CHICKPEA Brownies (no added sugar)

Okay, so I joined the chickpea craze…

Actually, I’ve been on the chickpea craze for a while now…chickpea pasta, chickpea pizza crust, roasted chickpeas, chickpea curry…lot’s of savory chickpea dishes!

I have seen many people make “chickpea blondies”–a healthified, fiber filled dessert…so I decided to make my own version of chickpea blondies + dark cocoa powder…so essentially making brownies!


According to the USDA food composition database, 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) contains ~135  calories with ~7 grams protein and is a good source of fiber (~6 grams per 1/2 cup, aids in digestion), phosphorus (works with calcium to build bones + teeth), potassium (regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions+nerve signals), folate (forms red blood cells in bone marrow + prevents neural tube defects), and vitamin K (aids in blood clotting).

I promised you all some sugar free + artificial sweetener free dessert recipes–here is one! If you haven’t read “The Sugar Debate” blog yet, take a look before making these brownies! It’ll give you perspective on why we should limit our added sugar intake.

These brownies are sugar FREE, artificial sweetener FREE, vegan, and nutrient dense. Using smashed banana + dates as the main source of natural sweetener + stevia sweetened chocolate chips, you won’t miss the added sugars! Full FREE printable recipe down below. Share with your friends and be sure to tag @livebetterwithkatdetter in your creations!


Chickpea Brownies

  • Servings: 12 brownies
  • Difficulty: easy peasy
  • Print


  • 1 (15 ounce) can of Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas)
  • 10 pitted dates
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 T cocoa powder, dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup almond butter, unsweetened (or nut butter of choice, almond butter is a neutral flavor)
  • 3 T almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup stevia sweetened chocolate chips + 2-3 T to sprinkle on top 🙂


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a high powered blender, add chickpeas, dates, banana, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, almond/nut butter and almond milk and blend until smooth. *NOTE: add more almond milk as needed to blend mixture; batter will be thick
  3. Pour batter into a mixing bowl and add 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into a lightly greased baking dish and top with more chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for ~30 minutes at 350 F (or until brownies cooked all the way through).
  6. Allow to cool for at least ~30 minutes before cutting and serving.
  7. Enjoy!



Even my 7 year old nephew loved these brownies–and he has quite the sweet tooth! Your family will love them 🙂


Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!





  1. (2019). Food Composition Databases Show Foods — Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 May 2019].



Easter is just a few days away, and if you’re looking for a more nutritious dessert to take to the family Egg Hunt, I’ve got ya covered!

One of my favorite Easter candies is Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs…why are they better than regular Reese’s? I have no idea…they just are! And I am thrilled that I was able to make a healthier version to fuel my body with healthy fats + natural sweetener + protein for a great sweet treat.

This recipe is essentially refined sugar  free (except for the sugar in the 85% dark chocolate I used) using medjool dates as the sweetener. Using natural peanut butter gives this recipe healthy fats and protein with no added sugars. Pro tip: look for nut butters that only have “nuts & salt” as the ingredients.


Below is the decadent recipe for Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs! Feel free to substitute recipe ingredients to what you have in your pantry. This is my version. Make sure you tag me in your creations! @livebetterwithkatdetter


HEALTHIFIED Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs

  • Servings: 15 Eggs
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1/2 cup medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour***
  • 1 dark chocolate bar***
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil


  1. In a high powered blender (or food processor) add dates, peanut butter and coconut flour. Pulse until smooth consistency.
  2. Form candy dough into egg shapes (you could also use a candy mold).
  3. Freeze eggs for 45 minutes.
  4. Chop dark chocolate and add to a microwave safe bowl with coconut oil.
  5. Microwave at 30 second intervals until smooth consistency.
  6. Fully dip eggs covering all sides and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  7. Freeze additional 10 minutes.
  8. Add decorative chocolate topping to look like “Easter Eggs”. (optional)
  9. Freeze a final 20 minutes.
  10. Serve at room temperature.
  11. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
  12. Enjoy!


***coconut flour: you may substitute almond flour or whole wheat flour; if dough is too runny, add additional tablespoon

***dark chocolate: 70% or above has antioxidants (highly recommended); 100% will not have added sugars


This is such a fun holiday recipe and something you can feel good about serving to your family! Get the kids involved 🙂


Happy Easter!
Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

FB & Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

IG: @livebetterwithkatdetter

Black Bean Brownies

Black beans in brownies?? YES!

