chocolate black bean brownie smoothie

chocolate black bean smoothie // the muffin myth

I’ve been thinking lately about how my food philosophy has changed over the last decade. I used to eat pretty much any old thing so long as it was vegetarian without much consideration about what it actually was. Over the years the way I eat has shifted to a much more whole foods focused approach.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t particularly worry about getting protein into my diet because there is protein, at least in small amounts, in practically everything. I do sometimes like a blast of protein, though, so I’m always looking for ways to incorporate it into my diet. Although I know there are some good ones out there, protein powders are a bit out of my comfort zone. So, I’ve been experimenting with ways to get extra protein into my smoothies without using any protein powder.

chocolate black bean smoothie // the muffin myth

What’s the answer? Beans!

Beans in a smoothie?! Yup! We’ve made brownies from beans, so why not a smoothie? Trust me, you won’t taste them. Plus, in addition to adding a boost of protein and healthy fiber to your smoothie, the beans also contribute to an amazing creamy texture. Hemp seeds add another boost of protein, and sweetened with just a frozen banana and a couple of medjool dates, this smoothie is vegan, naturally sweetened, naturally protein-rich, and gluten free. It’s great for practically everyone!

I’ve used almond milk to keep this smoothie vegan, but you could boost the protein even more by adding Greek yoghurt. The cocoa nibs are an optional topping; if you have them on hand sprinkle a few over top for a fun crunch. Try this smoothie out and let me know what you think. And tell me, what else do you like to sneak beans into?

MM_Know_Icon_FINALBlack beans are a good source of folate, dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin K. The protein-plus-fiber combination in black beans is one of the things that makes them special. A one cup serving contains 15g of fiber (over half of the daily recommended intake), and 15g of protein. Much of the fiber is indigestible, which supports digestive health, particularly in the lower part of our digestive tract. The protein-fiber combination is also key in stabilizing blood sugar levels, as both protein and fiber move through our digestive systems at a moderate pace. Black beans are also rich in soluble fiber, which is helpful for lowering blood cholesterol levels and supporting cardiovascular health. You know what they say, beans beans good for the heart… but if the second part of that rhyme concerns you, be sure to discard the soaking water when cooking dried beans. You’ll be tossing out a good amount of flatulence causing compounds, as well as some of the phytates and tannins that lower nutrient availability.

chocolate black bean smoothie // the muffin myth

Smoothies, previously:
Chocolate Banana Bread Smoothie
Strawberry Coconut Super Smoothie
Date Almond Smoothie
Chocolate Blueberry Oat Smoothie

4.9 from 9 reviews
chocolate black bean brownie smoothie
Prep time
Total time
Chocolate and black beans are a logical pairing, but you could use other beans as well. Adzuki beans would be great, and a neutral tasting white bean like cannellini would be good too.
Serves: 1
  • 1 banana, preferably frozen
  • ½ cup black beans
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • cocoa nibs for garnish (optional)
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and sprinkle cocoa nibs over the top if desired. Serve immediately.



      • Rachelle says

        There is an error in your article. 1/2 C Black Beans provides 6 or 7 grams of protein not 15 as stated in your article.
        1 C = almost 15 grams. The Chocolate smoothie recipe is delicious but does not provide the full amt of protein you stated.

        • says

          I’m not sure where you’re seeing this, Rachelle? In the “Know What You’re Eating Section” it does day 1 cup = 15g protein. I don’t provide nutrition information for the smoothie its self.

        • Max says

          Rachelle, the article does state that 1 cup of the smoothie contains 15g of protien. You are correct that 1/2 cup of black beans provides ~7g protein. However, there is no error in the 15g claim: the other ~8g of protein comes from hemp seeds, banana, and almond milk. The respective protein content of these foods may vary depending on the brand.

      • Bonnie Nunley says

        Ok so can I substitute unsweetened coco powder, can I use soaked flax seeds and what can be used from pantry if no dates. Dr is insistent that I loose weight due to my diabetes. I also have budget concerns and would also prefer going ALL NATURAL not using store/chemically enhanced protein powders.

        • says

          Hi Bonnie, it is unsweetened cocoa powder that the recipe calls for. Soaked flax seeds would be fine. The dates add natural sweetness as well as some dietary fiber. You can leave them out, or add a touch of maple syrup if you don’t have dates.

  1. says

    Ohhhh…I love this idea! I’m on a smoothie kick lately and I’ve been looking for some new ideas. This just might be my after-workout snack later today 🙂

  2. Em says

    Yes, brilliant! I’m a vegetarian uncomfortable with the idea of protein powder as well, so this is such a smart idea for a post-workout smoothie. Made this for myself today after some strength training and appreciated that it’s easy *and* delicious.

  3. says

    I’ve been pondering the evolution of my eating philosophy too – I used to be so fixated on HEALTHY HEALTHY HEALTHY that it was unknowingly stressful.. now I just strive for variety and unprocessed food!

