This hidden ingredient gives all of the taste with a healthier kick.
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Beans are filled with fiber, protein, and excellent vitamins and minerals. Plus, they're a super versatile ingredient, and many bakers are using them in place of flour to create gluten-free delights.
If you're using them as a flour substitute, it's typically a 1:1 ratio. Though you can certainly use all varieties, black and white beans are usually the best, mildest choices to use, depending on what your recipe type is (e.g., use black beans in brownies or cocoa dishes, and white beans in neutral-colored dishes).
When it comes to replacing fat ingredients with beans, you have to be especially careful. Fats are not only used for flavor but also texture and mouthfeel for dishes. Culinary dietitian Sara Haas says, "For brownies, you can replace oil with three-quarters as much black bean purée. For cookies, you can replace up to half the butter or shortening with the bean purée. For quick breads and muffins, replace butter or shorting with half as much bean purée. I really recommend experimenting as this is just a general guide; other ingredients may need to be altered too."
Chickpea Blondies with Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate
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These blondies are made with chickpeas, which add a moist creaminess without the need for artery-clogging, calorie-loaded butter. With only 123 calories per sweet, delicious treat, these nutritious blondies are diet-friendly, vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, and a good source of fiber.
Get the recipe: Chickpea Blondies with Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate
Photo: Nutrition Twins
Pumpkin Swirl Salted Brownie
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These Pumpkin Swirl Salted Brownies are packed with fiber and protein—and taste like any other brownie. The pumpkin swirl topping is perfect for this time of year.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Swirl Salted Brownie
Photo: Nutrition à la Natalie
Cookie Dough Bites
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These healthy cookie dough bites replace the flour with protein- and fiber-boosting chickpeas. Next time you're craving an all-night Friends feast where you nosh on cookie dough, resist the Toll House and try this instead.
Get the recipe: Cookie Dough Bites
Photo: RDelicious Kitchen
Butter Bean Blondies
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Instead of flour, you've got butter beans and peanut butter making up the base, adding fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
Get the recipe: Butter Bean Blondies
Photo: Snacking in Sneakers
Vegan Black Bean Brownie
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Made without oil or eggs, each serving has less than 100 calories and less than 1g of fat. But these brownies still have 3g of protein per serving, certainly not a loss when it comes to filling desserts.
Get the recipe: Vegan Black Bean Brownies
Photo: Nourished NCE
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
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If you lead a gluten-free lifestyle, it can be a bummer when the delicious cookie dough flavors of ice cream are off limits. I couldn't stand thinking about this anymore. So I whipped up this gluten-free, vegan cookie dough that uses the fabulous white bean as the binder.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
Photo: Shaw's Simple Swaps
Salted Caramel Black Bean Brownies
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Filled with sweet caramel sauce, this is a brownie recipe that'll go down in the books. Extra bonus, it's gluten-free, so everyone can enjoy it.
Get the recipe: Salted Caramel Black Bean Brownies
Photo: Smart Nutrition
Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
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This chocolate peanut butter fudge recipe uses black beans instead of butter to increase the protein and fiber and decrease the fat, making it a healthy treat or afternoon pick-me-up option.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
Photo: Bite of Health Nutrition
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Dip
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Sure, we've all made a delicious savory hummus a million times. But what about a dessert hummus with white beans? This dip is the answer to your cookie dough cravings and will satisfy kids and adults alike.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Dip
Photo: Shaw's Simple Swaps