Vegan Nutty Bean Brownies


It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of homemade healthy snacks. I used to be such a fiend for store bought protein bars, thinking that just because they had 20g of protein it was tooootally fine to have one nearly every second day…and then a lightbulb moment came over a year ago, just after I had started my blog. Why not just make my own? If I knew I enjoyed having a tasty protein-packed bar as a snack to keep me going in a busy day of work, why not challenge myself to create a recipe or two for just that? And so, it was mission accepted. If you search under the ‘Healthy Snacks’ tab on my blog, you’ll find actually quite a number of protein bar recipes I’ve invented since starting The Irish Balance. I’m proud of all of them, and happily I find the more I make, the better the flavour and texture each time! I’m a big chickpea gal, so recently I decided it was time to change things up a little, by using red kidney beans! If that puts you off, don’t let it! I’ll admit I did wonder would kidney beans work as well as chickpeas and black beans have for me in the past – but I needn’t have been concerned. These bars are soft, chocolate-y, and also pack a cheeky crunch of goodness from added mixed nuts! I’ve used two delicious Kind Snacks Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt nutty bars in place of the 50g of unsalted mixed nuts – simply because a) I love Kind Snacks (and this flavour bar in particular!) and b) Kind Snacks very ‘kindly’ sent me a couple of deliveries of their delicious range, and I thought why not use the opportunity for a little recipe inspiration? So, let’s bake!


Recipe (Makes 10 long brownies!)


  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder (I use Nua Naturals)
  • 2 tbsp cacao butter or coconut oil, melted (I use Cocobrew Cacao Butter)
  • 1 banana
  • 50g of quick cook oats, blended into flour (I use Flahavan’s)
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (or you can use another 50g of blended oats!)
  • 1/3 cup of sliced cooked beetroot
  • 1 400g tin of red kidney beans (or you can sub black beans!)
  • 100ml of milk of choice (I use Coconut or Almond Alpro!)
  • 50g unsalted nuts, chopped – I used 2 Kind Snacks Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt bars which have almonds and peanuts! Hazelnuts or walnuts would also be perfect, take your pick!




  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C (fan), and line a square baking tin with greaseproof paper or greased tinfoil.
  2. Place the kidney beans, banana chunks, milk and beetroot into a blender cup or food processor, and blender until smooth. You should get a smooth thick liquid consistency, dark pink in colour!
  3. Take a large mixing bowl, and add your dry ingredients – oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder and cacao powder – then stir them all together.
  4. Pour the wet blended batter into the bowl of dry ingredients, and mix it all up until you have a thick batter. If you feel it’s still a little dry, add a splash extra milk and mix again!
  5. Fold in the chopped nuts, and you’re good to go!
  6. Pour the batter into your baking tin, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove, and stick the prongs of a fork or a toothpick into the bake – if it comes out mostly clean, you’re good to go!
  7. Allow to cool for 30 minutes in the tin before slicing up and tucking in! You can also freeze a batch of these bars if you want to save them for snacks for work or just on the go!


Enjoy guys! I hope these fuel you up and taste as good as they have for me, I love creating homemade snack bars, especially those that pack a little extra protein and fibre! Tag me if you try them out – @theirishbalance on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook!

Ciara 🙂 x

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