Would you like a rich, chocolately, fudgy bar for breakfast? They have a hint of cinnamon and cayenne reminiscent of the fancily flavorful Mexican Hot Chocolate that is so addicting once you get past the fact that you’re drinking something with a little heat. I bet you’ll love them.
But…… I know, I know. Chocolate for breakfast is everyone’s dream. Emphasis on dream, not reality. Especially in near brownie form, complete with chocolate chunks and coconut flakes. Perfecto! Nah, you say. No can do. Welllll, what if I told you they were healthy. What if I told you they were healthy without seeming healthy. What would you say then? I hope you’re in. I hope you’re game. Because these Mexican Hot Chocolate Breakfast Bars are secretly healthy. Made with a base of [gasp] sweet potatoes and black beans, this is one breakfast treat that anyone can get into eating.
I don’t usually calculate nutrition stats for my recipes, but I did for this one and discovered that each bar is 247 calories each, with 6 grams of fat. Thanks to the sweet potato and black beans, each serving has as much protein as an egg [6 grams] and as much potassium as a small banana [300 milligrams]. Add in the 6 grams of fiber and high amounts of vitamin A, this is a breakfast to be proud of. Unfortunately, the sugar content [29 grams] is higher than many breakfasts, but there are a couple ways this could be lowered–by using less honey or unsweetened versus sweetened coconut [or even subbing nuts for coconut altogether]. But that stat aside, I [the non-nutritionist, dietitian, and professional that I am] feel pretty good about eating this for breakfast. A bit indulgent, yes, but homemade, nutrient rich, tasty, and satisfying. Paired with a piece of fruit or some skim milk to round out the meal, these bars are really filling. Seriously… for the girl who usually eats a midmorning snack, a couple days when I ate one of these for breakfast at 8 am after a workout with a piece of fruit I wasn’t hungry until 1 pm. CRAY cray!
But don’t just take my word for it. Nutrition and all that boring info aside, I’m guessing you might be a bit hung up on the sweet potato/black bean base. I have two words: don’t. worry. I promise. Pinky swear, in fact. No one will be able to tell.
Case in point: the whole time I made these, Ben was playing video games in another room. True to routine, after they were baking, I visited him with the batter spoon for a test taste. Mum was the word, and he licked the bowl with a vengeance. They were pulled out of the oven and set on a cooling rack next to an assortment of clean dinner and baking dishes air-drying on a towel. Ben said they looked like brownies, and that he was looking forward to a breakfast treat. He even tried a piece that had cracked off the top and said it was delicious. Still, I said nothing. It was only when we had gotten into bed that I fessed up. What can I say… I can’t go to bed in deceit. Without batting an eye [at least, I think so... it was dark], Ben just laughed. He’s used to my kitchen games by now. And then, the next morning he took one to work for breakfast, along with a few others for his co-workers to try. That night, he came home with rave reviews. If that’s not an awesome testimony, then I don’t know what is.
I mean, I FINALLY tricked my husband into eating [and loving] something secretly healthy. I mean, I did trick him here, so it’s been done before. But I failed here, and also have failed with a smattering of other dishes over the years. Believe me, Ben eats plenty of healthy foods, but when it comes down to it, he would choose a rich, chocolately brownie over a bowl of sweet potatoes. Who wouldn’t? But why should you have to choose? If no one can tell, then I say game on and serve a secretly healthy Mexican Hot Chocolate Breakfast Bar in the morning. You won’t regret it…. especially if you heat ‘em up for about 20 seconds before enjoying. Melty chocolate in the morning is the bestttt!
- 1 1/2 cups no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed [a 15 ounce can or cooked my way]
- 1 cup honey
- 1 large sweet potato, scrubbed, peeled, and cooked [about 1 1/4- 1 1/2 cups]
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash of cayenne pepper [optional]
- 1/4 cup chocolate chunks + more for sprinkling on top
- 1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes + more for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly grease and “flour” [using cooca powder] a 9×9 pan.
Add black beans and honey to a food processor and process until smooth, taking care to scrape the sides periodically to eliminate unsightly black bean chunks. Then chop sweet potato into small chunks and add to food processor along with the buttermilk, egg, peanut butter, and vanilla. Process again until everything is fully combined and very smooth. Mixture will be thick but not heavy.
In a small bowl, stir together cocoa powder, flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.
Transfer black bean mixture from food processor into a large bowl, then fold dry ingredients in. Stir until well combined, then add chocolate chunks and coconut flakes.
Spoon batter into prepared pan, then top with extra chocolate chunks and coconut flakes. Bake for 40-45 minutes, covering with foil for the last 10 minutes or so to ensure coconut on top toasts, not burns. Test with a toothpick to ensure bars are done, then cool completely before cutting. Keep refrigerated.
Time: 60 minutes.
Yield: 12 servings.