Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

So dessert won last night. Well, kind of. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

Todd and I are going on The Ski Train this weekend! It's an all-day train party ride (like a legit, real life train) that goes over 130 miles one way from Anchorage, past Talkeetna to Curry Ridge where it will stop and myself and hundreds of other cool cats will ski their little hearts out. Then we'll all pile back on, eat a bunch of food, drink a bunch of adult beverages, and enjoy the scenery on the way back home. Photos to come!

I am so psyched you have no idea. It's usually sold out instantly and you can only get tickets if you happen to be a member of the nordic ski club...which we are. Oh! And there's a polka band too! Yes, a polka band. We'll be playing lots of Apples to Apples and Carcassonne and probably polka dancing as well. I dunno, I hear it's a thing. My brother and sister-in-law will be joining us! It will be epic.

Anyways, I realized I needed to make something to bring with us and I knew these brownie bars would be perfect. They've got oats and black beans, flax seed too along with hazelnuts to keep us fueled up for the big ski. Plus they're freaking delicious, man. I only allowed myself to one yesterday, so we can take the rest with us! Picture me, on a train, in a corner scarfing down these bars with a mouth-fulla chocolate. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie BarsThese fudgy bars are reminiscent of brownies, not too sweet and packed full of healthy goodies. A nutritious energy bar that tastes like a brownie but boasts ample protein and complex carbs to keep you fueled throughout the day. Plus, they're done in a cinch and easy peasy. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

Serves 10 

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 6 Tbsp. water
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 old-fashioned oats, dry
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • flake salt for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F and roughly chop the hazelnuts. Spread on a baking sheet and toast at 400 F for about 3 minutes or until fragrant. Be sure they don't burn! When done, remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven to 350 F.

Produce On Parade - Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

Meanwhile, whisk together the flax and 6 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie BarsIn a food processor, add the chocolate chips and the oats. Pulse until roughly chopped, about 30 seconds. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars

Now, add the remaining ingredients excluding the flake salt. Don't forget to add the flax mixture! Process until fairly smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, about 3 minutes. Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie BarsAdd the toasted hazelnuts and pulse to combine. 

Coat a bread pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the batter and spread it out so it's smooth and even. The brownie bars will not rise at all in the oven. Bake for 60 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. 

Remove from oven and allow to sit in pan until completely cool. Then, transfer to a cutting board, sprinkle with salt and additional hazelnuts. Carefully cut into 10 slices. Keep wrapped in saran wrap. 

Healthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie BarsHealthy & Energizing Hazelnut Brownie Bars


Is it Saturday morning yet?

[soundcloud url="" params="color=67ab9f&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

German Word of The Day: Hazelnut --> Hasselnuss (pronounced: hahsell-noose) Brownie is...just brownie, so I couldn't use that obviously. 

Good Deed of The Day: Um, so this petition is to stop the horrific dog meat trade in china and demand that they make animal cruelty laws. Yea. You'll definitely want to be a part of this one. Trust me. Imagine if your dog was stolen and caged, treated horrendously, then slaughtered and consumed. That's what I thought...sign this. 

[yumprint-recipe id='97']

Chocolate Chipotle Black Bean Cherry Cookies

I love fudgy cookies. I love chocolate. I love healthy cookies and I love vegan cookies but most of all I love tasty cookies. And thus, I am delighted to announce that these Chocolate Chipotle Black Bean Cherry Cookies are all of those things.

Produce on Parade: Chocolate Chipotle Black Bean Cherry Cookies

They happen to be made with black beans. Now, I know what you're thinking...another black bean baked "goodie". I know, and I agree. I myself have been tricked into making several different cookies, brownies, etc. with black beans that were for lack of a better word...blech. These cookies are different, people! If you've been burned before by a promising black bean dessert recipe, let these be your rebound. A rebound that you'll fall so madly in love with that you'll marry and stay true to forever and ever...I do. That's a little extreme, but they are the real deal and when you find a keeper you hang on tight.

Chocolate Chipotle Black Bean Cherry Cookies

Inspired by My New Roots

Makes 12 cookies

  • 2 flax eggs
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed very well
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. ground chipotle chili powder (or cayenne pepper)
  • 1/3 cup molasses (or honey, maple syrup, etc)
  • 2 tsp. hazelnut Kahlua (or vanilla extract or other liqueur)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries (or dried cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped (optional)
  • extra chipotle powder (optional) and salt for sprinkling 


Alright, y'all you know the drill. Flax eggs are first! Place 2 Tbsp of ground flaxseed in a small bowl and whisk in 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. of cold water. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and allow it to gel for at least 15 minutes. This is important. Preheat oven to 375 F.

Produce on Parade: Chocolate Chipotle Black Bean Cherry Cookies

Place all remaining ingredients in food processor, excluding chocolate chunks, cherries, optional nuts and sprinklings. Don't forget the flax eggs in the fridge! Pulse until well combined and smooth. Once whirled thoroughly, fold in the chocolate chunks, cherries and optional nuts if you want them in their original form. But...if you're lazy like moi, just pulse them a couple times in the processor to incorporate them into the dough. I prefer mine a little smaller and chopped up anyways. No need to be all proper with it.

Produce on Parade: Chocolate Chipotle Black Bean Cherry Cookies

Drop 12 cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Not wax paper! That would be a horrific catastrophe. I made this mistake as a flighty and unassuming teen. Parchment paper and waxed paper are not interchangeable. I refuse to assume that every home cook with modest capabilities understands this. I still have never used waxed paper properly, I just know it doesn't go in the oven. I learned the hard way. Anyways, once dropped, flatten the dough as the cookie really won't change shape when baking. Kiss your new loves with salt and extra chipotle chili powder (if you're tough like me, of course), and bake at 375 F for 15 minutes.

Produce on Parade: Chocolate Chipotle Black Bean Cherry Cookies

If you're feeling super fancy and snooty, I suppose you could ball up the dough and then flatten it. They might have a smoother cookie "look" about them that way. I wasn't feeling particularly fancy pants on this day, however, so I was perfectly content with them as they were.

Black beans, dark chocolate, cherries, flax and chipotle chili powder? It's an antioxidant convention! Did you know that beans are the healthiest bean of all? Click on the links in the ingredient list to learn more.