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January 6, 2015

by Alyssa

Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Quinoa Brownies

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I've been on a mission to make black bean quinoa brownies since practically the start of my blogging days – over 4 years ago! I can't tell you how many times I have purchased a can of black beans for the sole purpose of making brownies, but something else always seemed to trump them. They'd find their way into another recipe, or I'd add them on top of a salad for extra protein only to realize again, that my brownies didn't happen.

Well I finally made it happen and I even added a big ol' dollop of peanut butter on top. Can't go wrong with that combo!

And call me crazy, but I think it's high time we enjoyed some chocolate. What has it been, like two weeks? We all know that just won't do!

So brownies it is.


I've been safe guarding this recipe for a little while now because I  wanted to find the perfect time to share it. I was contemplating doing it during the holidays, but that's cookie season.

I think after the New Year, when everyone is trying to stick to a healthy diet and even lose some weight in the process, it only made sense to tempt you with brownies, right?

Okay, yes. It sounds mean, but please know I would never tease you with this super decadent treat if there wasn't a good reason.


I love making desserts healthy, you know that, but this recipe is even more extreme than normal (extreme in only good ways!).

Not only are these brownies gluten-free and packed with quinoa, they're also vegan and sugar-free. Oh and not to mention they're made with black beans and have a scoop of peanut butter on top, so they're filled with protein and healthy fats.

They're pretty much the healthiest brownies on the planet.

And they taste damn good.


The only sweetener I used in this recipe was stevia. The base of the brownies is a mixture of beans, flaxseed eggs, cocoa powder and quinoa flour. We have a touch of coconut oil, almond milk and a little applesauce (and baking powder, of course).


10 ingredients (with the peanut butter), around 30 minutes to bake, totally guilt-free and New Year's Resolution friendly. Because let's be honest here…as healthy as we are, everyone likes a little treat from time to time. Now you can indulge your chocolate craving without sacrificing your diet in the process!

I told you I would never tease without a reason 🙂

xx Alyssa

Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Quinoa Brownies

Not only are these brownies gluten-free and packed with quinoa, they're also vegan and sugar-free. Oh and not to mention they're made with black beans and have a scoop of peanut butter on top, so they're filled with protein and healthy fats.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 Brownies
Calories 94kcal
Author Alyssa
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  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together your flax egg ingredients and let rest for a few minutes to gel.
  • Once gelled, add to the bowl of a food processor along with the remaining ingredients (minus peanut butter). Process until smooth about 1 - 2 minutes. You want the mixture to be on the thicker side, not runny like typical brownie batter - a little less so than frosting.
  • Evenly distribute the mixture between your muffin tins, filling about 3/4 of the way full.
  • If using the peanut butter, scoop 1 teaspoon of peanut butter onto each brownie.
  • Bake on the center rack for 25 - 30 mins until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 20 - 30 minutes. Carefully remove them from the pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  • Enjoy!


adapted from Minimalist Baker


Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 145mg | Potassium: 255mg | Fiber: 4g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1.7mg



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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. Unfortunatley I was hoping that a healthy brownie was possible. These had no taste and the texture was totally off. Was hopeful, but will not be making these again.

    • I hear you that these are a bit different than traditional brownies – they are made with beans after all 😉 I have some other brownies on the site that you could try! Not sure what constitutes as “healthy” for you, but they’re definitely lower in sugar and oil than traditional recipes!

  2. I don’t have any flaxseed and I’m not vegan so can I use real eggs? If so, how many? Would I have to decrease any other liquids as a result?

  3. Why did you use 10-12 teaspoons of peanut butter when 12 teaspoons equals 3/4 cup? I would rather measure the larger amount than bunches of teaspoons.

  4. I’m a little disappointed. This was my first experiment with quinoa flour (it arrived in the mail yesterday and I promptly toasted it so I’d be ready for whatever I decided to make today!), and it didn’t come out so well. To me, they tasted like stevia. Like, majorly tasted like stevia (that not-so-pleasant aftertaste). I was hoping the chocolate would cover the stevia flavor, but I’m wondering if 1 tsp of SweetLeaf liquid stevia is sweeter than the powder? I’ve never used the powder, so I am not familiar with that. I’m always afraid of putting too much stevia in a baked good because it can ruin a recipe quickly! I think that’s what I did here. =-( Oh well, you can’t win them all! I should have known… I’ve never put 1 tsp of stevia in anything. I usually go with 1/16-1/8 tsp! In fact, I made pancakes this morning and used 10 drops, which was approx 1/16 tsp. I also made banana muffins and used 22 drops (approx 1/8 tsp). I hope this helps someone else not overdo the stevia!

  5. You go, girl! These look amazing – definitely adding to my “must bake” list. Perfect for when that late night chocolate craving hits!

  6. Alyssa, do you use liquid stevia? Only 1 tsp of powdered stevia wouldn’t be sweet at all. If you use liquid, do you know what that equates to in powdered form? Thanks!

    • Hi Jenny,

      1 teaspoon of powdered stevia equals about 1 cup of sugar – so I did feel like these were sweet enough. I don’t use liquid stevia, but from my research it looks like it’s the same – 1 teaspoon. Hope that helps!


      • Thanks, Alyssa, but I live in Australia and the stevia I buy is granulated with inulin, so it equates spoonful for spoonful to sugar. So I’ll use a cup. Thank you so much. The recipe sounds gorgeous and I can’t wait to try it.

  7. I think I can just say YUM and leave it at that! But really, I’ve always wanted to make black bean brownies too, but something always stopped me as well or I would totally forget!

    • You should totes make these! They’re so tasty and it doesn’t hurt that they’re actually good for you 🙂 Let me know how it goes!


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