Chocolate Black Bean Smoothie

A rich and creamy healthy chocolate smoothie loaded with protein thanks to a secret ingredient that you totally can’t taste – beans! It’s like a chocolate protein shake but made without any weird ingredients. Naturally sweetened with just banana and dates, this bean smoothie is totally vegan and dairy-free, and I promise it’s delicious!

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chocolate black bean smoothie on a grey background with bananas, black beans, cocoa, and dates in the background

Whether you’ve been here for a while or you’re brand new, I want you to do something for me.

Close your eyes.

Cross your arms across your chest.

Let your body fall backwards.

I promise I’ll catch you.

That’s right my friends, we’re doing trust falls today. Trust falls right into putting beans in your smoothies, and I promise that I’ll catch you.

I’m sorry, did you say bean smoothie? 

Yes, friends, I did. Bean smoothie! Black bean smoothie! Chocolate black bean smoothie! It’s like a chocolate protein shake, but without any weird stuff in it.

Unless of course you consider putting beans in your smoothies weird, and then I guess it has weird stuff in it. I’m ok with it!

If you’ve ever had some hippy dip friend who tried to pass off a tray of bean brownies as a dessert, that friend will love this smoothie. (Ps – I am totally that friend. Check out my Fudgy Adzuki Bean Brownies.)

frozen banana, cauliflower, black beans, dates, cocoa, and hemp seeds in a blender

What goes into this healthy chocolate smoothie?

I like to call this my Chocolate Black Bean Brownie Smoothie. It tastes like you’re drinking a brownie, but is so hella delicious you won’t even believe it. You’re gonna need the following:

  • Beans –> Yes my friends, this is a bean smoothie going down.
  • Banana –> Preferably frozen.
  • Cauliflower –> Preferably frozen.
  • Dates –> Medjool is where it’s at.
  • Hemp seeds –> For extra protein.
  • Cocoa powder –> Helllloooo chocolate!
  • Cinnamon –> Just a pinch
  • Plant-based milk –> Oat milk is my jam, but you do you.

Can you taste the beans?

This is a bean smoothie, but cross my heart and hope to die, you can not taste the beans. They just blend up creamy and delicious and are totally disguised by the other delicious flavours.

You can’t taste the frozen cauliflower either, if you’re worried about that. It adds bulk, dietary fiber, and makes this chocolate smoothie icy cold and refreshing.

Hemp seeds add another boost of protein, and sweetened with just a frozen banana and a couple of medjool dates (one is perfect for me, but you can add two if you prefer things to be on the sweeter side), this healthy chocolate smoothie is vegan, naturally sweetened, and naturally protein-rich. It’s great for practically everyone!

chocolate smoothie with bananas, beans, dates, and cocoa shot overhead on a grey background

Can I make this smoothie in advance?

You bet you can! This Chocolate Black Bean Smoothie recipe is a great option for Frozen Smoothie Packs.

You can also blend it up and keep your smoothie in the fridge for a few hours. It might separate a bit so you’ll want to shake or stir before you drink it. 

What kind of milk should I use?

I used almond milk when I first started making this smoothie, but these days my plant-based milk of choice is oat milk, so that’s what I use more often than not. Any plant-based milk that you’re into will do just fine.

Do I need a fancy blender?

The best blender is the blender you have… that’s how the saying goes, right?

To be honest, I’ve made this smoothie in a variety of blenders ranging from not that fancy to fancy AF, and the main difference is the smoothness of the drink. If you have a less powerful bender you may find a few chunks of cauliflower or dates left behind, but that’s not a big deal.

Until recently I was using this blender, which is a total workhorse, but I’ve since upgraded to this blender, which I looooove.

chocolate smoothie with bananas, dates, black beans, and cocoa powder in the background

Hey Nutrition Lady, are black beans healthy?

Black beans are a good source of folate, dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin K. So yeah, they’re pretty dang healthy.

The protein-plus-fiber combination in black beans is one of the things that makes black beans so 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. This is especially important in a drink like this healthy chocolate smoothie.

