Black Bean Gingerbread Bars

This post is sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada.

Prior to this year, I had never once added a bean to a dessert recipe. Now, I’ve done it three times. First, with these Vegan Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies, then with my Maple Pecan White Bean Blondies (yum!), and now with these Black Bean Gingerbread Bars.

hand picking up a black bean gingerbread bar off of a cooling rack

I have since fallen in love with adding protein-rich beans to my desserts, because they are loaded with fiber, potassium, and folate, all of which are thought to help support heart health. They also make an excellent, and affordable, egg substitute in vegan and gluten-free recipes like this one. In this case, the black beans add moisture and act as a binder, without adding an overwhelmingly “bean-y” taste. In fact, I can’t taste a hint of beans in these Black Bean Gingerbread Bars at all.

What I do taste in these soft, cake-like bars is a perfect blend of holiday spices, including ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and a touch of blackstrap molasses. Did you know that blackstrap molasses contains significant amounts of minerals, including calcium, iron, and magnesium? If you ask me, that’s even more reason to dig into these fiber-rich bars. When paired with warming ginger, they’re a delicious winter treat!

Of course, they’re a bit healthier if you avoid letting your toddler be in charge of the topping. He might have gone a little sugar-crazy. (But, gosh he’s cute.)

toddler sprinkling sugar over black bean gingerbread bars

Whether you decide to top these bars with an extra sprinkling of sugar or not, I hope you’ll enjoy them in the near future. If you signed up to take the Pulse Pledge this year– committing to eat one serving of pulses like lentils, beans, chickpeas, and dry peas each week– they’re an easy way to work towards meeting your weekly quota. And what a delicious way to wrap up the 2016 International Year of Pulses!

Black Bean Gingerbread Bars
Makes one 9-inch square pan

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, or 1 (15 oz.) can drained and rinsed
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon coarse granulated sugar, for topping (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. In the bowl of a large food processor fitted with an “S” blade, combine the black beans, flour, oil, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, baking soda, vanilla, molasses, and vinegar. Process until a smooth batter is formed.

black bean gingerbread mix in a food processor and in a baking pan

Pour the batter into the lined baking dish and sprinkle the top with the tablespoon of coarse sugar, if desired. Bake until the top feels firm to a light touch, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely before removing the bars from the pan and slicing.

black bean gingerbread bars on a cooling rack with sugar on top

These bars will keep well at room temperature for up to 48 hours tightly covered, but for best shelf life keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

4.86 from 7 votes
Print
Black Bean Gingerbread Bars
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
These moist and cake-like gingerbread bars pack a sneaky serving of black beans in each bite. They are loaded with protein, fiber, and nutrients for a healthier treat.
Course: Dessert
Servings: 16
Calories: 106 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans , or 1 (15 oz.) can drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coarse granulated sugar , for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. In the bowl of a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, combine the black beans, flour, oil, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, baking soda, vanilla, molasses, and vinegar. Process until a smooth batter is formed.
  2. Pour the batter into the lined baking dish and sprinkle the top with the tablespoon of coarse sugar, if desired. Bake until the top feels firm to a light touch, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely before removing the bars from the pan and slicing.
  3. These bars will keep well at room temperature for up to 48 hours tightly covered, but for best shelf life keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Note: I haven’t tried this recipe using other beans and flours, so please let us all know in the comments below if you try something new and how it works for you!

Reader Feedback: Have you ever added beans, or another type of pulse, to a dessert? Let me know your favorites!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada as part of my ongoing partnership to help promote the 2016 International Year of Pulses. 

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Comments

Daryl

According to my doctor, if I eat too much of something I become allergic. Up until last week the list included eggs, wheat AND gluten, rice, nuts, citrus and dairy. And then last week I was told that I am now also allergic to chocolate. After a moment of self-pity and a week of finishing off the avocado pudding I had already made, I was then faced with how I could possibly satisfy my sweet tooth. (I probably had more days of eating the pudding from your first cookbook in the last year than not eating pudding from your first cookbook, so the thought was a bit daunting. Luckily, I have both of your cookbooks and your website, and after making these gingerbread bars I realize that it’s going to be okay.

These bars are delicious! The flavor is perfect and the texture is great! Now I just need to restrain myself before my oat sensitivity becomes something more. Thank you for keeping me not just alive all of these years but happy to be here!

Charity Crawford

Do you think I could somehow sub the sugar with honey? If so how much would you reccomend?

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