Chocolate Black Bean Brownie Smoothie

A rich and creamy healthy chocolate smoothie loaded with protein thanks to a secret ingredient that you totally can’t taste – beans! Naturally sweetened with just banana and dates, and vegan thanks to plant-based milk, this is a smoothie the whole family will love.

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

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 and don’t really qualify as “real food” in my books. So, I’ve been experimenting with ways to get extra protein into my smoothies without using any protein powder.

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

What’s the answer? Beans!

Beans in a smoothie?! Yup! We’ve made brownies from beans, so why not a smoothie? This healthy chocolate smoothie uses black beans forΒ  a boost of protein and healthy fiber, plus they contribute to an amazing creamy texture! Trust me, you won’t taste them!

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, naturally protein-rich, and gluten free. It’s great for practically everyone!

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. I also snuck some frozen cauliflower into this updated-and-improved version of my super popular healthy chocolate smoothie, as it adds bulk, dietary fiber, and makes it icy cold and refreshing. Like the beans, you can’t taste the cauliflower at all!

Try this healthy chocolate smoothie out and let me know what you think! And tell me, what else do you like to sneak beans into?

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

Hey Nutrition Lady, what’s the deal with black beans?

Black beansΒ 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.

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

Other tasty smoothies you might enjoy:
Berry Fennel Smoothie
Pear Ginger Springtime Smoothie
Date Almond Smoothie
The Greenest Smoothie
Banana Cardamom Breakfast Shake

chocolate smoothie with bananas, beans, dates, and cocoa shot overhead on a grey background
4.94 from 16 votes

chocolate black bean brownie 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 smoothie
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 452 kcal
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


  1. Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. 

  2. Pour into a glass and sprinkle cocoa nibs over the top if desired. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • 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!
Nutrition Facts
chocolate black bean brownie smoothie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 452 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 360mg 15%
Potassium 1297mg 37%
Total Carbohydrates 77g 26%
Dietary Fiber 18g 72%
Sugars 32g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin A 3.1%
Vitamin C 75%
Calcium 40.9%
Iron 32.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.




      • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • hi there πŸ™‚ 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 .

      • 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.

        • 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. 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 πŸ™‚

  2. 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. 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. 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.

    • 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 πŸ™‚

      • 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! πŸ™‚

        • 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. 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. 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!

    • 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. 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 πŸ™‚

  8. 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?

    • 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.

    • 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!

  9. 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.

    • 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.

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

  11. 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.

    • 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!

  12. 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 πŸ™‚

  13. 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?


  14. 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.

  15. 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 πŸ™‚

  16. 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.

    • 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.

  17. 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.

    • 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.

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

  19. 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.

  20. I just discovered this recipe. Bought black beans to try it… and it’s absolutely delicious πŸ˜‹ 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

  21. 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!

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