the batter was very condensed. Thank you very much in advance!!

  5. SuE says

    Oops forgot to leave a rating! These are great. They were actually better a full day after baking. When fresh out of the oven they were good but they got better after being in the refrigerator for a while. So good! Added two tbsp of maple syrup as per someone’s suggestion. Also used semi sweet chocolate because that’s all I had. Great taste. I’m going to have these on rotation.

  6. Sue says

    These were tasty! They hit the spot for a sweet chocolate treat and I felt virtuous eating them. I did add 2 tbsp of maple syrup per someone else’s suggestion. Also I only had semi sweet chocolate around so I used that instead of the higher percentage cocoa content the recipe calls for.

  7. Nom Nom Nom says

    I had a bunch of adzuki beans left over and this was the perfect recipe! Unfortunately, I didn’t have dates and used cane sugar instead, so the brownie came out pretty hard 🙁 Will definitely try again with dates!

    • Katie Trant says

      Oh, that’s a bummer! I’ve never tested this recipe with cane sugar so I have no idea how it would turn out. The dates add a lot of moisture in addition to sweetness, so it would definitely be different. I hope you’ll try again with dates!

  8. Jacquelyn Schaefer says

    Can you use an egg substitute in this recipe? My son is allergic to eggs, but likes the idea of bean & date brownies (he’s also gluten intolerant). Any recommendation would be appreciated.
    Thanks!

    • Katie Trant says

      HI Jacquelyn, try using a flax or chia egg. 1 Tablespoon ground flax in 3 Tablespoons of water, let sit for 10 mins to thicken and then use to replace one egg. Good luck!

  9. Sara says

    These tasted great! I was skeptical because I’ve had so many horrible date or prune & carob based healthy desserts, but these were really awesome.

  10. Katie says

    Sweet Buttery Babies! These Aduki Bean Brownies were the best I’ve ever made. I have made brownies from aduki beans scads of times, but none like these. I love that there are only a few ingredients. I love that they are not too sweet (I raise bees, so I HAD to add a couple of tablespoons of homespun honey, but that just made them a tiny bit more special) And the finished product is a soft satiny texture that makes one feel as though they are eating a chocolatey cloud made by angels. I used Belgium chocolate chips on top and sprinkled coarse sea salt (and for the second batch…yes second batch…same day!) I added a layer of unsweetened shredded coconut. I made one batch with coconut oil and the second with grapeseed oil, (because it was handier), both batches were amazing. I have a feeling that I am going to have a bunch of new best friends once I start sharing these!!! Thank You. Thank You. Thank You, for sharing your knowledge. 😀

  11. Katie says

    Amazing recipe! I have made them three times now, this last time is a double batch because well, because the first batch always goes in a heartbeat. Everyone I share them with falls in love. I’d say you’re on to something. Delicious and fudgy, not too sweet, although I did add a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup because I like maple syrup. Dense but not overwhelming texture. These need no tweeking. Perfection…. Thank you!

    • Katie Trant says

      Hi Yvonne,

      I’ve never made this recipe using dried dates so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out. They’re typically a bit smaller than medjool dates, so I would guess that increasing by about 25% might do the trick. If you try it out please let us know what works for you!

  12. Charlotte says

    Hi, these look delish but i’m not very good with cup measures, so I was just wondering roughly how many grams of the black beans and cocoa powder to use?

    Thanks x

    • Katie Trant says

      Hi Charlotte – unfortunately I made this recipe with cups so I have no idea what the grams might be! But there are some good converter tools online you could try. And if you figure out the grams, please let us know!

  13. V says

    These turned out great! Although maybe a bit too moist – but I added the whole can of beans, not just the cup and a quarter that the recipe called for! Regardless, it still turned out great! I liked that they weren’t too sweet – just a nice cocoa-y flavour. I also added some coarse celtic sea salt to the batter, as well a bit sprinkled on top and it was a really great addition!! I will definitely make these again, and try using the right amount of beans next time (or upping the cocoa to counter the moisture of the beans…) 🙂 Thanks for the great recipe!!!

