Dec 18, 2011

Beans 'N Greens Bars

First off, I made this at night with terrible indoor lighting for photographs. So which photograph is (slightly) less awful?

Without flash:

With flash:

Awful lighting or not, I bet you get the idea - chocolaty fudgy decadence.

Whether you wish to call these brownies or energy bars, they are a tasty, healthy (and convenient!) way to get those beans and greens in!

If you want a super-sweet and insubstantial brownie that will give you a sugar high and the giggles (and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that!) this recipe isn't that.

But if you're looking for an alternative to an energy bar, a quick and healthy snack, or some way to get some more veggies and protein in (while making your tastebuds think that you're eating dessert), then this is an awesome option!

Beans 'N Greens Bars


2 c. canned black beans, rinsed
4 to 5 c. field greens, rinsed
1/3 c. milk (can sub almond, soy, rice, or coconut milk)
1/2 c. quick oats
1/2 c. olive oil (can replace with any other vegetable oil - possibly even nut butters?)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. flax seeds
1/16 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
*OPTIONAL EXTRAS for extra yumminess include: nuts, M&Ms/candy, caramels, potato chips, or whatever else you can come up with!*


1) Blend the beans, greens, and milk in your blender/food processor.

2) Add in the oats and olive oil, blend until smooth.

3) Add in all remaining ingredients, except the chocolate chunks and (optional) extras. Mix, don't over-mix.

4) Carefully stir in the chocolate chunks and extras. 

5) Pour into a greased 11" x 7" glass pan (or whatever baking dish you have handy - you could even do these as muffins, if you wanted extra convenience, you'd just need to adjust baking times).

6) Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for ~35 minutes, until not very much sticks to a tester toothpick. There will still be a little bit that sticks, since it's a fudgy bar and there are melty chocolate chunks throughout (yum). 

6) Cool, then slice into 24 squares (or however many makes the right size for you).

If you *don't* want nutritional information, skip over the next little bit (until after the next picture)! 

If you do, though, as I know some of you will be interested in comparing this to packed bars and energy bars, here is what each bar pretty much is, based on 24 servings:

133 calories
32% fiber (8.0g)
5.7g protein
3.5g sugar
33% Vitamin A
10% Iron
5% Calcium

So low sugar, high fiber, high protein, and vitamins/minerals to boot! Sounds like a pretty healthy bar to me, no? 

Good thing, too, because these are so amazing that eating just one (or two) isn't really an option. ;)

They're filling, energizing chocolaty awesomeness with melty chocolate chunks throughout (I definitely prefer chunks to chips, as you get a nice block of chocolate at once - so satisfying) and a hearty beany, whole grainy, veggie-loaded health punch!

This is definitely a pat-myself-on-the-back moment. Or maybe I'll just celebrate with some yummy beans 'n greens bars. A la mode, of course. ;)

Do you like having the nutritional stats for recipes? Should I post them?

Do you bake with veggies?

What's your favorite kind of baked good? Muffins, bars, pies, cookies, etc.?

And here's a non-food-related funny:

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

BWAHAHAHAHA! Earth-friendly energy is the way to go. :)


  1. YAY! I love your healthy creations. These look delicious and the nutrition stats are awesome.
    I actually like when people post the nutritional facts for their recipes- I find it interesting to see where they stand. And I'm always too lazy to figure it out on my own! haha.

  2. Thanks! I love them, too (as does everyone I share them with - as long as they don't see me make them/don't know they're packed with spinach and beans). I'll try to remember to keep posting stats! :)

  3. BAHAHAHA. I seriously just died about the windpower pin. lolz.

    Anyways-this kind of inspires me to make some black bean pancakes.

  4. Ooh, those sound good. Post the recipe? ;)


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