Healthifying Desserts & Beans in Desserts


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After I posted the Vanilla Banana Avocado Ice Cream recipe

Vanilla Banana Avocado Ice Cream recipe

…I got to thinking about “healthifying” desserts.  You know, calling something “ice cream” when really it’s blended bananas and avocado.  

Did I just healthify something by making “ice cream” out of bananas and avocado?

If so, I take no great pleasure in that.

Why not?

Most people love it when they find out a dessert is healthy.  I do to, but I don’t care if it isn’t healthy, either.

I believe that desserts are desserts; they don’t need to be healthy: they’re dessert.  Which is inherently not really “healthy” and that’s okay with me.

I posted recently that I believe one can eat desserts (daily) and still live a “healthy” lifestyle and be healthy and balanced.

I know that’s it’s common among many food bloggers to put bananas into a food processor and call that “ice cream”.  I’ve done it.  Gena’s to blame. In the best possible way, of course. She called frozen bananas banana softserve way back when.

And I’ve done a whole series of softserve variations (all in my dessert recipes)

Vegan Peanut Butter Softserve anyone?

Vegan Peanut Butter Softserve in blender held upside down

It’s sure thick like ice cream

Vegan Peanut Butter Softserve overhead in blender

And it does taste wonderful! Not sure it’s “ice cream” but it’s a frozen treat.  I like treats.

And then there’s the other trend of beans in desserts.

Some people put garbanzo beans into chickpeas and call them “blondies”.

I like my White Chocolate Blondies with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting a whole lot. 

White Chocolate Blondies with Chocolate Peanut Butter FrostingFull fat, fully decadent, fully amazing.  No beans in sight.

Katie has a recipe for Chocolate Chip Blondies They look awesome, but I’m scared they’ll taste bean-ey!

Some bloggers put black beans into brownies and call them “black bean brownies”.

I like my Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese FrostingNo beans.  Just pure, unadulterated dense, sweet, fudgey-ness.  The best and richest brownies I’ve ever eaten.

Lately I’ve seen hummus or chickpeas in cookie dough all over the place.

Christin has a recipe for Baked Dessert Hummus Balls in case you’re curious.

And Spabettie made Christin’s recipe

And Evan has Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Dessert Hummus

All that sounds great…


…I’ll stick with my Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough in clear containerStill “healthy” and vegan and gluten free, but no beans.

Why haven’t I tried these “healthy” or “healthified” desserts?

Frankly I am scared!

I’m scared to waste good cocoa powder, sugar, agave, or other ingredients if the recipe doesn’t live up to my expectations.  And they’re high.

Not to mention, time and energy are precious commodities and I haven’t those to waste, either.

I hate throwing away food from recipes that I am not pleased with and I hate wasting cooking time, energy, and money on ingredients only to wind up with a meh result.

So, I’m on the fence about the adding beans to desserts.  Like I mentioned, I believe one can eat desserts and be healthy and balanced.

But everyone’s recipes who I linked look so good! So when I get back to San Diego, maybe some beans in desserts will happen.  You never know.

I also believe that healthy desserts can and do taste amazing and can be totally decadent!  My raw vegan chocolate mousse comes to mind.   Healthy doesn’t have to “taste healthy”.

I have the utmost respect for everyone’s recipes, creations, and food choices; whether they’re “healthy” or not, bean-ey or not, and where he or she falls on the spectrum of what he or she chooses to eat.  We all have our own path and preferences in life and food and I have respect for everyone’s ability to choose what’s best for her.

From my last post, it was interesting hearing what wild animals are in your area.  But it was a whole lot more fun reading about if you consider yourself a wild child or not.


1. What are your thoughts on beans in desserts?  Have you tried any bean-ey desserts?

As I said, I’m scared to waste time, money, and energy because I don’t want to “taste the beans”.

Twist my arm.  Tell me you’ve made something with beans in it that’s dessert-ey and you love it!

2. What are your thoughts on “healthifying” desserts?  Do you try?  Do you care?

No, I don’t try or care.

I actually almost go over the top the other direction to make things as sinfully rich and decadent as possible.

Desserts are treats, extras, and should be treated as such.  It’s just not worth my chew to have something less than 100% decadent.  I’d rather not have it at all and don’t care if it’s not considered healthy.  Life is short, enjoy dessert is my motto.

Anyone want a piece of fudge?

Close up of Vegan Fudge with sprinkles

It’s vegan & GF, though!

3. Yay or nay:  “Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot?”


With that happy thought, I hope to enjoy the beach for one more day!

Beach with blue water and lone boatI’m savoring the last bits of Aruba before we head home.

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  1. Just found your blog and have fallen in love with it :) Adding you to the blogroll now! I don’t really healthify recipes as much as take out excess. I have been vegan and when I am baking vegan or making vegan dessert I always feel like taking animal products out IS healthifying. I don’t think fat is unhealthy nor do I think dessert is. But I also don’t want to eat an entire cake (most of the time) so a slice of cake or some cookie dough doesn’t = unhealthy in my book. It’s my call when I’m cooking to take out what I find unneccessary and I regularly find myself putting in half as much oil, half the sugar called for and omitting the salt. But I don’t know how much that affects the “healthy-ness” of it except that there is less of that stuff, and so I’m less likely to consume too much of it. funny, never thought about it before reading your post! can’t wait to try out your recipe for vegan cookie dough balls!!!

  2. I just made Katie’s Deep Dish Cookie Pie tonight (blog post coming soon lol) and although I was very TENTATIVE, it was DELICIOUS! SO decadent and you really would have never thought that it was “healthy”. I was nervous to waste time and money as well, so I wanted to first make a mini batch just to see how it would turn out, but then my boyfriend decided we should just go for it and make the whole pie, and I’m glad we did!
    I can’t wait to trick my dad into eating it ;)

  3. I agree with this post!! I just tried a recipe with beans and it was terrible! Everyone has their own style of cooking and different taste buds. Unfortunately, this did not appeal to mine!

  4. I never thought I’d try Katie’s chickpea Blondie recipe but the pictures keep coming up on sites I read and they look delicious… plus it’s that time of the month and canned goods were on sale at the grocery store. I went home last night and made a batch. O M G delicious. I’ve tried a bunch of your dessert recipes and have loved them all so I’m assuming we may have similar taste buds :) You will NOT be disappointed with her chocolate chip blondie recipe.

  5. Black bean brownies were delicious! I’ll have to try chickpeas next :-) Delicious dessert round-up!

  6. I think the healthified desserts are awesome. My daughter really just prefers pigging out on fresh fruit most of the time but this week we had special events (my husband adopted her!) so she requested your Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese and I also made the Avocado Banana Ice Cream too for a surprise! Both are delish!

    1. thanks for lmk you made nutella brownies AND the avo ice cream…Im honored! :)

  7. I have never had beans in dessert before, and I don’t care to healthify desserts … but I am not opposed to eating them!

  8. wow, you’re outlook on desserts and philosophy is really refreshing to read. especially coming from a) a woman b) one who does stay so fit and look amazing and c) you live in the good old US or A…haha. no, but really, i completely agree with you, though not gonna lie i wish i could fully walk the walk. i’d more than happily tell people that this is the healthiest kind of relationship with food, want them to follow suit, though i only wish i could do the same! those are my own mental hang-ups and so when i see a person who REALLY embraces this attitude i think it’s admirable. honestly though, i think what the best thing is that you are setting this kind of example for your daughter.

    as a person who didn’t have such a healthy role model to look to growing up, i know how big of an impact that can make. now i’m at a point where i love food, love to eat, but if i see a knock-off that has less calories or such i’ll take the offer because: 1) my taste buds really suck, aren’t all too sensitive, and probably won’t taste a difference and 2) i’m a volume person, so if there are less cal’s then i can eat more of it. :P

    so in truth i’ll probably jump on the bean wagon and toot myself up some desserts, but i really enjoyed reading this post! keep on rocking those full fat desserts!

  9. Personally, I hate beans in desserts. I tried making black bean brownies once and I ended up tossing the whole batch, and I made chocolate chip cookie dough “hummus” this week, and again chucked the whole thing out. I can taste the beans, and I can’t stand the beany texture in my desserts. Yuck.
    I like real desserts, but I have a massive sweet tooth. I don’t know if I should rein in my sugar habits or try to healthify desserts, but then I probably won’t be as satisfied, then I’ll eat more…it’s a dilemma. I’ve been having decent luck swapping xylitol for sugar lately, or using whole wheat flour in cookies though, but I still tend to overdo it.

    1. thanks for the honest reviews and TWO flops (sorry!!) about the beans…that is very good to know. Not just about the rave reviews, but the flops. Taste AND texture both. Sorry girl that you werent a fan.

  10. Hi Averie,
    As promised, I made your cheesy taco casserole tonight and it is delicious! To make it a little bigger/taller, I doubled the rice (used brown short grain and basmati from bulk bins – good money-saver). I also subbed “We Can’t Say It’s Cheese” Cheddar Sauce ( in place of sour cream, which I HIGHLY recommend! Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me, Trader Joe’s taco seasoning packet is suuuper spicy, so it’s a little hot, but it is still absolutely dee-licious and a major treat for someone who avoids cheese. My family will love it tomorrow night (of course, I sampled it ahead of time). Love those one-dish casseroles/meals. THANK YOU! :)

    1. thanks for lmk you made it and that it’s a winner…and yay for pre-cooked dinners, and/or planned leftovers. the best!

  11. Hi!
    I just want to say that I’ve made Katie’s blondies weekly since she posted the recipe! I love it, and beans aren’t that expensive…so def don’t hesitate to try it :)

  12. True on desserts, I don’t mind a splurge occasionally. But if it can be healthier and still great tasting, sweet! I’m not scared to try healthy desserts, I’ll try a black bean brownie recipe because if it doesn’t come out good, I’ll make it good instead of wasting the ingredients.

    1. I haven’t yet, but I will and have no problems with it.
    2. I think it’s a good thing overall as long as it tastes good. That’s what I appreciate about raw desserts so much is simple, non-processed ingredients can make a great desserts. Maybe a cake of solid nuts and dates isn’t lower calorie than a traditional flour cake, but it’s in a form the body can use more efficiently and that’s important for any recipe.
    3. Not so much anymore, think I’m building a tolerance. :-)

  13. I havent tried beans in desserts either. Im sceptical.. However, I think Katies Chocolate Chip Cookes Pie looks amazing!! And your avocado ice cream too!
    Im all for healthifying desserts. But for me this doesnt mean putting beans in them. For me, this means using high quality ingredients like maple sugar and sirup, nuts seeds, coconut oil, cacao ect.. I dont use white sugar or whote flour, but i feel like the stuff I do use, just makes the desserts even better!
    And I agree, desserts are desserts! Healthy or not, they are best served in dessert-portions. And i believe I get way more satisfied by eating a real dessert instead of a healthy/low cal/low carb or whatever dessert. But I want it to be REAL food, anyway :)

  14. So guilty of eating desserts for “meals”. Frozen Bananas, plain bananas, dried cherries & Brazil nuts.
    In the past it used to be tofu cheezecakes & puddings. It is my unintentional mission to eat whatever the f**k I want and pretend it’s healthy. :)
    The cat & I are “stress” eaters. :)

  15. I’m mixed on this topic. Sometimes I health-ify; sometimes not. It honestly depends on what else I’ve been eating recently. If I’ve been eating lots of decadent stuff and want dessert, I might health-ify a bit. But if it has to taste good. That’s my rule.

    Beans in dessert hold no interest for me, because I get pretty good amounts of protein and fiber as it stands. And I like beans as beans, so no need to “sneak” them into something. Though I can appreciate how this might be a useful and desirable thing for some people to do.

  16. 100% agree on the fear of wasting valuable baking products! I can appreciate some beany desserts (I tried some black bean brownies that were tasty), but usually, when I want a dessert, I want a dessert. I heard a great quote a few years ago that has really stuck with me: “We gain weight by eating what we want after eating what we think we should.” Give me the real deal for dessert!

    1. brilliant : “We gain weight by eating what we want after eating what we think we should.”

  17. I totally agree with you about healthifying desserts. I get my healthy stuff in the rest of the time so I can enjoy the real thing when it comes to desserts. It’s not that I’m against making treats a little more nutritious, I’m just not willing to sacrifice flavor. I’ve tried recipes where people swear it taste like the real thing and well it doesn’t. People will say how all their friends loved and no one knew it was healthy….umm maybe there friends are just more polite than mine because I have yet to have that experience! I really want to try one of Katie’s bean recipes, but I’m afraid I’ll be able to tell!

    1. “People will say how all their friends loved and no one knew it was healthy….umm maybe there friends are just more polite than mine because I have yet to have that experience! ”

      I totally understand! I use my mother as my judge and jury and if I can imagine her liking it, then it’s fine. And she’s a very tough critic!

  18. Haha I’m uber scared to add beans into desserts too! My neighbor used to used lots of substitutions in her desserts and they tasted like poo. her spinach brownies made me sick to my stomach and it scarred me! eep! Christin’s bean balls look awesome and so do Kristina’s black bean brownies but i’m not a huge dessert girl…so i’m still eating my beans regular. though if there was any beany-business going down i’d holler at them for tips! <3

    1. spinach brownies making you sick..yeah, i’d have reservations going fwd if i were you too!

  19. Your banana-avocado ice cream recipe just made my day. I’m trying it at my earliest convenience!

  20. Lately I’ve been caring more about the healthiness of desserts, such as Ben & Jerry’s and Hagen Daas. I just don’t think it’s worth 230 calories at so much fat for a 1/2 cup of ice cream; I’d rather just go with a different brand. Beans in a dessert? Never heard of that before… interesting

  21. Love this post, Averie! I think there’s room for healthified recipes and regular recipes…I would never try to replace the “real deal” cupcakes (generally my dessert of choice) with bean garbanzo cupcakes or anything, but I also think it’s really fun to experiment in the kitchen and see what I can come up with. And funny that you posted this today, because I made Chocolate Covered Katie’s cookie dough blondie batter today! But here’s the deal — I like dessert-type-stuff for breakfast, and this is where these more healthified recipes come in handy for me. I topped my baked oatmeal with this chickpea-containing cookie dough batter, and I had the most amazing breakfast! No added sugar (just a banana for sweetness), protein, chocolate…I’m not arguing with that. I feel energized after my breakfast, and I feel like I treated myself, so I think it’s cool to experiment!

    1. good info and how you use it, i.e. brekkie topper, and that you love it.

  22. I’m all about healthifying desserts. I have such a sweet tooth and if it has fruit in it people always think it’s healthier. I want my chocolate so if that means I have to add avocado sign me up!

  23. Yeah, I tried bean fudge last year. Or was it bean brownies? I can’t remember which because it didn’t really taste like either one. It wasn’t gag-me-with-a-spoon terrible, but it wasn’t great, either. It was one of those blog recipes where dozens of people swore up and down about how wonderful it was. Eh. I guess I’m picky.

    1. i vaguely remember your flop or flop-like occurrence.

      we can be picky together. and go out for brownies and coffee and wine next time youre in SD!

  24. I actually made Katie´s recipe (Blondie Batter Dip) including chickpeas (shocker! :D) and it turned out sooooooooooooooooooooo delicious!! Sure, it helps when you like hummus, because the texture of the dip is kinda alike, but you would not taste them! Even my mum with super strong taste buds couldn´t figure out the ingredients.
    I totally understand your fears, though, I absolutely hate wasting food, too, but you could always make just a quarter of the recipe or so, then it wouldn´t be too bad.
    Just go for it :) You will not regret it!

  25. I LOVE “healthifying” desserts! I have been wanting to try the black bean brownies but I totally get where you are coming from too with the just enjoying a basic rich and decadent dessert as well!

    1. thanks for lmk!

      and a few of your comments recently went into spam. weird! i think my setup has it in for you but hopefully you are now marked as “good” so they wont head to spam :)

  26. Awesome! I’ve been looking forward to this post. You are so funny, you cracked me up!

    Banana soft serve is a wonderful thing, and it’s been around in raw food circles for at least a decade. I’ve served it to very conventional eaters (including my dad, who is impossible) and they’ve loved it. So no it’s not ice cream, but yes it is a wonderful dessert.

    I really admire your attitude about enjoying life and eating dessert. I wrote a post recently about placebo/nocebo where attitudes toward food heavily influence how that food affects you–nocebo (harmful) as well as placebo (good) (with the exception of genuine allergies, of course).

    I made black bean brownies and thought they were delicious and fudgy, no beaniness discernible. But I haven’t eaten a regular brownie in who knows how long–I can’t–and Phil didn’t like the texture as much (he wants ditto foods). So I honestly don’t know if you would love them, and it sounds like you have recipes that you do love. So depends whether you feel like the adventure of it. Maybe just don’t call them ‘brownies.’ My tip would be that they come out better if you use baking chocolate than if you use cocoa powder.

    One more thought: I want to agree with you on the importance of enjoyment (and love how respectfully you state your position): however, when someone’s actually allergic to something, it’s wonderful to be able to recreate it. I just posted about our ‘comfort foods’ party for memorial day: I made cardamom rice pudding, which was my favorite food in the world but the dairy made me sick. I made it with coconut milk instead of dairy, and it was heavenly–and everyone else loved it too. I also had a gluten free chocolate chip cookie that someone else made. I felt so grateful that it’s possible to replicate–and still be plenty decadent!

    Can’t believe you’re already heading back to SD–enjoy the rest of your time in Aruba!

    1. glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for the insightful comment back…you’re the best.

  27. I really like healthify-ing desserts. :D I’ve never tried beans in dessert, though!

    Some healthified things have NOT turned out so great though ;)

  28. I recently tried making a batch of Katie’s bean based blondies, and they were good, but not really ‘dessert’ material. Not very sweet and I could sort of taste the beans…I did swap out the regular sugar for brown rice syrup, so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it or not. I usually sub agave or brown rice syrup with great success. Anyway, I hear you about not wanting to waste time or ingredients though. I ended up eating them as more of a breakfast item with some almond butter spread on top. So, not a total waste!

    1. Hey Katelyn! I saw your comment on my post too, and thought I’d just answer you here :).
      Brown rice syrup is actually less sweet than regular sugar or agave, so you need more to get the same amount of sweetness.
      But almond butter can make anything taste good, right? ;)

  29. I’ve never tried beans in desserts…just avocados once in brownies and you really can’t taste it. So i’m guessing that when using beans, especially a more mild tasting one, there shouldn’t be any bean flavor to it at all. I bet it would give the dessert a more ‘moist’ (sorry, i know you don’t like that word!) or dense texture. But if anyone can pull it off, it’ll be you! All your desserts always look wonderful!

  30. I LOVE beans, but in desserts I can’t stand them. I really, really, really tried to like black bean brownies and the cookie dough dips made from beans. But I just can’t. They just aren’t good! I’d much rather have “real” dessert. Although banana soft serve is one of my favorites! It may not be “ice cream” but then neither is frozen yogurt and neither is sorbet, it’s just a different dessert. Still yummy!

    Basically it boils down to “beans belong in salads not desserts.”

  31. Hmmm, I haven’t tried any of the beans-in-desserts recipes except for “dessert hummus,” which I actually like quite a bit. I do enjoy healthier dessert type things (like Deb’s protein muffins), but if I want a “real” dessert, I want something that’s balls to the wall, not something healthified.

    I want to go to Aruba!

  32. Loved this post! I haven’t jumped on the healthy dessert bandwagon, and don’t plan to. I do use some “healthy” flours (almond, coconut, etc.) because I don’t eat gluten, and I do favor alternative sweeteners over plain old sugar (there’s no proof they’re healthier, so this is admittedly a preference), but that’s as far as it goes. I don’t insist that everything I put in my mouth be “healthy” from a nutritional standpoint. I do, however, insist that everything I eat be delicious. If veggies are food for the body, then brownies are food for the soul. And I’m all about soul nourishment. So I’ll take my sweet and fudgey gluten free brownies over black bean brownies, any day.

  33. I’m right there with you – there is a reason it’s called ‘dessert’, because it shouldn’t be consumed in the masses! When I was doing my dessert class, I was like – ‘these are healthy because of the pure ingredients – BUT, that doesn’t mean you should be eating raw brownies for every meal!’ Some people got it, others didn’t. It’s kind of my gripe in regards to the raw food movement, because everyone seems to think that raw desserts are OK to consume 24/7… ?? Not so much. The sugar is natural, but it still spikes your blood sugar. Just saying… :)

  34. Well, I must admit that I’m happ for my first batch of black bean “brownies” to have turned out yummy and totally un-beany! ;) I have a severe sugar sensitivity, so having dessert *and* being healthy doesn’t work for me as long as the dessert contains sugar or flour. I need to stay away from them and make protein a priotrity. But I envy you a little. ;)

  35. I’m with a lot of the other commenters- I’m all for everything in moderation! I like little treats in my life! They help make my world go round :) But sometimes I like “healthifying” up desserts too. I have tried black bean brownies…they don’t taste like brownies. They’re not bad…they’re just not brownies haha.

  36. I’ve tried black bean brownies an they sucked big time. I even had a couple other people try them and yeah, no dice. I’ll never do it again, no matter how many times people say they work.

    I healthify desserts that I know I will be eating a lot of, like cookies. But if I am making them for a treat or other people – full sugar and fat all the way!

  37. Haha, I’m guilty of making cookie dough hummus. And in my defense it was good! But not the best thing ever, although I’m sure a vitamix would have improved on that a little. Plus, the kids devoured it. Other than that I know what you mean. I made black bean brownies once. Ew, is all I will say. Some desserts I like to healthify and some I don’t. I just can’t eat decadent desserts every day or else I turn into a dessert eating monster and that’s all I eat all day. So for every day treats I healthify things but every once in a while I need a good, full of butter and sugar treat.

  38. Beans in dessert? Hadn’t heard of that before. Although, I have made a pizza crust with chick pea flour. It worked better as a brushetta type dish though.

    I do try to healthify some desserts, but not all. Sometimes the extent of making them “healthy” is replacing the sugar with honey, or using nut milk instead of actual dairy. Of course, we hardly have any sugar or dairy in the house on a regular basis, so it is easier for me to just make dessert with I have on hand. Christmas is the exception. I go on a baking frenzy and use up a lot of sugar.

    Beans the magical fruit: LOL! I think that every time we use them in a recipe ;)

  39. I am not a HUGE dessert person, but when I do eat dessert I Eat Dessert! :D

    I think my justification for these? I eat a couple for my first breakfast, before my workout. They are perfect! I cut the recipe in half the first time, for the very reasons you say, I don’t like to waste food or time at all! Now I make half batches all the time, and it is (an small amount) of time well spent!

    I know us bloggers are known for some weird combinations, and I also know some of the things I like are not for everybody. I appreciate that, AND your honesty, and… I will MAKE you one if we ever meet! :D

    1. Your goodies, Christin’s, Katie’s, Evan’s….you guys have all made it all look so good…that’s why I have thought about trying them!

      I’ll take you up on your offer if we meet :)

  40. I once made the mistake of attempting to make brownies with a can of black beans; that was over a year ago and my husband STILL won’t let me live it down. They were AWFUL!

    I’m all for “healthifying” desserts every now and then, but I too am a little leery about adding beans. Plus, there really is never anything to take the place of a fully decadent dessert :)

  41. I wasted a whole batch of ingredients on black bean brownies…and they made a huge mess too. Disgusting!

    I’m with you—desserts are meant to be indulgent! I do like to use high quality unprocessed ingredients whenever it’s reasonable to, but I don’t try to cut fat or sugar—I just try to use better quality versions of it.

    I went through a phase of trying to name things “mock” anything….So instead of making “tuna” out of chickpeas…I just called it Chickpea Surprise. So banana ice cream? I think Banana Soft Serve is the best name…it may have some connotations related to ice cream, but it is wonderful in its own right! Like with anything, there must be balance between being realistic and enjoying life! Food allergies do get in the way of my sweet tooth…for sure!

    I’m not in the whole bean craze in general–they make me feel icky!

    Enjoy your day!

    1. thanks for lmk about the Black Bean Brownie flop and yes, naming things “cute-sy” names or trying to name it something it wasnt…in the early days of my blog I tried to do that (Reading too many raw cookbooks who had a mock everything…) and now, no. I just name it what it is. That way google searches can find it too.

      Thanks for lmk about the SFSButter in your brownies. I had to go back and re-read the comment. It never got emailed to me? Almost missed it! Glad i didnt :) Lmk if you try that recipe with full on SFSButter b/c I want to do that version!

  42. I have tried beans in cookies and blondies. Both actually came out great. They are for sure different than the “normal” ones but still tasty. I think there is a place for both “healthified” and “regular” desserts. Finding the balance is key.

  43. I totally think that you should healthify desserts, but only if you enjoy them! – i make an awesome black bean chocolate cake, which tastes better than regular chocolate cake, and i could literally eat half the cake if i wanted because it’s pretty darn good for you too :)

    1. I love it if something is unintentionally “healthy” in the dessert department…you cake sounds awesome!

  44. I’m really excited to try the beans in dessert trend- I’ve had several Chinese pastries with red-bean paste in the middle, and it was really enjoyable… It’s cool that it’ll add fiber/ protein, but honestly, I’m mostly just curious… Usually the things that sound the strangest end up tasting the best to me! :)

  45. I totally agree with the not wanting to waste precious ingredients if you happen to make a flop dessert. I would like to make desserts healthier, but I like when other people do it first, then I can follow their recipes – whether they flopped to get there or not! I think you look amazing and that’s one reason why I want healthier desserts – I don’t think my body looks amazing enough for me to appreciate it (bad, I know).

    Maybe my solution should be to give up desserts, but that may not work either – so healthier dessert options it is!

  46. Well you know I could taste the beans in those blondies, but Jason swears up and down that he can’t taste them and doesn’t care! So maybe some people really can’t taste the beans.

    I still think you could come up with some really good variations of the bean desserts — and seriously if you add enough sugar I’m sure you’d love them!

    1. I forgot to link your post in this and was thinking about it after I set my auto self timer publishing feature but yes, I remember you vs. jason’s review on them!

  47. oh i love the idea of beans in desserts! the idea of throwing in a little extra fiber punch when all it does is add to the thick and moistness of the dessert…sure go right ahead!

    I made chickpea blondies once that were FABULOUS! so so good!

  48. I can say they don’t taste beany, but if you’re worried you can always add extra sweetener :-)

  49. i don’t really care to healthify {sp?} desserts. but at the same time, if it happens to be healthy, then wonderful!!, i won’t complain to that either ;) treasure your last moments on vacation ;)
    bises ~ kristina

  50. I think beans in desserts are stupid. Yes, stupid. People are trying to add fiber and protein to a brownie. Just eat a stinkin’ brownie and save the beans for another meal. A real brownie won’t do any harm.

  51. I’m with ya on the beans debate. No beans near my dessert! I’m going to have to be truly convinced (even bribed) to try a beany dessert!!

  52. Yeah, some of those bean brownies do look darn good in the photos!
    But I have never gotten around to trying to make them.

    If I want chocolate, I want chocolate!

  53. I totally agree with you on this post…sometimes I get so annoyed with my friends who freak out over eating a bite of brownie I just wanted to eat a whole cake in front of them just to spite them.

    On the other hand, one of my favorite ice cream is actually red bean ice cream! I had this a lot when I was growing up in Hong Kong. You don’t taste the beans because red beans are tiny and mild in flavor. You might be able to find them in Asian (particularly Japanese) food stores.

    Let me know if you decide to try it!!

  54. I’ve done black bean bronwnies before, and I can’t lie – they weren’t that good. I think chickpeas in baked goods would be great. I know there’s blondies recipes floating out there right now with chickkpeas in them!

  55. Hrmm, I enjoy both healthy and not so healthy desserts – depending on my mood really. Regarding CCK snickerdoodle bean-blondie, I made it using stevia and the raw dough taste so “oh my freaking god” good, but I don’t like the baked version much, it tasted “bean-y” when baked, whilst the middle bit is moist and dense, it doesn’t taste the same as the fudgy and buttery centre of a ‘real’ blondie, if you get what I mean. :)

    Oh a side story, tried a certain fat free black bean brownie a while back, I chucked the whole batch away, it tasted like a bean slab, it makes me wonder if that person has ever tried a real brownie before. haha!

    1. thank you for the very honest reviews…including the last sentence. I am lol’ing!

  56. I’m with you–somewhat. I definitely eat a little dessert everyday. Bad habit, maybe but it’s all part of my moderation policy. I don’t add black beans to brownies or any of those other weird things. Kinda scared it will mess things up and I hate to waste it, like you.

    However, I don’t go for REALLY rich, over-the-top desserts either. Makes me feel kinda sick when I eat too much. Guess I’m back to moderation. Give me real banana pudding with real vanilla wafers (maybe even homemade shortbread cookies) but I like the pudding part made with skim or 1% just as much as whole milk. As long as it’s from scratch, it’s all better than a commercial mix.

    1. dessert every day is not a bad habit in my book :)

      “real banana pudding with real vanilla wafers”—that sounds like my childhood and my grandma’s cooking…yum!

  57. I agree with you on one point: that life is short, and we should never put anything less than 100% decadent in our mouths. But healthy desserts CAN be 100% decadent. My raw chocolate-fudge cake or my deep-dish cookie pie are delicious desserts not just for healthy desserts, but for desserts, PERIOD. In fact, that’s my blog’s whole idea– healthy SHOULD taste naughty. If it tastes like a healthy dessert, I feel like my recipe is a failure. I like to have my chocolate cake and eat it too!

    1. P.S. Thanks to all the commenters who said they tried my blondies… that made me smile so much!! And thank YOU, Averie, for mentioning them :).

    2. “If it tastes like a healthy dessert, I feel like my recipe is a failure”–

      That is such a profound statement…and I 100% trust that your bean-ey desserts ARE decadent! It’s just MY little hangup, MY own fear. The things you make, and everyone else I linked, look AMAZING! Everyone has their little hangups, I just blogged about mine :)

      And yes, a zillion ppl have said how great your things are…I have to make them when I get home :)

  58. I not a huge fan of black bean brownies but I love Katie’s garbanzo bean blondies! And the dough!

  59. yes – make every second count today, averie – beach time as long as possible!!!
    i’ve tried healthifying desserts over the years, but i agree: i dislike wasting my time and good ingredients on so-so results (one i remember is brownies with pureed prunes in them). i’ve concluded dessert is dessert, and if you make a dessert with 100% “real” ingredients, i am cool with that.
    here was our family version: “beans, beans are good for your heart; the more you eat, the more you fart; the more you fart, the better you feel, so eat your beans at every meal.” :)
    have a great day!

    1. yeah i know that version of the beans song. that was like verse 1. my part is jumping ahead to like verse 3. lol

  60. My husband loooooooooved Katie’s recipe for chickpea blondies. I mean love, love, love :) If they meet a man’s approval, they’re probably pretty good ;) I say give them a go!

    1. very true “If they meet a man’s approval, they’re probably pretty good”

      then again, sometimes i call my hubs the human garbage disposal and he’ll eat anything. lol

  61. I haven’t tried it (yet). I’m kinda scared. It’s like you say, it takes precious time and ingredients and if it’s not good.. but on the other hand, you can have that with the ‘normal’ ingredients too. Maybe we have to be a little wild child to make this work ;)
    I like to live healthy but desserts are desserts. They don’t have to be loaded with sugar or fat to be good, but it has to taste good and be dessertlike sweet. As you said, just because you eat a sweet fatty dessert, doesn’t mean you don’t live healthy. (You can think of it as a reward for living healthy ;))

  62. Soak up that sun on your last day girl!!!!

    I have never made a dessert with beans in them! I want to try the chickpea blondies I see all over the blog world, maybe one day!

    love u!

  63. I’m so with you on this! I tried a chickpea (garbanzo) blondie recipe a while ago and it didn’t turn out great, so (thinking I was at fault) I made it again but with white beans as the recipe suggested – um, yep, bean-y. I mean, it was edible (that is… I totally ate it), and it was sort of good? Sort of? But… I’d totally take a “real” blondie over it any day. Dessert should be dessert!

    1. thanks for the VERY honest review. I have heard from a few ppl like you who have told me similar stories. Which is why Ive hesitated so long on it all….

      1. Yeah, I generally tend to be open minded when it comes to putting weird things in my food (!) but it wasn’t for me. I feel like such a bitch when it comes to reviewing a recipe critically, but I suppose honest feedback is the most helpful for others…

  64. I made CCK’s chickpea blondies as soon as I’d finished reading the post, and they tasted amazing: I gave some to my dad, who has no dietary restrictions and lives off red meat, refined sugars and dairy up the wazoo, and he had no idea there was either peanut butter or chickpeas in there, he just thought they were “lovely, and very chocolate-y.” I’ve also just made CCK’s ‘World’s Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookies’, and I made them because it’s a nice simple, easy recipe and I thought they looked truly delicious – and they are! They remind me of Maryland Chocolate Chip Cookies, only much nicer :)

    I don’t know about healthifying, I just make stuff I think I’ll like … for example, I’m about to make your toffee and choc chip cookie dough balls: is it inappropriate that I’m excited about stuffing some balls in my mouth? :D Sorry, seriously though, I guess I am more attracted to so-called “healthy” recipes because I’m trying to shift the last few pounds of flab around my hips, bum and thighs (the most stubborn ones, naturally :-/), but when it comes to it, as I said, I’ll choose what I’ll enjoy, which is one of the reasons I love your blog so much :)

    1. Sorry for the multiple comments, but I forgot to mention that I bloody LOVED your smoothie version of this so I can’t wait to try the “ice cream” version too – thanks!

      1. thanks jenny for the compliments on my smoothie and excitement over the toffee balls!

        and for lmk how much you loved katie’s bean-ey desserts…awesome feedback and reviews!

  65. I like lighter desserts and things that aren’t that heavy, especially now that we are going into the summer months. I do like red adzuki beans in my Asian desserts as well, and I think that banana avocado ice cream looks amazing!!!

  66. Okay, I have been seeing all these beans in desserts and have been hesitant to try, too! I mean, I can’t imagine they’re terrible since they’re all the rage – but I just can’t bring myself to do it! As for healthifying…while I used to intentionally try to “healthify” things, you might remember how I feel about that word now and don’t really think of it like that anymore :P That and back then I’d completely leave out oil, make everything 100% whole wheat, use Splenda, etc.
    Now, if I’m making something for myself and my family, I always cut back on sugar due to taste and my mom’s bf being diabetic. If I’m making something for myself that I want to be a sweet treat after a meal but also a sweet “anytime” treat (with breakfast, late night snack, etc) I’ll usually cut back quite a bit on sugar and maybe sub some oil, too. I just hate things that are too sweet :(
    As for whether I’ll try the beans and “the more you toot” sentiment…well…I eat enough beans and fiber in my meals, not sure if my family would keep me around if they were in dessert, too ;)

  67. I, too, was quite skeptical of beans in desserts, but I used a recipe for black bean brownies that called for instant coffee (I think this had a part in masking the bean flavor, plus, who doesn’t love coffee?) and they were one of the most decadent batches of brownies I have ever eaten…and I’ve eaten lots of brownies! I will say though, do not taste the batter until all ingredients are in! ie, blended beans and unsweetened chocolate, before the sugar and other stuff go in, are not my idea of delicious batter. The final product? fudge-a-licious.

    1. thanks for the honest feedback…most decadent, youve eaten lots,and not to taste the batter til all is in!

  68. I never tried using beans for desserts but I like the idea, I really want to try to make the brownie made with black beans.
    healthifying desserts? mmmm….. if I make at home I might, but I rarely make desserts at home. And if I’m eating out, I don’t really care, the taste is the #1 priority for me because a good dessert made with real ingredients satisfy me more! ;)
    All your desserts creations look amazing!!!

  69. Love this post! You know I love dessert. I must admit I’m not one for healthifying it. I do like things like banana soft serve or pb frozen as “fudge” or other such things as a more special, treaty feeling snack – but it would never take place of dessert. When I have something for dessert I want something that will really satisfy me and its never anything doctored up. I’ve done beans in desserts before and hated them.

    1. “pb frozen as “fudge””—ok ive never even tried that. I assumed it would just turn into a rock. Guess not! Need to experiment with that one not b/c it’s “healthy” but b/c i love frozen things like grapes. And I bet pb!

  70. Well, there may be people that can eat decadent desserts daily and be healthy and happy, but I’m not one of them. Maybe I just need to run some more? ;)
    1. Surprisingly I love red/azuki beans in sweets, like ice cream, cakes, other baked goods. It’s quite common in Asia, think of Chinese mooncakes, Japanese mochi and anpan, and many more! You can find canned sweet red bean paste in most Asian grocery stores.
    2. I often “healthify” my desserts, by adding fruit, reducing fat and sugar. I do that to soothe my conscience, and to please my taste buds. I just can’t handle too much sugar. Plus, I do firmly believe that desserts can be both healthy AND delicious.
    3. Oh yes! But I eat them anyway. ;)

  71. “The more you toot the better you feel so let’s eat beans with every meal!!!!”

    And honestly, I couldn’t care less about healthifying desserts. I believe that you can eat dessert or cake in moderation and still live a healthy lifestyle. Life it too short to worry about cake!!!