/This post has been updated to be better looking and better tasting! AND also 100% gluten free!/
This post, one of my first and favorite recipes on the blog, has been in desperate need of an update. So for the past two weekends I’ve been baking batches and batches of these refined sugar free, double chocolate chip black bean cookies to really get the recipe just right. I then decided to turn them paleo as well as vegan, and then I gave them a well-deserved photoshoot. You can compare the photos below.
Old photo (the first batch of black bean cookies I’d ever made). Don’t they look like little rocks? What was I thinking posting a picture like that for the world to see? Oh yeah, I wasn’t.
Anyways, now everyone can feast their eyes upon much more aesthetically appealing cookies.
I first made this recipe when I was training for my full marathon and was gradually weeding out the guilty treats from my diet. My uncle had gone vegan for the race and 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.
For this recipe, you should follow the instructions carefully and try to make each cookie about 3-5 inches (scoop one teaspoon and then use the back of the spoon to make circular motions over the dough until it flattens into the shape that you want). You’ll also most definitely need a food processor which you can purchase on Amazon here. THIS RECIPE IS THE REASON WHY I BOUGHT A FOOD PROCESSOR, these cookies and these black bean brownies.
These cookies are rich in the cocoa 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.
- 1 15 oz. can of unsalted canned black beans (drained)
- 3 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 almond meal (or whole wheat flour if you need it)
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 10-11 Medjool dates (pitted)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- ⅓-1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips or gluten free chocolate chips (your preference in how chocolatey you want it)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
- In the bowl of the food processor, add the pitted dates. Blend until they are completely smooth and there are no more chunks. (Use rubber spatula to scrape the sides and keep processing until it's smooth)
- Add the drained black beans (they should be wet, but not much liquid from the can should be poured into the bowl). Blend until the mixture is completely smooth (no chunks!). You'll need to pause multiple times to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
- Add vanilla extract, almond milk, peanut butter, and olive oil. Blend until everything has been fully incorporated. Add the cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and almond meal. Blend again until everything has been thoroughly mixed.
- Stir in the chocolate chips with your rubber spatula.
- Line 2 baking sheets with silicone mats. Scoop one teaspoon of the mixture. Use the back of the spoon to make circular motions over the dough until it has been flattened into the shape of your cookie (about 3-5 inches - refer to the photo above).
- Repeat until there is no more dough. You don't have to space them very far apart because they don't expand.
- Bake for about 23-25 minutes (check on them at the 20 minute mark to make sure they aren't burned, though - oven temperatures can vary, so it's better to be safe).
- Remove them from the baking sheet and then place them on a cooling rack where they can be eaten.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Definitely let the cookies cool before biting into them. They’re soft, chocolate-y, vegan, paleo, naturally sweetened, and rich in fiber!
What more could you ask for?
These cookies 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.
Hope you enjoyed the updated post! Stay happy and healthy, y’all! Do you guys have any desserts you’d be interested in ‘health-ifyng’?