5 Ways to Turn Beans into Dessert

There’s very little debate over the merits of beans. Simply put: eat more! With their powerful nutrient profile that delivers plant protein, B-vitamins, folate, iron and antioxidants (plus a terrific dose of fiber), beans improve cholesterol, blood sugar and even longevity.

Those who already love beans know they make a beautiful base for savory fare like soups, stews and veggie burgers; they shine on top of green salads and pasta dishes.

But today we’re going to get a little crazy in our quest to eat more beans, and work with the mild, creamy flavor and texture of beans to bring them into a whole new culinary realm: dessert.

Do you have a reluctant bean-eater in your household? Offer them a luscious square of black bean brownies or a plate of fresh fruit with chocolate hummus for dipping. Just watch them try to resist!

5 Ways to Turn Beans into Dessert

Cinnamon-Sugar Roasted Chickpeas

A sweet, crunchy snack that kids will love.


3 cups cooked chickpeas
2 Tbls. coconut oil
2 Tbls. cinnamon
3 Tbls. sugar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain chickpeas well and pat them dry with a paper towel. In a medium mixing bowl, toss chickpeas with oil, cinnamon and sugar. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes, shaking the pan every fifteen minutes to prevent uneven browning. Enjoy warm or cool.

5 Ways to Turn Beans into Dessert

Chocolate Hummus

Serve a bowl of this decadent chocolatey hummus with fresh fruit for dunking.


2 Tbls. peanut or almond butter
Ľ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Ľ cup maple syrup
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 tsp vanilla


Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add 1-2 Tbls of water if needed for a soother consistency. Serve with fresh fruit or pretzels.

5 Ways to Turn Beans into Dessert

Anko (Japanese Bean Paste)

A popular filling in Japanese candies; try it on toast!


1 cup dried adzuki beans
˝ to 1 cup sugar, to taste


Soak beans in water overnight, then drain and rinse.

In a large pot, bring beans plus water to cover them to a boil and reduce heat immediately to a low simmer. Cook covered for one hour or until beans are quite tender.

Allow beans to cool a bit, then transfer to a food processor, add the sugar and puree. You may leave the paste chunky or run the processor until the paste is completely smooth.

5 Ways to Turn Beans into Dessert

Fruity Bean Smoothie

A high-protein breakfast option for busy mornings.


1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 Tbls honey, agave, or maple syrup (optional)
˝ cup cooked cannelini or navy beans, rinsed well.
1 cup whole milk


Blend all ingredients until completely smooth. Enjoy!

5 Ways to Turn Beans into Dessert

Black Bean Brownies

Fudgy and addicting black bean brownies from blogger Chocolate Covered Katie:


1 1/2 cups black beans
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave
pinch uncut stevia OR 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all ingredients except chips in a food processor, and blend until completely smooth.

Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan.

Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top.

Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before slicing. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Amanda M
Amanda M5 months ago

That reminds me, I should introduce my kids to Chinese mooncakes when the holiday for them arises. They're made with bean paste as a filling after all!

joan s
joan silaco6 months ago


Margie FOURIE6 months ago

Thanks for the recipes.

Carol S
Carol S6 months ago

I'm fine with eating beans at meals regularly.

Patricia D
Patricia D6 months ago

Thanks for the recipes

Sheila Miller
Sheila Miller6 months ago

I do like beans and will look forward to trying the recipes. My favorite beans are Boston baked beans. I enjoy them with any meal. Thanks for the article!

Sue M
Sue M6 months ago

Interesting recipes! In Hk and China they make many desserts with beans but I was never very fond of them

Julia S
Julia S6 months ago

Thank you!

Shirley Plowman
Shirley Plowman6 months ago

Thank you, wonderful article.

Richard A
Richard A6 months ago

Thank you for the article and recipes.