Beans for Dessert?


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We’ve all heard of Beans N Franks, Three Bean Salad, and Navy Bean Soup, who would have ever thought to use beans as an ingredient for dessert? Recently, I was on the Talk of Alabama morning show as the chef for the day and I had fun creating desserts made with beans.

Believe it or not, beans can have some sweet results. They give a creaminess and fattiness to cookies, pies and brownies. And from a health perspective that means you need to use less oil, shortening or butter, all while keeping them vegan friendly.

There are a lot of advantages or benefits when using beans. For starters, they are a super healthy, versatile and very affordable food. Beans, also known as legumes, are high in antioxidants, fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Eating beans regularly may decrease your risk of diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer, and helps with weight management. Because of the fiber, which sends messages to your brain that you’re full, you’re less likely to eat. And surprisingly, you won’t experience any flatulence (gas).

On the show, I treated the hosts to a sampling of Black Bean Brownies, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Nibbles (made from chickpeas) and White Bean Granola Chocolate Chip Cookies. The surprise with these is that no one will ever know these goodies are made with beans. The flavor is totally hidden.

Here’s the recipe for the Black Bean Brownies. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

Black Bean Brownies
recipe courtesy of


  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well)
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/3 cup agave or pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. If they still look a bit undercooked, you can place them in the refrigerator overnight.

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