Fermat's Last Recipe

theorems and corollaries contrived in the kitchen

Black Bean Brownies

Sometimes when I’m at the grocery store I feel an anchor yanking my feet to a halt as I pass the spice shelves. In the same way that we find ourselves in our favorite stores (REI, the Apple store, clothing, what-have-you) staring at toys we know we can’t afford or know in theory isn’t worth the splurge, I like to crouch down and smile for a few minutes at spices I wish I had in my cupboard… or in my nose, for that matter. The regulars that I pine over are vanilla pods, cardamom, saffron, and cloves. Apparently saffron, vanilla, and cardamom are the world’s three most expensive spices by weight— Wikipedia says that saffron prices range from $500-$5,000 per pound in the US!

So I was doing my routine pining at the grocery store the other day, and my eyes about popped out of their sockets when I saw the price tag for ground cloves. They were about 6.75 times cheaper than what I bought my cloves for at home in the States! I looked at vanilla pods and saw that they were likewise unbelievably affordable! So I did a spice splurge. I now own a ridiculous amount of ground cloves and decided to be adventurous and try juniper berries. I remember reading in one of my favorite reference books at home Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rockies that juniper berries, while having a medicinal use that I can’t recall, make one’s urine smell like lavender. Count me IN. See my next post for an experimental use of juniper berries.

Black Bean Brownies

In recovery from ED I am trying to stick to a meal plan that helps me make sure I am getting my nutritional needs met while guiding my body back into becoming fully in touch with its hunger and fullness cues. Being a vegetarian I naturally fall short sometimes on the protein exchanges, so I have been crafting some sneaky ways of upping the long-term energy. My favorite discovery of late: black bean brownies. These brownies pack the loveliness of protein and fiber into a smooth fudgy dessert impossible to serve just one square of. Because they use bananas as a binder rather than eggs, they also yield a batter bowl that is completely safe to lick clean after use.

Black Bean Brownies

Prep time:  5-10 min.             Total time:  35-40 min.


2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
¾ cup instant oats
⅓ cup cocoa powder
2 ripe bananas
⅓ cup agave or honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Generous handful of chopped nuts (optional)
Generous handful of chocolate chips or cacao nibs (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place all ingredients except the oats, nuts, and chocolate chips in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Fold in the oats. If you would prefer a less fudgy batch of brownies, feel free to add up to ½ cup additional oats. Spread the mixture into a greased 8×8 baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick poked into the middle of the batch comes out clean.



3 comments on “Black Bean Brownies

  1. dropscone
    October 7, 2013

    I’m going to follow this blog, if only to find out about the lavender!

  2. genevieve y
    October 15, 2013

    How were the brownies?! I’ve always wanted to try making black bean brownies! They look really yummy…

    • Fermat's Last Recipe
      October 15, 2013

      OH so good. I was always one for denser brownies over cakey ones, so this batch was perfect for that preference. 🙂

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This entry was posted on October 7, 2013 by in Dessert, Vegan and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

Behind the Blog

Allow me to introduce myself! I'm Sophie De Arment. Fermat's Last Recipe is where I share my vegetarian kitchen adventures. You might also glimpse some knitting, kayaking, juggling, and math-ing along the way.
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