This trend has been around for a few years now. The first time I made black bean brownies was in 2015…I was getting ready to pack up my car and move to California to attend Loma Linda University to become a registered dietitian.  Before I left for school, I made my family a special treat…and I didn’t tell them what was in it…

Now, I am going to give you a little background on my childhood…when I was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7, I LOVED “playing” in my mom’s kitchen experimenting with foods…that could be why I decided to become a dietitian and do recipe development professionally!

I can remember making a jello dessert and putting what I thought was orange zest in it for a little extra flavor…turns out I was zesting too much and ended up putting the orange peeling in it instead…and my brothers never let me forget it! They’re always kind of afraid to try new foods I make despite the fact that I’ve gotten wayyyyy better at recipe development.

Back to before I moved away, I made a special dessert for my last night in North Carolina…I made black bean brownies. After everyone took a bite and decided they tasted good, I had them guess what they thought was in it…no one knew!

“Black beans!” Course, we grew up eating beans so my brothers weren’t too put off…but my sister-in-law was like “Ew, gross” and decided they were not fit to eat. However, everyone else LOVED them, and you will to!


I’ve adapted my recipe over the years. Today I am using black beans and sweet potato in this recipe and I guarantee you will love it! Fudgey, smooth, and perfect for a warm, brownie sundae!

Black Bean Brownies

  • Servings: 16 squares
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 can black beans

1/2 c almond flour

1/2 c sweet potato

1/2 c unsweetened apple sauce

1/4+ 2 tbs maple syrup

2 T cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 T vanilla

1/2 c dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Drain and rinse black beans very well.
  3. Add to high powered blender or food processor.
  4. Add almond flour, sweet potato, unsweetened applesauce, maple syrup, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and vanilla to blender/food processor.
  5. Blend until smooth.
  6. Add to mixing bowl and fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Pour mixture into greased baking dish.
  8. Sprinkle more chocolate chips on top.
  9. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes.
  10. If brownies are still goopy, bake for additional 5-10 minutes and let cool. The batter will thicken as it cools.
  11. Enjoy!!!

Have you ever tried black bean brownies ??

Until next time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me one social media!




Homemade Granola Bars

Another one of my go-to mid day snacks! Perfect for a pre-workout snack or dessert.

This recipe is a variation of my chocolate chip peanut butter energy bites  , and they are  even easier to make.


Essentially using the same ingredients with different ratios, this recipe does not require any ball-forming but just a simple mixture of ingredients and placing in a baking dish to refrigerate for a few hours.

This recipe contains oatmeal, natural peanut butter, honey, unsweetened coconut, chia seeds, and dark chocolate chips. Protein + carbs + heart healthy fat to get you going.

*Nutrition Fact on Chia Seeds: high in fiber (good for digestion & feeling full), protein, calcium (for bone health), manganese (antioxidant to protect body from free radicals-damaging cells in body), and magnesium (protein production, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation). Great addition to any baked good, smoothie, or jam.


Homemade Granola Bars

  • Servings: 20 small squares
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks


  1. In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients listed above and mix well.
  2. Pour mixture in a small baking dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting into squares.
  3. Once mixture is a firm consistency, cut into squares.
  4. Store in air tight container for up to a week (if they last that long).
  5. Enjoy for a pre workout snack or dessert!


I wanna know which one you all like better! The homemade granola bars or the energy bites 🙂


Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me on social media!

Facebook & Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @livebetterwithkatdetter



Apple Nachos

One of my favorite ways to eat apples, these nachos do not disappoint! 


These apple nachos will fill you up and provide fiber, protein, complex carbs and healthy fat so you have a completely balanced sweet treat, dessert, or midday snack.

Did I mention how simple it is? Takes less than 5 minutes to have a nice treat for you and your family. Best part? These are items you probably already have in stock!




Apple Nachos

  • Servings: 1 serving
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 fresh apple, washed (I usually use Pink Lady, Fuji, or Gala)
  • 1-2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, unsweetened
  • 3 tablespoons mini dark chocolate chips (I like Lily’s chocolate if I have it in stock)


  1. Wash and slice apple into strips.
  2. Place apples on a plate. Drizzle natural peanut butter on top. (Tip: If peanut butter is thick or too stiff, microwave for ~10-15 seconds)
  3. Top with chocolate chips and serve!
  4. Enjoy!

**Keep it simple or add more toppings such as coconut flakes, chopped nuts, or granola.


Treat yourself and your family to this fun sweet treat! If you have kids, this is a fun little recipe to get them involved in the kitchen.


What is your favorite way to eat apples?


Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @livebetterwithkatdetter

Banana Pops for RD Day!

Happy Registered Dietitian Day to my fellow RD’s!


This is a fun day in our profession, so I wanted to celebrate by sharing a fun dessert idea with you all–whether you’re an RD or not!

Making banana pops is a great activity to get the kids involved, too!




Banana Pops

  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 bananas (I like to use perfectly yellow ones)
  • Toppings: I kept it simple with chopped English walnuts and unsweetened dried cranberries


  1. In a medium sized pot, add 1 1/2 cups of water and set on stove on medium heat. Place a heat resistant bowl on top of pot to make the chocolate mixture (or use a double boiler).
  2. Add in chocolate, coconut oil, and vanilla. Stir continuously to prevent burning. **If you want to skip that step (as it takes a while), add all chocolate ingredients in a microwavable safe bowl, microwave at 30 second intervals stirring between each time until melted completely).
  3. Cut bananas in half.
  4. Dip bananas in chocolate.
  5. Top with favorite toppings.
  6. Freeze or refrigerate for 15 minutes or until ready to serve.
  7. Tightly seal in container and keep in freezer for easy on the go snacks or desserts.
  8. Enjoy!



Other topping ideas:

  • unsweetened coconut flakes
  • golden raisins
  • chia seeds
  • peanuts
  • freeze-dried fruit
  • mini chocolate chips
  • chopped apricots
  • pistachios


What are your favorite toppings?



Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

IG: @livebetterwithkatdetter

FB, Pinterest, YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

Peanut Butter + Chocolate…what could be better?


How about paired with oatmeal and honey?? Yes, please!


There are many different energy bite recipes out there, but here is my version!  Nutrient dense, great pick me up in the afternoon or for a pre-workout snack, and guaranteed to put a smile on your face!


This recipe contains oatmeal, natural peanut butter, honey, unsweetened coconut, chia seeds, and dark chocolate chips. Protein + carbs + heart healthy fat to get you going.

*Nutrition Fact on Chia Seeds: high in fiber (good for digestion & feeling full), protein, calcium (for bone health), manganese (antioxidant to protect body from free radicals-damaging cells in body), and magnesium (protein production, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation). Great addition to any baked good, smoothie, or jam!


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

  • Servings: 20 bites
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
  • 2/3 cup of Natural Peanut Butter (unsweetened)
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 2 Tbs Coconut, unsweetened
  • 2 Tbs Chia Seed (or ground Flax Seed)
  • 3 Tbs Dark Chocolate Chips


  1. In a bowl, mix oatmeal, peanut butter, honey, coconut, chia seeds (or ground flax), and chocolate chips until nicely incorporated.
  2. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Roll out into bite sized balls.
  4. Chill additional 10 minutes.
  5. Store in air tight container for up to 7 days.
  6. Enjoy for a snack, breakfast on the go, or an after dinner treat!

What are your favorite afternoon pick-me-ups?



Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

Healthy Baking Hacks

Do you love baking but find yourself having little self control over the final product? I know I do! Again, you know how I feel about treating yourself occasionally…and I don’t know about you…but if there is a way I can eat nutrient-dense desserts on a regular basis, I’m gonna do it!

Today  I am sharing with you some baking replacements for oil, eggs, flour, and sugar. Feel free to message me if you have any more suggestions! I’d love to hear them.

One reason I like to replace oils in baking is because it cuts back on overall calories. There are 9 calories in every 1 gram of fat–making it very calorically dense. We need fat in our diets, however I choose to get it elsewhere in my diet (like in salad dressings, fish, avocado, and cheese). I like to find sugar alternatives too because we really shouldn’t be exceeding 25 grams of added sugars daily. If I can make a dessert using natural sugars, then I am a happy camper!

There are several baking hacks I have used over the years and some do work better than others. Today I am going to share with you some of my favorites and in a few weeks, I will do a cooking demo using some of these hacks.

healthy baking hacks

  1. Black beans to replace flour

Many of you have heard of black bean brownies (and if you’ve been following me for a while, you remember my black bean thumbprint cookies). I’ve made black bean brownies several times and they are husband approved. You can also use black beans to replace flour in cakes and cookies. Generally, use 1 15-ounce can of black beans (drained and rinsed) to replace 1 cup of flour in a recipe. Keep in mind recipes vary, but this is a general guide.

2. Unsweetened applesauce to replace eggs

While I am not opposed to eggs, this hack is done a lot to make recipes vegan. Also, I find that adding eggs to recipes with little flour and sugar tend tasting very “eggy”…which is not a flavor  I am a fan of. Generally, use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce to replace 1 egg in a recipe.

3. Unsweetened applesauce to replace oil

Using applesauce will not only help as a binder but also as an oil replacement. Adding applesauce as 1:1 ratio with oil will still give your baked goods a moist consistency. For example, use 1 cup of applesauce to replace 1 cup of oil.

4. Canned unsweetened pumpkin or sweet potato to replace oil

Another oil replacement, using canned pumpkin puree or sweet potatoes in a 1:1 ratio in a recipe will make your baked good full of fiber and natural sweetness. From experience, pumpkin and sweet potato work best in chocolate recipes adding an extra sweetness to 100% dark cocoa powder. Again, for example use 1 cup of pumpkin or sweet potato puree to replace 1 cup of oil.

5. Greek Yogurt to replace oil.

A benefit of greek yogurt to replace oil is that it adds extra complete protein to your baked good. Imagine eating dessert for a snack! Using greek yogurt will give your baked good extra protein so that your blood sugars gradually increase instead of spiking up super high all at once. Use 1/4 cup of greek yogurt to replace 1/2 cup of oil.

6. Ripened bananas as sugar replacement

This is my favorite baking hack! I have used this idea in recipes from simple sugar free banana bread to chocolate chip cookies.  The natural sweetness satisfies the sugar craving. Utilize ripened bananas as a 1:1 ratio to replace sugar.

7. Oatmeal flour to replace white flour.

This one is so simple if you have oatmeal on hand in your pantry. Oatmeal is high in fiber and is a complex carbohydrate meaning it keeps you fuller longer than regular white flour. In a blender, add 1 cup of oatmeal and blend until a fine, flour like consistency. Then add your oat flour as a 1:1 ratio to replace flour.

8. Dates as natural sweetener

Medjool dates are my favorite to use. Dates work well ground up and mixed with nuts to replace pie crusts or just pureed and added to a cake or cookie batter for sweetness. Be sure to pit your dates and taste before baking. Dates are very sweet, so generally less is more for this sugar replacement.

9. Avocado to replace butter

Confession: I have NEVER tried this, but have seen several instagram foodies try this method. Replace half the butter in a recipe with half a mashed avocado and it will add healthy fats to your baked goods. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats which lower LDL cholesterol levels.

10. Prune puree to replace butter

Have you ever had prune cake? You can’t even taste them! Especially when combined with chocolate. Prunes help replace oil and give the baked good a moistness, but also add a touch of sweetness to the batter as well without more sugar. To replace 1 stick of butter, add 1/3 cup of prune puree to a recipe.


Have you ever tried any of these baking hacks? I hope you find this helpful next time you wanna make a nutrient dense dessert. Remember, if you ever try any of my creations or nutrition/fitness hacks, make sure to tag me on instagram @betterwithkatdetter_rd. Be on the lookout for a Kat’s Kitchen using some of these hacks to air in a few weeks.


Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing,

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

Nutritious Gingerbread Cookies

Say what? What is nutritious about a gingerbread cookie? Aren’t they full of butter, sugar, and molasses?


Why yes, traditionally gingerbread cookies are full of buttery and sugary goodness, but today I am sharing a lightened up more nutritious option for a festive holiday treat.

While my recipe does not contain butter or refined granulated sugar, it does contain honey and molasses…

“But Katrina, honey and molasses are still sugar…”

Yes, they are! Honey and molasses are still considered “added sugars”, however they contain way more nutrient benefits than regular table sugar.

Honey is created by bees from collecting plant nectar making it richer in vitamins and minerals than regular granulated sugar. Honey also contains antioxidants which can help reduce risks of heart disease, strokes, and some types of cancer. In addition to that, honey can aid in wound healing due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects—so next time you burn yourself, try rubbing some honey on your wound. Lastly, honey is good for cold and flu season! Got a scratchy throat? Add some honey to warm water or hot tea and slowly sip and it will likely tame your sore throat.

clear glass bowl beside yellow flower
Photo by Mareefe on

Now on to molasses! Have you ever watched anyone make molasses? Essentially, molasses is derived from mashed sugar cane to extract the juices then boiled to create cane syrup. The cane syrup is then boiled a second time to make molasses. What about the health benefits? Molasses contains several vitamins and minerals such as iron (hemoglobin production that transfers oxygen in your bloodstream), calcium (bone health), magnesium (aids in metabolism and transmissions of nerve impulses), vitamin B6 (brain development and hemoglobin production), and selenium (reproduction, function of thyroid gland, DNA production, and protecting body from free radical damage and infection). While it may be calorie dense, it still contains more nutritional value than regular granulated sugar.


Today I am going to share my gingerbread cookie recipe with you for a lighter take on the traditional Christmas cookie. Y’all know I am all for splurging every now and then, but the Christmas festivities last all month, so I like to find healthier alternatives to fun festive goodies.

Recipe Time! Note: This recipe was adapted from COOKIE + kate  with a few of my own personal tweaks. See her blog for more fun recipes!

Nutritious Gingerbread Cookies

  • Servings: 40 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 3 cups of 100% Whole Wheat Flour (I used King Arthur brand)
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup of molasses
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 large egg
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add whole wheat flour, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, salt, cloves, baking soda, and baking powder and mix until well combined.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, add melted coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce, molasses, and honey. Whisk until well combined. If mixture is too grainy, microwave to dissolve.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredient mixture and combine well. If mixture seems too dry, keep mixing! I started out with a spoon and ended up using my hands to get the flour mixed in well with the molasses mixture.
  4. Separate the cookie dough in half. Shape the dough into a 1-inch disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Lightly dust your work space and rolling pin with flour and roll one of your cookie dough disks about 1/4 inch deep. This dough is easy to roll out with little crumbling, but if you run into crumbling issues, allow cookie dough to get to room temperature. Use cookie cutter of choice to make fun holiday shapes.
  6. Place cookies on the lined cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 8-11 minutes. For a softer cookie, bake for 8 minutes. For more of a gingersnap, bake closer to 11 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool on a baking sheet and lightly dust with powdered sugar.
  8. Share and enjoy with your friends!

Got any Christmas parties to attend? Try this recipe out. My husband LOVED them…so I am sure if your company likes gingerbread then these will be a crowd favorite!


Merry Christmas baking!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!
Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter



  1. LD MWRDN. Magnesium: Health Benefits, Deficiency, Sources, and Risks. Medical News Today. Published December 20, 2017. Accessed December 3, 2018.
  2. Healthline. (2018). 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Honey. [online]. Available at [Accessed 3 Dec. 2018].








Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies–With a Twist!

Guess what?  It’s February!  Which means it’s the month of love.  Now, this isn’t going to be a sappy blog post about how much I am in love—although I am!  And in 248 days I will get to marry the love of my life!  But that is beside the point.

When I think about February, I think of Valentine’s Day.  Not only Valentine’s Day, but also all the chocolate and treats associated with it.  It is a tradition for significant others and secret admirers to get gifts for “their person”.  In addition to that, many Valentine’s parties happen.  One thing I remember from my childhood is thumbprint cookies—you know, the ones made out of shortbread with the gooey jam-filling inside.  Well, in celebration of a childhood memory, I created my version of these thumbprint cookies.

Now, these aren’t just any thumbprint cookies, these cookies have a secret ingredient.  Can you guess by looking at them?

cookies 3

I have gotten raspberries (obviously), coconut oil, dark chocolate—but one person did indeed guess the secret ingredient.  While these delicate goodies do contain raspberries and dark chocolate, those are not the secret.  My secret ingredient in these cookies is—BLACK BEANS!

