One of the things that I enjoy the most about trying to eat healthy is that it forces me outside of my comfort zone a little bit. I often have cravings for something tasty, and end up trying to challenge myself to make a classic recipe as healthy as possible. I have been trying to eat a bit cleaner lately and with Valentine’s Day coming up it seemed like the ideal time to make a healthy recipe with my favourite ingredient – chocolate. This chocolate brownie bite recipe is the perfect middle ground between a sweet treat or quick snack.
These chocolate brownie bites are super fudgy and rich, but not so over the top that you can’t nibble on a few mid-afternoon or for some added energy before a workout. They come together in about 20 minutes and require only a few simple ingredients. When I was looking for inspiration online, I found quite a few other recipes online that use protein powders, coconut oil and other more heavy or processed foods. While there’s definitely nothing wrong with incorporating those ingredients, this whole foods version is easier to digest, making it perfect for an easy energy boost.
I used cacao powder for this recipe, which is just an unrefined version of cocoa powder. While you could definitely get away with using cocoa powder, cacao is much higher in antioxidants, iron, calcium and magnesium. I am pretty picky about where I buy my fancier health food ingredients, and for this recipe I used cacao powder from Sunfood Superfoods. Their products are really high quality and guaranteed to be raw, organic and non-GMO. We actually use their stuff for everything – I am especially obsessed with using their coconut oil as a moisturizer because it doesn’t smell, its texture is so smooth and it absorbs way faster than some of the other brands I’ve used. If you want to give their stuff a try, use the referral code A6NO6GME to get 10% off your next online purchase!Like cacao, black beans are high in antioxidants, as well as full of fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Fun fact – eating beans regularly may decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer, and are shown to help with weight management. Just make sure you rinse them really well before eating!
Lastly, while a lot of the ingredients of this recipe can be easily substituted (i.e. cocoa for cacao, white beans for black beans, buckwheat flour for oat flour etc.), I wouldn’t recommend subbing out the dates. They are really what helps everything stick together nicely, making it a lot easier to deal with your “batter.” I haven’t tried it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that a liquid sweetener would make the batter a bit too gooey.
- 12-14 pitted medjool dates (if dry, soak in hot water for about 10 minutes)
- ½ cup oat flour (I make mine by blending oatmeal in a high-powered blender)
- ⅔ cup black beans, rinsed well
- 4-6 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
- 1 pinch salt
- If making oat flour, pulse ½ cup oats in your blender until a fine flour forms, consistent throughout; pour into a bowl and put to the side.
- Pulse dates in a food processor or blender until they form small pieces or a large ball.
- Add oat flour, black beans, 4 tbsp cacao powder and salt to the date mix; pulse well until combined. You may need to scrape down the sides of your food processor a few times.
- Carefully use your hands to roll into 1-inch balls (about 1 tablespoon of mixture per ball) and roll in cacao or cocoa powder. Should yield 14-15 balls.
- To set, pop the bites in the fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
- These will keep fresh in an air-tight bag or container for up to 3-5. Freeze for longer storage.
Well, friends – that’s it. I hope you have a wonderful love day and don’t forget to love the most important person in your life… you!
Let me know in the comments below if you have tried this recipe and whether you like it.