black-bean-brownie-smoothie

Looking to increase your protein intake, you withering vegan, you?! Step away from the protein powder! This black bean brownie smoothie is the cure for what ails you.

I’ve been a smoothie-making machine for the past 9 months or so, and I admit I may have gotten a teeny, tiny bit enamored with protein powder along the way. I’m no nutritionist, and I’m certainly not interested in discussing anyone’s protein needs; I just think it’s fun to pack a little extra nutritional value into every smoothie I make. Protein powders can get pricey, though, and some folks aren’t keen on the amount of processing that goes into them.

Enter black beans: they’re dirt cheap, easy to come by, and are packed with protein. For comparison, the various protein powders in my cabinet each contain 8-14 grams of protein per serving, while black beans contain 15 grams of protein in 1 cup! Pretty great, right?

For the record, I wouldn’t say this smoothie tastes like liquid brownies or anything; it was simply inspired by all those (also typically not-quite-brownie-like) black bean brownies people love to rave about. Black beans actually aren’t strongly flavored at all, so in this smoothie, they mostly just contribute creaminess, color, and protein. Dutch process cocoa does most of the heavy lifting, and a touch of blackstrap molasses takes the chocolate flavor up a notch (and contributes a little iron, too!). I think it’s pretty thrilling to know that you can make a protein-packed smoothie without having to buy any fancy nutritional supplements.

I lead a very exciting life, as you can tell.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Black Bean Brownie Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 large smoothie
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c unsweetened plant milk
  • ¾ c cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 1.5 Tbsp Dutch process cocoa powder
  • ½ Tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • splash vanilla extract
  • splash almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • handful of ice
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth.
Notes
I highly recommend using black beans that you've cooked yourself (with a pressure cooker, or on the stove) in this recipe. If you must use canned beans, you'll need to rinse them very well and omit the salt. You may also want to start with ½ cup of beans instead of the full ¾ cup, as canned beans tend to have that super special "can" flavor. If you don't like using bananas, you can use 2-3 dates or some maple syrup to sweeten this smoothie instead. And of course, feel free to swap out the cocoa powder for cacao powder, or add a cup of spinach, a tablespoon of chia, and/or a sprinkling of cacao, if you're one of those people. (Not that I could stop y'all from doing that by merely not mentioning it!)