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.
- 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
- Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth.