As my marathon date encroaches closer and closer (oh my god, it’s on Sunday), I’ve been gradually weeding out the guilty treats from my diet. My uncle has gone vegan for the race, and though I have been unable to do that, I’ve been trying to stay away from cookies and other processed foods. During one of the weekends when Mark and I crashed at his and my aunt’s place, he introduced us to black bean cookies from Whole Foods. And yes, I know what you’re all thinking. Black bean cookies? Yuck! But trust me, the name is quite deceiving. This cookie is anything but disgusting.
After one taste of those cookies, I figured that it’d be even healthier to try and bake my own. Homemade foods are almost always healthier due to their lack of preservatives and your ability to know exactly what they’re composed of. Thanks to Eliza’s Edibles, I was able to discover the magic of what is black bean chocolate chip cookies.
I tweaked her recipe a bit and made it vegan and naturally sweetened with dates. With almond milk, freshly cooked black beans, whole wheat flour, peanut butter, olive oil, unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, and dark chocolate chips, these cookies scream nutritious and delicious.
Although I cooked raw black beans that I purchased from Whole Foods and used them in my recipe, you can also use unsalted canned black beans. These cookies are rich in the cocoa, double chocolate chip taste and have a very earthy flavor. They are not very sweet at all, but if you aren’t into the whole ‘artificial sweetness’ taste, then you’ll probably enjoy these cookies.
(THESE COOKIES ARE THE REASON WHY I INVESTED IN A BRAND NEW FOOD PROCESSOR)
- 1 1/2 cups of cooked black beans or unsalted canned black beans
- 2-6 Tbsp. almond milk/milk (use more if you use dates instead of sugar and if you notice the dough still too thick, add more of the milk)
- 1.5 Tbsp peanut butter/any nut butter
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup dates or 1/3-1/2 cup sugar (you can use more or less depending on your preference)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1/3-1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (your preference in how chocolatey you want it)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the food processor, combine the black beans, peanut butter, olive oil, choice of sweetener (dates or sugar), and almond milk.
- Process until it is smooth and there are no more chunks from the beans or dates.
- Add the whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Continue processing until it looks almost like chocolate mousse. Add more milk if the dough is too thick. You’ll want it a bit looser.
- Toss in the dark chocolate chips and pulse for a few seconds in the food processor (this is just to mix the chocolate chips in).
- Spoon dollops of the batter onto the baking tray and space them evenly apart. They don’t expand like other cookies, so you don’t have to worry about leaving large spaces.
- If you’d like, top the cookies with some more chocolate chips.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
These cookies are vegan, low fat, naturally sweetened, rich in fiber, and chocolate-y! They are also a great source of protein thanks to the black beans, and we vegetarians/vegans generally attain much of our protein from beans. These cookies also contain fiber from the dates and beans, which is great for keeping your colon clean and happy. Most importantly, they taste pretty darned close to regular, double chocolate chunk cookies and have been approved by my sweet toothed boyfriend. Trust me, it’ll be difficult for you to find any other cookie that’ll be this nutritious for you. You feel like you’re treating yourself to a dessert, but really you’re biting into a nutrient dense cookie.
Life should be enjoyed, and eating healthy doesn’t mean having to give up foods you love. It’s always possible to find healthier options and of course it’s okay to indulge yourself every now and then.