Black beans are also rich in soluble fiber, which is helpful for lowering blood cholesterol levels and supporting cardiovascular health.

close up of chocolate smoothie with black beans, dates, and bananas in the background

Other tasty smoothies you might enjoy:

Mango Matcha Green Tea Smoothie
Carrot Apple Smoothie with Ginger
Berry Fennel Smoothie
Date Almond Smoothie
The Greenest Smoothie

chocolate smoothie with bananas, beans, dates, and cocoa shot overhead on a grey background
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4.81 from 26 votes

Chocolate Black Bean Smoothie

A rich and creamy healthy chocolate smoothie loaded with protein thanks to a secret ingredient that you totally can't taste - beans! 
Course smoothie
Cuisine American
Keyword Black bean smoothie, healthy chocolate smoothie
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 452kcal
Author Katie Trant


  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1-2 medjool dates pitted
  • 1 cup almond milk or milk of choice
  • 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


  • Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. 
  • Pour into a glass and sprinkle cocoa nibs over the top if desired. Serve immediately.


  • Using 2 dates makes this smoothie very sweet. I prefer just one, but if you're accustomed to a sweeter drink or your banana isn't very sweet, you can go for two.
  • You can't taste the frozen cauliflower at all! It adds thickness and a good amount of dietary fiber to the smoothie.
  • You can't taste the black beans, I promise!
  • This makes one LARGE smoothie for a hungry person, or two smaller snack-sized smoothies.
  • Nutrition values are an estimate only!


Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 360mg | Potassium: 1297mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Vitamin C: 61.9mg | Calcium: 409mg | Iron: 5.8mg
Mango Matcha Green Tea Smoothie
This Mango Matcha Green Tea Smoothie is the perfect thing to get your day started! Made with banana, frozen broccoli, mango, and plant-based milk, this vegan matcha smoothie is loaded with green goodness, antioxidants for a healthy morning breakfast recipe.
Check out this recipe
matcha green tea smoothies on a grey surface with a cut mango and matcha powder
Carrot Apple Smoothie with Ginger
A zippy Carrot Apple Smoothie with a touch of ginger and lemon for extra zing. This easy vegan recipe takes just a few minutes to whip up in your blender and will load you up with antioxidants and healthy plant-based fiber. 
Check out this recipe
carrot apple ginger smoothie with a red apple on a grey background
Date Almond Smoothie
This creamy dreamy smoothie is thick and luscious like a milkshake, yet totally plant-based and packed with veggies. Naturally sweetened with frozen banana and dates, nutty and delicious, this is just the thing when you want something sweet but healthy. 
Check out this recipe
two green smoothies with blue straws and a white tea towel in the background

This recipe was originally published July 27, 2014. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated March 28, 2019.




  1. Melissa says

    Hi there, quick question. If I were to assemble some make-ahead smoothie bags, which ingredients go into the bag to be frozen? I am assuming just the bananas, beans, and cauliflower… But please let me know.

    Or does it not matter?

    Thanks ^_^

  2. Jehanne says

    I made this today, and it’s a definite winner. The only major changes I made were swapping adzuki beans for the black beans, and chia seeds for the hemp. The flavor is akin to chocolate banana bread, which I love–I’m sure to be making this again!

  3. Rianna says

    I made this and it’s really good! I used 1/4 cup of dried date bits instead of mejol dates and soaked them in hot water for 15or so minutes first. I also substituted the hemp seeds for ground flax seed which I soaked with the dates. I am amazed at how sweet it is considering the black beans and cauliflower. I gave it to my unsuspecting hubby and he really like it. …until I told him there was black beans in it. ????????????

  4. Jackie says

    I’m not sure why, but I can’t find the recipe anywhere on this page. I clicked another smoothie link and found that recipe without a problem, so I don’t know what could be wrong. I would love to check this out!

  5. Janet Nichting says

    I love this smoothie and had enjoyed it several times! My 23-year old son has made it at my recommendation and he likes it, but even with only 1 date, he thinks the sugar content is high. I assured him it was okay since it is all naturally occurring sugar, but can you help explain why he should not be worried about it? He is healthy so there are no food issues to need to consider.

    • Katie Trant says

      Hi Janet, the sugar content IS high since both the date and the banana bring quite a lot of carbohydrates to the table. Additionally, the beans and plant-based milk are a source of both complex (beans) and simple (plant milk) carbs. However, unlike eating a brownie or a chocolate bar, the naturally occurring sugars in the dates and bananas are coupled with dietary fiber, which helps to moderate the update of sugar into your blood stream. They’re also packaged with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that you wouldn’t find in a sugary beverage. This smoothie also has cauliflower and beans, which makes it more of a complete meal. Unless you’re counting carbs for medical reasons such as diabetes, it’s really nothing to be concerned about.

