One of my life missions is to make sure everyone knows that beans can – and should – be added to anything and everything! Naturally, that includes sweet treats, like these Chocolate Cherry Bean Bars. No, they don’t taste bean-y (although, would that really be a bad thing??). No one will ever know you added beans. But you’ll know. And no doubt that will bring you joy to sneak more beans into the lives of your loved ones, surprising them afterwards by sharing that these bars have beans (!!).
These Bean Bars are slightly sweet but also packed full of healthy ingredients like oats, chia seeds, and – duh – beans. This makes them a good snack, breakfast, or even dessert. You can also freeze them to have quick on-the-go snacks/meals ready.
These Bean Bars work well with a variety of white beans, like great northern beans or cannellini (aka white kidney) beans. Mayocoba beans also work brilliantly in these.
Now, get your healthy baking on with beans! 🙂
Chocolate Cherry Oat Bean BarsCourse: Breakfast, Snack, DessertDifficulty: Easy
Healthy baking is in. And what’s the best ingredient to add to healthy baked goods? That’s right – beans! These Bean Bars have a slight sweetness and are very filling and satisfying from the oats, chia seeds, nuts, and beans.
- Wet Ingredients
1 and 1/2 cups (or 1 15 oz. can) cooked white beans (like great northern, cannellini/white kidney) or Mayocoba beans
1/2 cup milk of choice
2 Tbs neutral oil
1/4 cup (60 g) maple syrup
3/4 cup (~180 g) applesauce
1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Dry Ingredients
3 cups (240 g) old-fashioned oats (dry) – if not using a scale, take care to not pack your oats or you may add a lot more than 240 grams and these could come out dry
2 heaping Tbs (28 g) chia seeds
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt – but if the beans you are using were cooked with salt, only add a pinch instead of 1/2 tsp
1/2 cup (55 g) toasted chopped pecans or walnuts *See note
1/2 cup (80 g) dried cherries
~1/2 bar of your favorite chocolate bar (I like plain dark chocolate in this), or 1/2 cup chocolate chunks or chips
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (~190°C).
- Drain and rinse the beans well. If using freshly cooked beans, allow them to cool some before blending with the wet ingredients so they don’t cook the eggs upon mixing.
- Add the wet ingredients (beans, milk, oil, maple syrup, applesauce, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract) to a high-powered blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
- In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients: oats, chia seeds, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to evenly moisten. Allow this to sit for 5-10 minutes (the oats and chia seeds will soak up much of the liquid) and thicken while you prepare the add-ins.
- Roughly chop the pecans/walnuts, dried cherries, and chocolate bar. Chopped chocolate tends to melt better, and having nice pockets of melted chocolate works well in recipes like this. However, you can of course use chocolate chips or chunks if you prefer.
- Mix the add-ins into the batter.
- After the batter has thickened (~5-10 minutes, as mentioned), spray/grease an 8×8 baking dish or line with parchment paper. Bake on the center rack of the oven until set in the middle and turning slightly golden brown at the edges. This takes approximately 30 minutes.
- Let cool slightly before cutting and removing the bars, to help make sure they hold their shape.
- If you have time to toast the pecans (or walnuts) before adding them to the batter, they will be more flavorful. If time does not allow, you can make this without toasting them.
- If you like more add-ins, you can increase the amount to 3/4 cup or so of each add-in.
- You can also bake this in a muffin tin, loaf pan, or other baking vessel. Baking time will of course need to be adjusted accordingly.
Nutrition Facts for the Bean Bars
These were created in Nutritionist Pro to provide an idea of the nutrition facts. This can of course vary with different brands, ingredients, etc.
More Baking with Beans
Looking for more ideas of baking with beans? I mean, who wouldn’t?! Here are a few other ideas: