Healthy Eating

Baked With Beans: Cookies With Protein & Fiber

If you never say no to some afternoon (or mid-morning) cookies–even though the sugar-packed treat leaves you fighting to keep your eyes open an hour later, you might consider baking your treats with beans.

Stay with me here! It might sound weird, but the texture and flavor are right. I even fooled loved ones who had no idea they weren’t baked with flour, butter, and sugar.

How Sugar Affects the Body

When you take in a large amount of carbohydrates—like when you eat a cookie with sugar and refined flour, the concentration of glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream rises. One way to slow that response is to pair your sugar with fiber. This is why your body doesn’t respond the same way to the sweetness of an orange as it does to orange juice. Orange juice has the fiber removed while nature perfectly packaged your orange with fiber.

Having your starchy carbs with fat or protein also slows the response. Think peanut butter on toast or chocolate-dipped almonds.

High blood sugar is associated with feelings of nausea, headaches, thirst, and tiredness. Who needs that?

Bake With Beans

Luckily, there’s a little trick to slow the glycemic response, so you can enjoy your afternoon (or mid-morning) treat: Beans!

Beans are associated with improved insulin sensitivity, blood-sugar levels, and cholesterol levels. They pack fiber and protein. Plus, they’ll take on the flavor of what you pair them with.

Who’s convinced to try some sweets baked with beans?

Try Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies from Ambitious Kitchen. These include nut butter and a can of chickpeas for protein, fat, and fiber. They are gluten-free. Swap in dairy-free chocolate chips to make them vegan and dairy-free. Plus, without eggs you can safely eat just the dough. No judgement!

Insider tip: Shape them before you bake them. The dough doesn’t spread the way a traditional chocolate chip cookie dough does.

If you’re more of a brownie person or you have an extra can of black beans in your cupboard, try this recipe from Minimalist Baker. Your family will be surprised to hear there are black beans baked into your delicious brownies! For a little extra protein and fiber, stir in chopped walnuts or pecans.

Ready for more?

White Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fudgy Flourless Black Bean Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Kidney Bean Cookies

You could also choose recipes with nut butter or nuts stirred in for fiber, fat, and protein.

Image by vm2002

4 Swaps to Ease Into Healthier Eating

Best Vending Machine Choices for Afternoon Hunger