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Lectin-Light Adzuki Bean Brownies with Olive Oil and Macadamia Nuts

There is a big preconception out there, that if you are following the Plant Paradox program you can’t eat beans. To quote Dr. Steven Gundry, “you can eat beans, just detoxify them first”. So, if you have passed Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Plant Paradox and willing to give Phase 3 a try, beans and legumes are a new fascinating world to explore. It didn’t take me long to use beans to make a sweet treat and wow, I’m impressed! These lectin-light, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan adzuki bean brownies are delicious.

Adzuki beans a powerhouse of nutrition

I have shared in another post my favorite ways, so far, to enjoy black beans, Lima beans and chickpeas – Reintroducing Beans. Three Easy and Delicious Recipes – and the other day I found a bag of Organic Adzuki Beans in Central Market.

I loved the look and after reading about how important they are in Asian cuisine and what a powerhouse of nutrition they are, I decided to give them a try. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can use the canned Adzuki beans, Eden brand. They are presoaked and pressure cooked. They are spelled Aduki, but it is the same thing.

Pressure cooking the adzuki beans

The entire bag (1lbs) is soaked in filtered water, overnight. I usually soak them in Mason jars, covered, in the fridge. I changed water two times, rinsed them before cooking and pressure cooked for 15 minutes in my Instant Pot, using filtered water.

Make sure you add enough water as they tend to expand a lot (about three times as much). I’m not sure if this is based on facts, but I do not use the water the beans have boiled in. I drain them, put them in mason jars or Stasher bags and refrigerate or freeze them for later use.

Inspiration for this adzuki bean brownies recipe

The idea to make something sweet with them came when I read about the adzuki bean paste used in Asian desserts. Unfortunately, a lot of sugar is used to make this paste. And I had another idea when I read somewhere that chestnut is often a flavor that is added to this paste or the desserts made with it. You might know I love chestnuts and love using chestnut flour. So the whole idea of making a bean brownie with chestnut flour was born.

Although quite popular in Europe, Italy, chestnut flour is not the easiest thing to find in the US. However, you can order it online, on It’s a delicious flour, naturally sweet and nutritionally dense. You can also use it to make the best lectin-free crepes: Chestnut Crepes with Rose Water and Wild Blueberries or this Chestnut Pie with Root Vegetables.

I also recommend reading my article Quick guide to lectin-free, gluten-free flours for more information on the different types of flours available.

Making and serving the adzuki bean brownies

Back to our brownie, these are all the ingredients you need. I’ll link the brands I use and like, but you can use any: raw macadamia nuts, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, psyllium husk, pressure-cooked Adzuki beans, sea salt, chestnut flour, yacon syrup, dark chocolate (above 85%), extra virgin olive oil (see this article on how to pick the best olive oil).

Lectin-Light Adzuki Bean Brownies with Olive Oil and Macadamia Nuts. Fresh from the oven.

For baking brownies and these types of cakes, I use an All-Clad staineless steel 8×8 inch pan. I usually grease it well and don’t use parchment paper. I didn’t want to risk it being stuck to the pan so I lined it with parchment paper.

Let it completely cool before you cut it out. I would even recommend refrigerating it for about an hour before you cut it. The brownie tastes the best cold, from the fridge. You can also freeze it and take it out just a few hours before serving (perfect if part of a lunch box).

Lectin-Light Adzuki Bean Brownies with Olive Oil and Macadamia Nuts. Ready to be served.


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Lectin-Light Adzuki Bean Brownies with Olive Oil and Macadamia Nuts

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
By Claudia Curici Serves: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 45 minutes

A delicious sweet treat made with real, nutritious foods


  • 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 2 cups pressure cooked adzuki beans (drained)
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon psyllium husk flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon yacon syrup (or more if you like it sweet)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons chestnut flour
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped (or you can use chocolate chips), divided
  • 1/4 tsp salt for the batter
  • Sea salt flakes for topping



Preheat the oven to 350F.


Prepare an 8x8 inch (or something similar) baking pan with parchment paper.


Chop the macadamia nuts in a food processor, take them out.


In the same food processor add the beans and salt and process until it becomes a paste.


Grind the hemp seeds and flaxseed in a coffee grinder or Nutribullet with a milling blade (or use already ground) and add them to the food processor. Add the psyllium husk flakes, yacon syrup and olive oil and process until all creamy.


Add the chestnut flour and process until all mixed together.


Transfer the content to a mixing bowl, add the macadamia nuts and the 1.2oz chopped chocolate and fold everything in with a spatula. Transfer the batter to the baking pan and level. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate.


Bake for 35-40 minutes, until no longer soft to touch. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Let it cool completely before cutting. Store in the refrigerator or freeze.


I prefer eating them cold, from the fridge. Texture and taste are the best, in my opinion.

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