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16 of Our Favorite Bean Based Desserts

February 26, 2014
Featured in: Ingredient Spotlight
16 of Our Favorite Bean Based Desserts

~by and Lindsay Livingston, RD

[Disclosure: I recently attended a continuing education and food/nutrition forum sponsored in part by Bush's Beans. A portion of the information cited in this post may be a result of information shared with me at that event. I was not asked to write this post, nor compensated for my time. All opinions expressed are my own. ~Regan]

I (Regan) have been wanting to do a bean based dessert feature here on Healthy Aperture for a while. I was first turned on to the possibilities of all things sweet-and-beany a few years ago when I was authoring The Professional Palate. I posted about your basic Black Bean Brownies and that went, as the kids say, cray cray on the internet. Seriously... viral like.

But since that time, I've watched all kinds of yummy desserts pop up on the Healthy Aperture gallery, well beyond just your basic brownies. So when I was in Amsterdam last week participating in a discussion on why/how to get people to "eat more beans," of course my mind went to these sweet confections.

Let me be clear... I don't think that the answer to solving every food problem is adding sugar. But in the case of bean based desserts, it really is a dietary win for a lot of reasons. It's a well-known fact that beans are one of the world's heart healthiest foods (and interestingly I learned at that conference one of the few classes of foods that have multiple centers of domestication, meaning they are grown the world over). I know there are a few detractors in the camp of "if my caveman ancestors didn't eat it, then I shouldn't either," but I'm not buying it. The research just doesn't support that notion. In fact, the same argument against beans -- all the non-digestible parts -- are the best reasons FOR eating beans: 

  • The soluble fiber in beans appear to help bind cholesterol and keep it from being absorbed in the gut. Plus, as the fiber ferments it may actually inhibit overall cholesterol formation. 
  • Beans contain flavanoids (those same wonderful compounds found in wine) that appear to prevent platelets from getting all "sticky" (yes, that's my scientific wording for adhesion), which may help lower risk for heart attack and stroke.
  • And here's my personal favorite. Beans offer "prebiotics"... those non-digestible compounds that healthy bacteria in our gut love to feed off of. (If your radar isn't up to the importance of your overall personal flora, get it up. Now. We learn more every day about what a vital role bacteria throughout our bodies play in overall health -- and prebiotics, like the fiber found in beans, are a crucial part of feeding and maintaining this system.) 

But even with all this talk of how healthy beans are, folks still aren't eating enough of them. Perhaps it's the "flatulence fear factor"? (A non-issue when you consider the more you eat them, the less this happens). Are they scared of sodium? (I tend to think not, especially when companies like Bush's Beans offer reduced-sodium beans). Or maybe, it's just they don't know what to do with beans other than throw them in chili? 

And that's where the talented bloggers on Healthy Aperture can help. Here are our picks for Top 16 Bean Based Desserts! 


16 of Our Favorite Bean Based Desserts

Black Beans

Black Bean Brownies via iFOODReal
Vegan Chocolate Fudge via 84th & 3rd 
Chocolate Black Bean Cookies via My Happy Dessert 
Gluten-Free Black Lava Cakes via Urban Chickpea


16 of Our Favorite Bean Based Desserts

White Beans

No Bake Pumpkin Cookie Dough Bars via Yeah Imma Eat That
Skinny Funfetti Blondies via 360 Family Nutrition 
Cranberry Flax White Bean Blondies via Holistic & Happy 
Healthy Cookie Dough Dip via Running To The Kitchen


16 of Our Favorite Bean Based Desserts

Garbanzo Beans {Chickpeas}

Grain-Free Blondies with Nutella via Yeah Imma Eat That 
Garbanzo Bean Vanilla Protein Cake via iFOODReal 
Garbanzo Bean Brownies via Roasted Root Food 
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites via Texanerin


16 of Our Favorite Bean Based Desserts

Other Beans

Coconut Banana Bread w/ Red Bean Frosting via The Worktop
Strawberry & Red Bean Mochi via Daily Cooking Quest 
Cinnamon Toffee Pecan Bean Butter via Ricki Heller 
Banana & Mung Bean Starch Cake via Daily Cooking Quest

Ever wanted to make a bean based dessert, but wanted to go beyond brownies? Check these out!


Healthy Aperture is a unique image-based recipe discovery platform. It is the only site of its kind moderated by registered dietitians and solely focused on healthy food blogs. Basically, we expose the best of what’s healthy to eat on the web. As the only food blog photo sharing site founded and hosted by registered dietitians, Healthy Aperture prides itself on publishing only the finest food imagery created by bloggers of healthy food.
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