I know right?  Weird.  For the past few years, black beans have made an appearance in the dessert world.  I first heard of them in black bean brownies, which I have made a few times.  However, I have not seen many black bean cookie recipes around, much less a thumbprint black bean cookie recipe, so I decided to create one that was similar to my childhood cookie.

The beauty of this cookie is that it contains black beans, which are very high in fiber, which is great for your gut.  Instead of grabbing those fiber one bars and supplements, opt for these nutrient dense cookies!

This is also my first attempt at making thumbprint cookies!  However, I am quite pleased with how they turned out.  I will now show you a step-by-step process in creating this divine dessert.  At the bottom of the blog is the recipe and procedure.

For the cookies, you will need one can of black beans, 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter (or nut butter substitute), 4 tablespoons of milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk), 4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, and 3 tablespoons of chopped dark chocolate (70%).


To blend up the drained and rinsed black beans, I recommend using a food processor.  I used a NutriBullet blender because that is what I have in my college apartment—I have to be a minimalist baker while I am here.  Blend up the drained and rinsed black beans with the 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 4 tablespoons of milk.

black beans

In a separate bowl, mix the whole-wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt well.  Add the chopped 70% dark chocolate.

dry ingredients

**Nutrition fact**  I used 70% dark chocolate because it is rich in antioxidants which can help prevent a free radical build-up damaging the cells in your body.  That topic is for a later blog coming this month.

Now the fun begins!  Combine the black bean puree with the dry ingredients.  Mix well together (I had to use my hands), and form a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  This will help the dough become firm enough to form little thumbprint cookies.

cookie dough 2

Once the dough has chilled for at least 3 hours, it is time to form into the traditional thumbprint design!  I cut the dough into small squares and then shaped them in ball form, and created a dip in the middle to hold raspberry jam.

cookie dough

Now it is time for the jam!  Now, you could definitely use your favorite brand of raspberry jam, but I made my own!  It was more of a raspberry sauce that I thickened with corn starch, but it is a simple recipe.  Start with a ½ cup of fresh (or frozen) raspberries, blend up with 1/3 cup of water.  Add to a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Dissolve ½ tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water, and slowly pour into the raspberry mixture while stirring.  Make sure you continuously stir so the cornstarch does not gelatinize.

raspberry compote

Allow the “jam” to cool.  Once cooled, spoon into the little dips of the cookies and bake at 350-degree oven for 14-18 minutes.

cookies 2

Allow the cookies to cool.  The next part is optional.  I combined 1 tablespoon of almond milk to 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar to create a simple glaze.  Drizzle on top of the cookies, but make sure they are cool or else the glaze will melt.

cookies 3

And there you have it!  My version of Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies for Valentine’s Day!  Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook or Instagram (@betterwithkatdetter) if you tried the recipe!  See the recipe and directions below.  Enjoy!


Cookie Dough

1 can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)

2 tablespoons of Creamy Peanut Butter*

2 tablespoons of Milk**

2 tablespoons of Whole Wheat Flour

4 tablespoons of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 tablespoon of Baking Powder

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

½ teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of 70% Dark Chocolate, chopped

Raspberry Sauce

½ cup fresh (or frozen) Raspberries

1/3 cup of Water

½ tablespoon of Cornstarch + 1 tablespoon of water, dissolved

Basic Decorative Glaze (optional)

2 tablespoons of powdered sugar

1 tablespoon of milk

*I used natural peanut butter, but you could use whatever you have, or a nut butter substitute.

**Any kind of milk will work.  I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Thumbprint Cookies


  1. In a blender or food processor, blend up drained & rinsed black beans, peanut butter, and milk until creamy.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, and chopped dark chocolate.
  3. Mix black bean mixture with dry ingredients until well incorporated.  Shape into a ball and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  4. Shape dough into little “thumbprint” cookies.
  5. Fill with raspberry sauce or store bought jam.
  6. Bake at 350 degree oven for 14-18 minutes.
  7. Let cool.
  8. Decorate with vanilla glaze (optional).

Directions for Raspberry Sauce:

  1. Blend raspberries and water.  Pour into a saucepan.
  2. Under medium heat, bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in the cornstarch mixture.
  4. Boil and stir vigorously for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool.

Directions for Glaze:

  1. Mix powdered sugar and milk together.
  2. If it is too runny, add more powdered sugar.
  3. Drizzle on cooled cookies.