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How do you like your brownies?

Looking at the ingredients here you might think I was having a pantry clear out and not gathering the ingredients to make brownies. You are forgiven.

When we think of the gooey, fudgey yumminess that is a chocolate brownie things like eggs, flour and heaps of sugar spring to mind, but these have none of those ingredients.

As a nutritionist I am all for treats and inclusion and against the notion of denial. That implies suffering and hardship which is not what healthy living should be about.

Having a treat is good for the soul. Creating and sharing food is what make us human and connects us, across cultures, generations and race.

The brownie recipe, like most recipes, has evolved over the years, and for me, this is the beauty of Gastronomy. That inter-relationship between food and culture, the art of creating and sharing and the science of good eating.

Good eating has never been more pertinent. We live in toxic times and our health is directly related to that of the planet and what is going on in it and around it. Pesticides, chemicals, air pollution, soil pollution, toxic politics, global pandemics....the list is endless.

Reducing our consumption of everything, in general, (except fruit and veggies), will enable us to live a 'cleaner', happier and healthier life. Less is more.

Black beans are a really cheap and easy way to get a massive nutrition hit. 100g has 14.9g of lean protein, 14.3g of fibre and 57g of slow release carbs, the non-sugar kind and contain large amounts of calcium, potassium and other important minerals and vitamins including Folate.

It is the low Glycaemic Load of black beans that helps us feel fuller for longer, regulates blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity. They are also a good source of pre-biotics which feed our gut bacteria, promoting a healthy gut flora and improving digestion.

The gorgeous black colour means that they are high in antioxidant polyphenols including anthocyanins found in blueberries, and show exceptional anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory potential.


  • 1/4 cup of jumbo oats, I use Flahavan's Organic

  • 1 can black beans , drained and rinsed

  • 1/4 cup cashew butter, or almond

  • 6 tablespoons raw cacao powder

  • 2 flax 'eggs' ( mix 2 tbsp of ground flax seeds with 6 tbsp of water, stir and leave to set until it forms a gel like substance)

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 cup coconut sugar

  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, or ACV

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • handful of chopped walnuts

  • handful of chocolate chips


  • Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a brownie tin with baking parchment.

  • In the food processor, process the oats until you have a flour like texture. Add in all the other ingredients until the baking soda and process until you have a thick texture. (Add in a little water if necessary).

  • Fold in the walnuts and use a spatula to put the mixture in to the tin. Top with chocolate chips and bake for about 25 minutes. Test after 20, it will depend on your oven.

  • Leave to cool on a wire rack, cut and enjoy.



Ganesan, K., & Xu, B. (2017). Polyphenol-Rich Dry Common Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and Their Health Benefits. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(11), 2331.

Recipe adapted from

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