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You won’t believe the secret ingredient in this chocolate lava cake


Photo: The Healthy Maven
Photo: The Healthy Maven
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Pulse Ribbon

When you think of black beans, a few things come to mind: maybe a go-to lunch (black beans with brown rice and salsa), or a steaming bowl of veggie chili, or if you’ve got your food processor out, a black bean veggie burger. But gooey, chocolate-y desserts? That’s crazy.

Crazy but true. Food blogger Davida Kugelmass, AKA The Healthy Maven, uses beans as a genius little hack to cut sugar and flour in her desserts (majorly upping the fiber content in the process—a true happy belly boost).

“I created this recipe for Valentine’s Day hoping to replicate one of my favorite chocolatey desserts without it being loaded with butter and sugar,” she says of her Black Bean Lava Cakes (keep reading for the recipe). “I love that they maintain the decadence of a gooey, melty lava cake but are full of good-for-you ingredients like black beans! It’s also fun tricking your loved ones into eating healthy food when they think it’s decadent.”

Photo: Bettina Bogar
Photo: Bettina Bogar

As someone who generally eats a plant-based diet, Kugelmass says she depends on black beans and other pulses—whether it’s other types of beans, chickpeas, lentils, or dry peas—as a healthy protein source. “What I love in particular about black beans is that they really take on the flavor of whatever dish you are preparing. If I’m making a savory salad, I love roasting them to add a spicy crunch or blending them together to make these black bean lava cakes. They really are so versatile!” You’re telling us! Scroll down for Exhibit A.

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Black Bean Lava Cakes

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 Tbsp warm water)
1 15-oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt (divided)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
4 pieces of chocolate, for center.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make flax egg and set aside. In food processor combine black beans, maple syrup, applesauce, apple cider vinegar, and half of sea salt. Pulse to combine (about 1 minute).

Add in almond meal, cocoa powder and flax egg. Process until combined (about 30 seconds). Add in baking powder and continue processing for another 30 seconds.

Grease 4 5-ounce ramekins with coconut oil. Make sure to grease well. Add 1/4 cup of batter to each ramekin. Place piece of chocolate and cover each ramekin evenly with remaining batter.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Use a knife to loosen edges and then flip ramekins over on a plate. They should come loose easily.

Serve warm. Will keep in fridge for several days.

For more recipes with black beans and other pulses, visit pulsepledge.com