Sunday, July 1, 2012

Black Bean Chocolate Chili Cherry Cookies

I try to stay away from refined flours, sugars and processed foods for three reasons, 1) they do not nourish our bod or our health 2) they negatively impact the environment (think packaging and fuel) and 3) the real deal (unprocessed, whole-foods) is so much better! But…what’s a girl to do when she cannot deny her craving for fresh baked cookies?!

So, you can imagine how excited I was when I came across this amazing chocolate cookie recipe made with black beans! I know, black bean cookies don’t sound nearly as appealing as chocolate chip or snickerdoodle but I promise that no one will ever know they are loaded with beans. They look like regular cookies, smell just as amazing as regular cookies and even have a fudgy consistency (if you take them out a minute or two early like I doJ).

These cookies are gluten, dairy, and sugar free! Plus, they are filled with black beans, which means you are getting a boost of protein too! I just can’t think of anything better! The dough is really easy to whip up and by changing the spices and added ingredients you can easily recreate the recipe. I like the recipe as is but tried a batch with coconut and chopped almonds instead of chili powder and cherries to make an “Almond Joy.” Have fun and enjoy!


Black Bean Chocolate Chili Cherry Cookies
1.5-2 cups cooked black beans, very soft (or one 19 oz can, drained and rinsed)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (no need to melt)
1/3 cup organic cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt, more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla (I scraped the inside of a vanilla bean instead)
1/3 cup organic maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
2 tablespoons of chia seeds (ground flax seeds OR two eggs)
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (80% or higher)
1/3 cup of dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Black Bean Almond Joy Cookies
1/3 cup of shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/3 cup of chopped raw almonds
1 teaspoon almond extract
* Use the above recipe but substitute the coconut, almonds and almond extract for the vanilla, dried cherries, and cayenne pepper.

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a baking stone.

Mix chia seeds, maple syrup, and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside (skip this step if you’re using eggs).
Place drained and well-rinsed beans, coconut oil, cocoa, salt and spices (depending on your variation) in a food processor and blend until well combined.

Add the liquid ingredients and pulse to incorporate. The batter will be quite liquid-y, but still hold together.  Remove blade from the food processor and add chopped chocolate and dried cherries (if using). Fold to incorporate.

Spoon cookie batter onto lined baking sheet. Using the back of the spoon, flatten top of cookies slightly, as they will not spread when baking.  Sprinkle with coarse sea salt (important!). Bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Cool and EAT! Store in the fridge.