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Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies

Fresh mint leaves

December is upon us at last! To kick off the holidays, and spark the season’s fire in your hearts, I want to share a delicious deep, dark, rich, fudgy brownie recipe with you – with a secret ingredient. Black beans! In addition to adding fibre and nutrients to this decadent recipe, this ingredient adds a rich, earthy-sweet component and a soft, gooey texture.

While brightly colored fruits and vegetables often come to mind as the best sources of phytonutrients, recent research has recognized black beans as a strong contender in phytonutrient benefits. Black beans are also a fantastic source of folate, magnesium, fibre and protein. In fact, a single, one-cup serving of black beans offers over 15 grams of fibre and 15 grams of protein! With this impressive nutrition profile, I new I had to find a way to sneak these gems into a holiday treat this year.

Beans are so nutritious that the latest dietary guidelines recommend we triple our current intake from 1 to 3 cups per week. If this amount sounds daunting, remember that any amount of legumes is going to make a helpful addition to your diet. Whatever weekly intake of beans & legumes you decide to target, I definitely recommend the inclusion of black beans among your legume choices.

You might be happy to learn that there is little difference in the nutritional value between canned beans and those you cook yourself. For that reason, and because it drastically reduces the prep time for this recipe, I chose to use canned black beans for these brownies. But of course, if you prefer to cook dried black beans from scratch go right ahead! This would be the more economical option.

Highlights of making this recipe:

  • This recipe contains many ingredients you may already have in your kitchen and the extra ingredients that you may need to purchase are typically inexpensive.
  • Your food processor or blender does most of the work for you in this recipe and clean-up is quick and easy – the majority of the dishes created while preparing this recipe can be washed while the brownies are baking.
  • This recipe provides a wonderfully sneaky way to include nourishing beans in your diet.
  • Leftovers keeps well in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to five days, or in the freezer for ~3 months!

The trick with these brownies: serve them first, and then reveal the secret ingredient (or keep this juicy secret to yourself if you prefer). Your unsuspecting guest will get a nice dose of nutrients along with their chocolatey treat. In all the times I’ve served this dessert, not one person who didn’t know beforehand has guessed that it contains beans!

Macros per Brownie

Calories: 250
Protein: 11 g
Fat: 6.5 g
Carbohydrates:  39.5 g
Sugar: 7 g
Fibre: 7.5 g

Vanilla Beans and Flowers

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Sweet Snack
Servings 1 8 x 8-inch pan





  • Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Lightly coat an 8 x 8-inch oven-safe baking dish with ~1/4 tsp of the olive oil.
  • Combine all ingredients except chips in a food processor or blender. Blend until completely smooth.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips and spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Top with candy cane garnish.
  • Bake brownies 18-20 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes before placing in the refrigerator to set. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  • Cut 3 x 3 and enjoy.


*As this recipe is justly popular, and candy canes are harder to come by ~10 months of the year, I thought it would be best to include some tasty subs (complete with macros) for the festive garnish used in the original recipe:
  • ¼ cup Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
    • 260 cals, 11 g protein, 8 g fat, 39 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 8 g fibre
  • ¼ cup Walnut Pieces
    • 266 cals, 11.5 g protein, 8.5 g fat, 38.5 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 8 g fibre
  • ¼ cup Chia Seeds
    • 267 cals, 12 g protein, 8 fat, 40 carbs, 6 g sugar, 9 g fibre
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!