Victoria Beaty’s Black Bean Brownies

browniesRaised in a

virtual food desert on Indy’s northwest side, Growing Places Indy executive director Victoria Beaty enjoyed a diet rich in “pork chops and everything else.” But after a career in marketing and advertising for fast-food giant McDonald’s, Beaty realized she had little connection to the source of what she was eating. She went back to her roots, taking up her mother’s hobby of gardening to grow some of her own food, which helped her to lose over 100 pounds. Now the executive for one of Indy’s largest urban farms and produce markets, Beaty still treats herself now and again, though with healthier choices, such as her mother’s black bean brownies, a decadent but wholesome treat that she’ll be serving at her plant shop and coffee house, Botanical Bar, which she hopes to open this winter.

(Editor’s note: Drained canned black beans can be used in this recipe. Brownies will not be completely set in the middle but will continue to firm up as they cool. Adjust baking time to your desired consistency. Feel free to use vegetable oil or a combination of oils, if desired. Instant coffee or espresso powder intensifies the chocolate flavor in these brownies, so don’t skip it.)

Black Bean Brownies

Makes 24 brownies


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for greasing pan
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini organic chocolate chips, divided
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar for dusting, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with butter.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a blender or food processor, puree the beans with the oil. Add the eggs, cocoa, sugar, coffee, and vanilla. Melt half a cup of the chocolate chips at medium power in microwave and add to the blender, reserving the remaining chips. Blend on medium-high until smooth.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the blender and pulse until incorporated. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake until the surface begins to set and appears matte around the edges, about 20 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes before cutting and removing from the pan. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve.