Kelly the Culinarian: Cooking with Kelly: No-Bake Black Bean Energy Bar Recipe

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cooking with Kelly: No-Bake Black Bean Energy Bar Recipe

Mmm, "healthy" bars. I love them, but only when they come from my kitchen. I already have one chocolate protein bar recipe that I make pretty regularly, but I wanted to expand my horizons and try something that didn't require protein powder. Plus, these bars are gluten free and very tasty. Because of the cocoa powder and raisins, they do turn out tasting quite a bit like a fudge brownie. If you're into cycling, these would be easy enough to pack on a long bike ride.

When cut into nine bars, these are about 120 calories each and have six grams of protein. Not bad at all, for a brownie impostor.

No-Bake Black Bean Energy Bar Recipe
1/2 oats (use certified GF if you're avoiding gluten)
1/3 cup raisins, packed
1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
Scant 1/2 cup mashed bananas
Scant 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup Splenda (Can omit or swap for regular sugar, if you're sensitive)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup flaxseed meal

Using a food processor, grind the oats until powdery. Next, pulse the raisins, black beans, bananas and pumpkin until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until incorporated.

Spoon the batter into an 8x8 baking pan lined with foil and smooth over to fill evenly. Freeze for one hour or until firm but not frozen solid. Remove from the pan and using a sharp knife, cut into nine squares. Individually package in plastic wrap or bags, then store in the freezer.

I'll tell you this: Napoleon loved this recipe, mostly because of the can that the pumpkin comes in that he gets to enjoy. I've created a monster because now anytime I open a can, he comes running. At least he likes healthy treats.


Czesia said...

What a great recipe! Do you think I could substitute Chia seeds for the flax? If so, how much would you recommend? Does it taste like bean-y at all?!?

KellytheCulinarian said...

It's not so much a taste, but a mouth feel. You can still tell there's beans in there, but it's very sweet and rich-tasting because of the cocoa and raisins. I've never worked with chia, but the flax really adds texture more than anything, so I would say go with the same measurement.

Czesia said...

Oh okay cool! I'll be sure to let you know how it goes! I've heard that in Asia they make dessert/sweets with beans too!