Black Bean Sweet Potato Energy Bars

A soft chewy energy bar. These are sweetened with dates and sweet potato, no sugar added and full of flavour. This bar is the prefect midday snack. 

Black Bean Sweet Potato Energy Bars

I revisited my Black Bean Energy Bar recipe today. I wanted to see if I could do something about chopping the dates in the food processor. I find that sometimes if the dates are hard they really don’t chop all that well. So today I tried something new; I soaked the dates in boiling water for about 10 minutes to soften them. Then I threw them in the processor and whirled away. Well they did so much better! It actually made a kind of date paste. I was very happy with the result.

Date Paste

I also swapped out the ground flax seed that I normally use in the bars to try some mashed sweet potato. I think the combination of soft date paste and mashed sweet potato made these bars very moist and soft and chewy. They are not a granola bar by any stretch of the imagination. But they really aren’t supposed to be, at least that’s not what I’m going for with the recipe. Think more like a thick, dense brownie texture but without the overly sweet taste. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Energy Bars

For this recipe you will need mashed sweet potato. I find the easiest way is to microwave a small to medium sweet potato for about 7 minutes on high. Let it cool slightly, remove the skin and mash until smooth. Let the mashed sweet potato cool before you use it. As the potato is cooking, place the dates in a small heat proof bowl and pour about 1/2 cup of boiling water over the dates. They should be mostly submerged. Soak for about 10 minutes. 

Black Bean Sweet Potato Energy Bars

Once they have soaked you can add them to the bowl of a food processor, water and all along with the black beans, sweet potato, vanilla and cinnamon. 

Black Bean Sweet Potato Energy Bars

Process until mostly smooth in texture, stopping to scrape down the sides.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Energy Bars

Next add the flour, oats, and chocolate chips. 

Black Bean Sweet Potato Energy Bars

Pulse until a batter forms.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Energy Bars

Scrape batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish and spread evenly to the edges. You can instead line the dish with parchment paper. This makes removing the slab after baking much easier.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Energy Bars

Bake in a preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until the top looks dry and the edges have pulled away from the dish.

Cool completely on a wire rack. If you didn’t use parchment paper, cut the bars in the dish then remove. If you did use parchment paper, gently lift the slab out of the pan using the paper as a sling. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into bars.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Energy Bars

Black Bean Sweet Potato Energy Bars
Yields 24
A soft chewy energy bar. These are sweetened with dates and sweet potato, no sugar added and full of flavour. This bar is the prefect midday snack.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) black beans, drained and rinsed
  2. 1/2 cup sweet potato, cooked and mashed
  3. about 30 dates
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 1/2 cup oats
  8. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  9. 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish, or line with parchment paper leaving some overhang to use as handles later.
  2. Place dates in a small heat proof bowl and pour about 1/2 cup of boiling water over the dates. They should be mostly submerged. Soak for about 10 minutes.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a S blade, add dates and water mixture, black beans, sweet potato, vanilla and cinnamon. Process until mostly smooth in texture, stopping to scrape down the sides.
  4. Add the flour, oats, and chocolate chips. Pulse until a batter forms.
  5. Scrape batter into a greased or lined 9x13 baking dish and spread evenly to the edges.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until the top looks dry and the edges have pulled away from the dish.
  7. Cool completely on a wire rack. If you didn't use parchment paper, cut the bars in the dish then remove. If you did use parchment paper, gently lift the slab out of the pan using the paper as a sling. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into bars.
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