  6. Courtney says

    I went into this with such high hopes, but unfortunately this recipe did not work out for me. I absolutely could taste the beans in the smoothie (ick), and no matter how much I blended, it wouldn’t go completely smooth and had a disgusting grainy texture. Really disappointed, as I wanted this recipe to work so badly!

    • Clara says

      I had the EXACT same experience! I read the reviews and everyone said it tasted amazing!! I was super excited and followed the recipe exactly but my cauliflower wasn’t frozen which seems like it should make a difference. Super disappointed

      • Katie Trant says

        Hey Clara, using frozen cauliflower actually does make a big difference! Frozen cauliflower (and other veggies) are blanched (quickly steamed) prior to freezing, which removes the bite from the cauliflower. Using raw cauli would add a strong “cabbagy” taste to the smoothie, which wouldn’t be pleasant at all. Frozen cauli on the other hand, blends up without adding any flavour at all. I’ll add a note to the recipe about this for future users, but I do hope you’ll try it again with frozen cauliflower rather than fresh.

  7. Renee says

    I just made the Chocolate Black Bean Smoothie. It is delicious! Although I love all the ingredients individually, I was not sure about being put together in a smoothie. I was sooo wrong! I am a new vegan and I often struggle with getting enough of my daily protein. To be honest, I struggled with this problem when I ate animal products as well. This smoothie helps with the struggle.????

    Thanks for a rich macronutrient and delicious recipe.

  8. alice toth says

    Absolutely FABULOUS smoothie! I was skeptical about the beans and the cauliflower but both were not noticeable at all, it was just delicious. I also added a tablespoon of ground flax seeds and used pumpkin pie spice because I was out of cinnamon. Both my husband and I loved it! I found out about this recipe from the Exam Room podcast through the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, I’m so glad they shared it!

  9. ChristA says

    I just discovered this recipe. Bought black beans to try it… and it’s absolutely delicious ???? Thank you!! Would never have come up with it myself. Straight into my top 5 for sure! Used less almond milk to thicken it as I love to spoon my smoothies.

    Love from Holland, Christa

  10. Kimberly Adkison says

    Love, love, love this smoothie. So satisfying when I want a treat, and it sure tastes like a treat even though I know what’s in it! I always have a few bags prepped in the freezer so I can quickly whip one up. Having my favorite smoothies prepped in the freezer was a game changer for me since I often am in a hurry when I want a smoothie. Thanks Katie.

  11. Maclean says

    I just rediscovered this recipe! Still so good! I love how chocolatey and rich it is!
    Your recipes never disappoint!

    • Katie Trant says

      Well, you can just leave it out of cauliflower doesn’t work for you. Or if you want to replace it with another vegetable you could throw in some spinach (I often use frozen spinach) or broccoli (same, frozen broccoli). You really can’t taste any of those options so long as you use them in moderation.

  12. Donna says

    Hi, Katie
    This smoothie is really looking so delicious. The ingredients are healthy. I love Banana and Almond milk in my smoothie. . Thanks for putting them together.

  13. Mickey says

    I’ve been making smoothies like this for a while no and love them. Do you use raw beans or lentils or do you soak and cook them first? I have also used chick pea power as a protein source and I am wondering about the danger of lectins, I would appreciate your thoughts.

    • Katie Trant says

      I use beans that either come from a can (well rinsed!) or that have been soaked and cooked. I don’t think that raw beans would blend up very well! Legumes, are almost always cooked in some way before we consume them, which leaves only a negligible amount of lectins, making these foods safe to eat for the majority of people.

  14. 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 🙂

  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. 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?


  17. 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 🙂

  18. 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.

    • Katie Trant 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!

  19. Catherine Gale says

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

  20. 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.

    • Katie Trant 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.

    • Katie Trant 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!

  21. 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?

    • Katie Trant 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.

  22. 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 🙂

  23. 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!

    • Katie Trant 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!

  24. Marie 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.

      • 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! 🙂

        • Katie Trant 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!

  25. tsooveere 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.

    • themuffinmyth 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 🙂

  26. andmorefood 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!

  27. 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.

  28. alissa2014 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 🙂

      • 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.

        • Katie Trant 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.

        • prasath says

          hi there 🙂 if u want to increase the amount of protein , you can use mature black beans instead boiled one raw beans contain 21gram protein per 100 grams beans !! hope it helps u to find some protein. thank u .

      • 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.

        • Katie Trant 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.

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