03/03/2014 09:00 EST | Updated 05/03/2014 05:59 EDT

Bean Recipes Show Proteins Can Work For Dessert Too

Pulse Canada

Beans don't have to be an ingredient in a savoury dish. Here are some recipes featuring beans, two of which are desserts.

Lentil Raspberry Chews

Many people don't think of beans as a dessert ingredient, but lentils add nutrition and fibre to these tasty bites.


325 ml (1 1/3 cups) whole-wheat flour

75 ml (1/3 cup) sugar

2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking powder

2 ml (1/2 tsp) cinnamon

Pinch salt

125 ml (1/2 cup) reduced-fat margarine

1 egg, slightly beaten

125 ml (1/2 cup) raspberry jam


250 ml (1 cup) cooked lentils (canned or cooked from dry)

175 ml (3/4 cup) brown sugar

75 ml (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour

7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) baking powder

Pinch salt

2 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla

2 eggs, beaten

175 ml (3/4 cup) unsweetened shredded coconut

125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped pecans (optional)

Heat oven to 190 C (375 F).

Base: In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Cut in margarine until coarse crumbs form. Stir in egg and mix thoroughly. Press dough into a 33-by-23-cm (13-by-9-inch) baking dish and bake for 10 minutes until firm.

Let cool and then spread a thin layer of jam over base.

Reduce oven temperature to 180 C (350 F).

Filling: In a blender, puree lentils with about 50 ml (1/4 cup) water until smooth (about the consistency of canned pumpkin).

In a separate bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in lentil puree, vanilla and eggs. Add coconut and pecans, if desired. Spread mixture on top of jam.

Bake until firm, about 35 minutes.

Let cool and cut into 18 bars.

Makes 18 bars.

Nutrition information per serving (one bar): 218 calories; 4.1 g protein; 9.75 g fat (6.05 g saturated fat); 31 mg cholesterol; 30.5 g carbohydrates; 3.3 g fibre; 131.45 mg sodium.

Source: Pulse Canada (


Lazy Perogy

This family-sized dish has all the best ingredients of perogies, with the healthy additions of pureed beans and spinach.

To make bean puree, rinse and drain a 540-ml (19-oz) can of beans. Place in a food processor, add 50 ml (1/4 cup) hot water and puree until the mixture is very smooth, adding more water in small amounts to reach desired consistency (similar to baby food), about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Refrigerate or freeze unused bean puree for your next batch.

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) mashed potatoes

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) great northern or pinto bean puree

250 ml (1 cup) shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

500 ml (2 cups) cottage cheese (1 per cent MF)

50 ml (1/4 cup) finely chopped green onion

1 egg, beaten

1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

2 ml (1/2 tsp) pepper

1 l (4 cups) chopped fresh spinach

9 lasagna noodles, cooked or oven-ready

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) diced onion

50 ml (1/4 cup) unsalted margarine

125 g (1/4 lb) cooked and crumbled bacon

Heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Spray a 33-by-23-cm (13-by-9-inch) baking dish with non-stick vegetable spray.

In a bowl, combine potatoes, bean puree and cheddar cheese.

In a separate bowl, combine cottage cheese, green onion, egg, salt and pepper. Add spinach and mix well.

Place 3 lasagna noodles on bottom of baking dish. Spread bean-potato mixture over first layer of noodles and cover with 3 more noodles. Spread cottage cheese/spinach mixture over second layer of noodles. Cover with remaining noodles.

In a skillet, saute onion in margarine until translucent. Remove from heat and spread over top layer of noodles.

Cover with foil and bake on middle oven rack for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and garnish with bacon. Bake uncovered for 5 minutes. Then remove from oven, cover and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Pulse Canada (


Chickpea Pasta Salad

This large vegetarian salad, featuring chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), would be great on its own for lunch or as a side dish for dinner. The recipe is easily cut in half.

1 l (4 cups) cooked corkscrew pasta, drained and cooled

1 can (540 ml/19 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) chopped celery

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) shredded carrots

2 sweet red peppers, chopped

4 green onions, finely chopped

50 ml (1/4 cup) crumbled feta cheese

75 ml (1/3 cup) light Greek salad dressing

In a large bowl, combine pasta, chickpeas, celery, carrots, red peppers, green onions and feta. Toss lightly to mix well. Add dressing and toss to coat well. (Make ahead: Pasta mixture can be prepared a day in advance. Refrigerate overnight and toss with dressing before serving.)

Makes 13 servings (250 ml/1 cup each).

Nutrition information per serving: 149 calories; 5 g protein; 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat); 3 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrates; 4 g fibre; 227 mg sodium.

Source: Pulse Canada (


Bean and Maple Syrup Pie

White beans, also called navy beans or white pea beans, add nutritional value to this traditional maple syrup pie.

250 ml (1 cup) well-cooked (or canned) white beans

125 ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup

2 eggs

75 ml (1/3 cup) brown sugar

75 ml (1/3 cup) melted butter

125 ml (1/2 cup) raisins or chopped pecans

1 unbaked pastry shell (23 cm/9 inches) or 18 unbaked tart shells

Pecan halves (optional)

Heat oven to 180 C (350 F).

In a food processor or blender, puree beans with maple syrup until smooth. Add eggs, sugar and butter and mix just until well blended.

Sprinkle raisins over bottom of pastry shell or tart shells. Pour filling over top. Garnish with pecan halves, if desired.

Bake pie for 35 to 40 minutes or tarts for 20 minutes or until set in centre. Let cool.

Serve at room temperature plain or with whipped cream or ice cream.

Makes 1 pie or 18 tarts.

Nutrition (for 1/10th of a 23-cm/9-inch) pie: 276 calories; 4.3 g protein; 13 g fat; 37.1 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g fibre.

Source: Ontario Bean Growers (