  4. says

    Great Post! And I must admit two things.
    1. I’ve had a similar revelation lately in the way I practice (I’m a Nutritionist). I used to believe that if I just told people how to be ‘Healthy’ I would get people well. Now I realize that I have to inspire people to be healthy and they in turn inspire the world around them. It’s been life changing.
    And 2. Your photos are stunning and it’s what caused me to read this post.
    Keep up the good work.

    • says

      That’s a great way to look at nutrition! And you’re absolutely right – people definitely pay it forward when they’re inspired. Thanks so much re: my photos 🙂

      • Randiah says

        I don’t know if someone asked this before, but are the beans raw or cooked? I have dry black beans (not canned) so do they need to be cooked fully before I can use them in the smoothie? I think this could be a great post-workout smoothie and I LOVE Black beans! 🙂

        • says

          Hi Randiah, the beans definitely need to be cooked first. I like to cook up big batches of dried beans and keep them in the freezer, perfect for tossing into a morning smoothie!

  5. says

    I’m loving this right now! I soak the dates and seeds (I used chia) in the almond milk for 15-20 minutes before blending to help my processor along and it comes out great. I’ve also been adding maca, which is new to me, and it works well. Thanks for the recipe!

    P.S. Sorry for the caps. It seems to be set to set like that as It doesn’t make a difference whether I have caps turned on on my keyboard or not. Your fill in sheet still come up like this.

  6. Mae says

    Just did this! I used 3 fresh figs, chia seeds, and added a bunch of greens and I can’t even tell. This is the fullest I’ve ever been off a smoothie and it is also one of the most delicious I’ve had!

    • says

      Mmmmm, fresh figs would be so good! I’m so glad you liked the smoothie. People think the beans are weird, but you can’t taste ’em and you get so much good nutrition, and like you said, satisfaction. Yay!

  7. Jess says

    This recipe is delicious!! I made it this morning with canned Eden Organic no salt added black beans and I could not even taste the beans! I will definitely be enjoying this smoothie on a regular basis. Thank you 🙂

  8. Amy says

    This sounds perfect, but I’m a smoothie newbie. If I were going to add greek yogurt – would I just add a container of yogurt, or would I substitute it for some of the almond milk?

    • says

      Hi Amy, sorry for the delayed response – I was away on holidays without my computer! If you were going to add Greek yoghurt you could reduce the almond milk a bit. This smoothie is already quite thick due to the banana and black beans, so you’ll definitely want some of that liquid in there. It really depends on how think your Greek yoghurt is. If it’s quite thick you could add almost all of the almond milk. If it’s less thick try reducing the almond milk by about 50%. Experiment a bit and let us know how it goes.

  9. grannkyklump says

    Random question – do I need to cook the beans first? Or do I use the straight out of the box uncooked?


    • says

      If the beans are from a can then they’re already cooked – simply give them a good rinse and they’re ready to use. If they’re dried beans then they will need to be soaked and cooked before you can use them in the smoothie, or anywhere else for that matter!

  10. Chris H says

    This is a silly question. I like using all frozen ingredients in my smoothie except for the almond milk. Can I use frozen cooked black beans? I’m not usually a fan of black beans but if I can’t taste it in my smoothie that would be a plus.

    • says

      Certainly you could use frozen beans! It’ll make the smoothie thicker, so you might need to add a bit of extra almond milk, but the frozen beans should blend up beautifully so long as you’ve got a powerful enough blender, and make it like a thick and creamy (but healthy!) milkshake. Let me know how it works out.

  11. Catherine Gale says

    Just found your website and made this smoothie. I have to say that it is absolutely delicious…. thank you!

  12. Anun says

    Hey! This recipe looks great. I wanted to ask, could I add oats and peanut butter into this shake and blend it as well. Would it make the taste bad or make it taste even better? Oats and peanut butter are really great sources of protein and carbs as well. Since oats is generally tasteless, I was scared that the peanut butter may not complement the cocoa powder.

    • says

      Hi Anun! You can add pretty much anything you want to a smoothie, that’s the beauty! Try it out with oats and peanut butter and let us know how it turns out. Chocolate and peanut butter is pretty much one of my favourite combos, so I bet it’ll be delicious! It might be thicker due to the oats, so you may need to add some extra liquid. Go for it!

  13. Angel says

    I just tried this and it was awesome! I didn’t have almond milk but I had vanilla Westsoy so I used that. It upped the protein to 24g and the beans make it extremely filling and you can’t taste them at all! Thanks for posting this yummy recipe 🙂

  14. Autumn says

    I found your blog yesterday while searching for a mung bean recipe— I made the mung bean and coconut curry recipe last night and it was amazing! I’m really loving your site and have found quite a few recipes I want to try.

    I’ve got a question about this smoothie–I live in Thailand, so unfortunately black beans are really hard to find. I can buy them imported but they’re quite expensive. However, Japanese black soybeans are everywhere and very cheap. Do you think those would work in a smoothie?


  15. Donna says

    Just made this – DELICIOUS! I didn’t have dates on hand so I sweetened with a little Agave. You would never know there are beans in this drink. So different and very satisfying after a hard workout. I plan or checking out your other recipes.

  16. Jamie says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I used less almond milk to make it a smoothie bowl and added kidney beans & spinach. It was amazing 🙂


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