Wednesday, February 12, 2014

No-bake chocolate-topped black bean and goji berry snack bars (vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free)

For someone who likes vegetable-containing desserts, it may seem strange that I have never tried black bean brownies. Beetroot brownies, yes; chickpea truffle balls, yes; black bean brownies, no.

There's no particular reason for this, although I will readily admit that brownies aren't my favourite treat. That might be why my entry into black bean desserts comes not with brownies, but with these no-bake snack bars. With a short ingredient list that features goji berries and coconut flour, the bars are a delightful mix of decadent and healthy. The best part? You can't taste the healthy.



These are quite crumbly at room temperature, as products with coconut flour are wont to be. However, they firm up really well in the fridge. Once spread with a layer of coconut chocolate topping, they have no trouble holding together. The chocolate topping also serves to take the bars from good to great. Please don't skip that component - the bars are enjoyable without it, but it is the chocolate topping that really makes them pop!


Bars like these remind me why I no longer buy commercial muesli bars. Preservatives, artificial ingredients and uniform packaging really don't hold much appeal when set against the joys of eating something delicious, made entirely from natural ingredients.


Chocolate-topped black bean and goji berry snack bars
These snack bars showcase natural ingredients at their delicious best!
Vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free; also no bake.
Food processor required.
Makes 8 bars.



Ingredients
Base
1/2 cup cooked black beans
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup goji berries
1/4 cup (~8) dates, chopped in half
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp coconut oil, in liquid form

Chocolate topping
1 tbsp coconut oil, in liquid form
1 tbsp cocoa / cacao powder
2 tsp rice malt syrup or agave

Method
To make the bars, combine the black beans, coconut flour, goji berries and chopped dates in a food processor and process until fine and crumbly (see picture below). Add the cinnamon and coconut oil and process to incorporate.

Transfer the mixture to a metal or silicon loaf tin lined with baking paper or cling wrap (this isn't essential if using a silicon tin but is highly recommended for a metal tin). Allow to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

When firm, remove the bars from your pan before slicing, then slice into 8 strips.

To make the chocolate topping, combine the coconut oil, cocoa / cacao and rice malt syrup / agave in a small bowl. Stir well with a spoon until smooth. 

Spread the chocolate topping thinly over the bars, then return to the fridge for an additional 30-60 minutes to set.

Store in the fridge.

Base mixture post-initial mixing and pre-coconut oil.

Submitted to Ricki's Wellness Weekend and Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Do you have favourite bean-containing desserts?!

27 comments:

  1. I've made black bean brownies once and they were a serious disaster, so I've avoided them ever since! These bars look pretty great though and would make for such a good pre or post workout snack!

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    1. Now I'm glad I've never bothered with black bean brownies! Pre or post workout is definitely the vibe these give off...although in fairness to them, they work pretty well at other times too :-)

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  2. No bake required?! Awesome! As someone who doesn't have an oven in my home but loves chocolate, I really appreciate recipes like this!!

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  3. I think goji berries and chocolate go wonderfully together. I don't buy commercial muesli bars anymore either and I'm now thinking I'd like to start making my own muesli - at least you know what's in it and you get to control the quantities of each ingredient xx

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    Replies
    1. Controlling the quantities of each ingredient is one of the best parts of home made, and in muesli I imagine it would be particularly beneficial. More of the add ins you want, and fewer of those you don't!

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  4. I have tried black bean brownies and it was disastrous but many years ago - I have a feeling I might do better today with it - but haven't seen black beans in other slices - usually chickpeas or white beans - the chocolate topping does look great - what doesn't taste better with a little chocolate thrown in - I do buy muesli bars occasionally but very rarely these days because of all the sugar etc

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    1. I'm really starting to think I don't need to explore black bean brownies any further! I might just stick with these :-) As you say, chocolate improves most things and this topping has the added benefit of taking about a minute to put together.

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  5. Oh Goodness Kari - please come and cook for me!

    journeysthroughmeadows.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. I'd offer to post you some of these but I suspect they wouldn't make it through the post!

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  6. These look tasty. Weird that they're that pretty tan colour rather than grey as I'd expect from the beans?

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    Replies
    1. I know, I was very pleasantly surprised! I think it might be the goji berries and dates :-)

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  7. These look so delicious and I love that you sneaked beans into your valentine's dessert!

    I agree with Emma- crazy that they turned out that colour!

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    Replies
    1. I know! They'd have been far less enjoyable if they'd been grey :D

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  8. I will have to send a link to this recipe to a friend, she would love this slice for sure! Well done making something so healthy and delicious.
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    1. Thanks so much - I hope your friend likes them!

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  9. I have once made black bean brownies once, and they were fantastic! This looks great, I love adding black beans t o thngs

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  10. These must be very good for you. I love goji berries.

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    Replies
    1. Good for you and delicious all in one!

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  11. It's a shame you didn't write your name with the icing. You know, mark your territory and all that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you think I have the skill to do that...well, you just keep on believing it :)

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  12. These look great. Have to put them on my "to try" list. I wonder if they'd hold together without the coconut oil?!?!?

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    Replies
    1. I suspect they wouldn't Sandy, but you could try adding in a nut butter to see if that would work instead?

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  13. I've never made desserts with beans, but I don't make many desserts either! Love goji berries and chocolate always makes everything better! I am definitely going to try these, thanks for sharing Kari!

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