Monday, November 4, 2013

(White Bean) Gingerbread Blondies

Since my black bean brownies were such a smashing hit, my mind got rolling as to how else I could create a crazy dessert with the taste of decadence and the nutritional profile of a superfood. Last time, I had questions on how to best make the brownies without peanut butter, since that is a very common allergen. I also had a friend who had a hard time finding black beans in Europe, but did have white beans, so this recipe is for you guys! From those comments, I accepted my challenge to make an equally delicious dessert using white beans and no nuts.

This is a kind of crazy recipe because I've never actually had a blondie... why on earth would I have wanted a blondie when I could have a brownie?! However, I am no stranger to gingerbread and my love of molasses has only grown over the years. It was when I was anemic, that my love for molasses was really solidified. Did you know that 1 tablespoon of good molasses has 20% of your daily value of iron, more potassium than a banana, and is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, manganese and magnesium? This is because when cane sugar is processed, molasses is the last cut in the refining process. Just like my recrystallizations in the chemistry lab, first comes the pure white sugar crystals, then comes the slightly less pure light and then dark brown sugars, and finally when there are so many impurities (i.e. nutrients) left that it will no longer crystalize, you get the molasses. Because of this refining process, impurities other than the nutrients will concentrate in molasses so care should be taken to buy good, organic molasses. And you know this is true because, well, this is the first time I've suggested specifically that you should buy something organic. (If you're in Cambridge, Whole Foods has a big bottle of the good stuff for $8.99, which should last you a long time so is well worth the money.)

(White Bean) Gingerbread Blondies

2c white beans (navy beans are best)
1/4c brown sugar
1/4c molasses
1T cornstarch
1/2t baking soda
1/4t vanilla
cinnamon and cloves to taste
1T uncrystalized candied dried ginger*

Preheat oven to 375F. In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Process until you don't feel the chunks of dried ginger banging around, which will take a few minutes. Taste your batter and add more brown sugar if you feel it's necessary. (You probably want to add an additional tablespoon brown sugar if you're using dried ginger, rather than the candied.) Transfer to a greased 9"x9" square pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. (these take much longer than the brownies) Enjoy your gluten free, vegan, nut-free, and highly nutritious dessert!

*If you love ginger and want these to have a very potent ginger flavor, add up to 1/4c candied, dried ginger. If you aren't a ginger lover or if you don't have candied dried ginger on hand (it can usually be found at Trader Joe's although the sugar-coated version would likely make this recipe too sweet), you can use regular fresh or dried ginger.


  1. Hi again! I've been getting reports that these often end up undercooked because they look ready outside, but are still gooey on the inside. Sorry I didn't emphasize it more originally, but these take a really long time to cook! Don't be afraid to cook these for 45 minutes. Or, if you take them out too soon, it's ok. These are very robust and can be put back in the oven, even after they are sliced and good results will still be obtained.

  2. Finally made these - actually made a 1.5 batch (I had 3 cups on beans, I eyeballed the extra half of every other ingrediant) baked for 45 min in a 9x13 pan and that worked well (might have been better if I had remembered to grease the pan!)

    I still had chunk of ginger b/c it was sticking to my food processor blade and I used the max amount but I think chunks of candied ginger is a good thing.. I wonder though if the crystalized might chop up better (and interestingly the calories and sugar content of the crystalized vs uncrystalized TJs candied ginger is the same - I think the only difference is how much drying they do after soaking in sugar not the amount of sugar used!)

    If you don't love these (or the black bean brownies) fresh from the oven or even the next day try sticking them in the fridge or freezer and having them a couple days later.. I liked both recipes a lot better a couple days later.. somehow the sweetness and other flavors came out more and the "hmmm I can still tell these were made w/ beans" flavor diminished..

    1. I'm glad you finally got a chance to try these, Becky! I hope to be trying my hand at an innovative new superfood dessert soon. I have some gf citrus-almond scones that I need to remake to take pictures of, but will start thinking about other post-workout snack options. Thanks for reading! Haha, I took all your comments yesterday as a hint that I should write a new post... :)

  3. Ha I was just excited that I finally found time to play around with all the stuff I have mentally bookmarked on your blog :)