In the past few months, myself and another dietitian, Betty, have been educating cancer survivors through our Cancer Survivorship Program. We conduct a nutrition class that includes a cooking demonstration. Betty has been a wonderful colleague to run these classes with because of not only her knowledge and cooking expertise, but her passion for whole foods. I have long been a believer in whole food products and cooking as much as we can for ourselves, but Betty has opened my eyes to new methods of cooking and baking that I had never tried before. One example is these Bean-Nut Butter Bites. Despite wanting to try a treat made with beans for some time, I have been very hesitant. I am assuming you share the same hesitation.
These bites are gluten-free, contain only 1/4 cup of brown sugar in the whole recipe, and are as simple as adding all the ingredients to a food processor. These bites also contain both beans and peanut butter, both a part of the legume family. Yes, peanuts are not a nut–they are a legume!
Legumes are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and folate (a B-vitamin). Folate is a water-soluble vitamin that is found naturally or fortified in foods and can also be found in a dietary supplement. Folate plays an important role in the building of DNA and also for proper cell division in our bodies (Folate, 2012). For this reason, it is thought to help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer (Foods that Fight Cancer, n.d.).You may also be familiar with folate’s importance during pregnancy–it is crucial in helping prevent spina bifida. In addition, legumes contain other health-promoting substances that may protect against cancer. These substances are include a variety of phytochemical that I don’t even know how to pronounce, including: triterpenoids, flavonoids, inositol, protease inhibitors, and sterols (Foods that Fight Cancer, n.d.).
Don’t worry about learning how to pronounce these words–just eat your legumes to reap the benefits of these wonderful foods!
These bites would make a perfect afternoon snack or an after dinner treat! They kind of remind me of chocolate chip cookies! I truly believe you will be pleasantly surprised by these!
Also, you can check out my colleague’s website here: http://www.nutriphoria.com/
- 1 1/2 cup (15 ounce can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter or almond butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Dash (1/16th teaspoon) salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chip
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients, except for chocolate chips. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides as needed.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes, as the mixture will be thick and sticky. This will help make bites easier to roll out.
- After the mixture has chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or spilmat. Press the ball down lightly to flatten slightly. The bites will not spread much during the baking process.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Allow the bites to cool, and enjoy!
- Nutrition Facts, per 1 bite: 113 calories, 6 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 3 grams monounsaturated fat, 2 grams polyunsaturated fat, 117 milligrams sodium, 126 milligrams potassium, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 12 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 6 grams total sugar, 5 grams added sugar, 4 grams protein, 0% vitamin A, 0% vitamin C, 4% iron, 3% calcium
Folate. (2012, December 12). Retrieved November 16, 2014, from http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/