  14. Hana says

    I made those yesterday without seeing your recipy that is funny enough almost the same. I used pecan nuts and fresh apples and dates. My son enjoyed it to the point that none was left for me by the evening

  15. Tina says

    I find these to be quite bitter,so i think next time I might try a not so dark chocolate with orange. yum yum. My 21month old really like it thou, so that makes me happy.

    I always have canned beans. rarely have to to cook and soak as i usually don’t plan my meals ahead. I can find all sorts of beans at my local supermarket, organic with beans and water only so don’t see why I would cook them anyway. I don’t think it would turn out much cheaper if you think about the cost of electricity…

    • Katie Trant says

      If you’ve got a brand of canned beans you like and there aren’t issues with the liner, that’s great! I prefer to soak and cook mine, but always cook up a big batch and freeze the leftovers so I’ve got beans ready at a moments notice. Orange chocolate sounds lovely!

  16. Dean Sarnowski says

    Tried this recipe tonight. Wasn’t able to find adzuki beans, so I used black beans. For the sake of time, I used canned (less sodium version), but rinsed/drained well (don’t hate me!). Upped the date qty slightly though. Also, threw in some of the chopped chocolate into the food processor with the batter.

    Smells good. We’ll see how they taste tomorrow..fingers crossed! : )

    • themuffinmyth says

      I’d never hate you for using canned beans! I use them from time to time – don’t always have the time to soak and cook dried ones. However, adzuki beans are pretty quick cooking compared to some others, and I usually make extra and stash some in the freezer for next time. How did the brownies turn out for you? I assume with extra dates they’d be extra sweet and fudgy. Yum!

      • Dean Sarnowski says

        They turned great. Really fudgy too! Just curious..instead of the oil, have you ever considered using plain applesauce/unsweetened apple puree? I’ve used this replacement in cakes, and still turn out moist, and you can’t taste the apples.

        • themuffinmyth says

          I’ve also done that with cakes and muffins. Truthfully I haven’t considered it with these brownies because with the beans and dates I think they’re already ‘healthy’ enough, and a little fat probably does wonders for the texture. And 4 Tbsp isn’t very much oil for 12 brownies – only 1 tsp each!

  17. Lauren says

    Oh my, these look delicious! I am all about the bean desserts lately. They seem to keep my blood sugar more stable. I can’t wait to give these a try! 🙂

  18. londonbakes says

    I’m definitely in that first camp too (in case it’s not obvious!) but I think it’s always worth sneaking in a couple of better-for-you ingredients if you can do it without compromising on taste. What’s the downside? Definitely going to try these!

    • themuffinmyth says

      I’d say, based on your blog, you span the first two camps. You do so much whole grain and a lot on the naturally sweetened side. But yes, only if you can do it without compromising taste. I hope you try these and let me know what you think!

  19. Cammy says

    Oh I could feel every which kind of reply brewing to this post! And then I read your shout-out to our tendency to debate this subject and I broke into laughter instead. There is one thing we can agree on, if it’s delicious, lets eat some. 🙂

    • themuffinmyth says

      Ah yes, one of our two favourite topics of debate. I’ll definitely agree with you, if it’s delicious, let’s eat it! And these are definitely delicious. Give them a try!

  20. Sandra says

    oooooo…bean brownies. This are quite possibly the best looking ones I have ever seen as well as being made with adzuki beans…awesome! I really to make some of these!

    • themuffinmyth says

      Thanks Sandra! The adzuki beans are really lovely in these. They add another layer of sweetness, and you’d never guess they’re made from beans and dates. I hope you make them! Let me know how they turn out.

  21. Deena Kakaya says

    How can something this enticing be made of beans and dates? Clearly it’s possible, I NEED to try this out x

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