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You put WHAT in your shakes?

I add an unconventional ingredient to my shakes: beans. Yes, cooked beans, along with the “aqua fava” (aka the water the beans were cooked in), give you not just incredible protein, but also fiber to keep your blood sugar stable. Remember, fiber also helps with cravings, willpower and better waste elimination. There are many reasons to make fiber your friend.

I was very skeptical in the beginning; it just seemed wrong. But as it turns out, I was wrong. The beans not only thicken the shake, but they also add an incredible creaminess.

I’d like to take credit for this idea, but the credit belongs to Dr. Alan Christianson, author of “The Thyroid Reset Diet” — a groundbreaking, research- backed approach to thyroid health that I discovered while trying to help my daughter manage her Hashimoto’s disease and heal her thyroid.


So far, I have used soft white beans like great northern or cannellini beans with much success. You can use canned beans (without salt) or dried ones cooked. Personally, I love to cook dried beans in the instant pot. I may venture into trying black beans for my chocolate protein shakes to see how that works. I
have good reason to think it will because I have made a delicious brownie recipe using black beans instead of flour. No one can tell some of the dark chocolate color is from black beans! They have great flavor and consistency.

I also add beans to my favorite vegan protein mix that I drink nearly every morning for sustained energy. Not only is this concoction loaded with fiber (even without the beans), but it’s delicious and adds even more plant goodness into my diet.


What you’ll need:

In a food processor combine:

  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans drained (I prefer organic)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt (I like pink Himalayan for the extra minerals)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1⁄2 cup dates (about 10-12 pitted large medjool dates) or 2/3 cup rapadura, cane juice crystals, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey or any sweetener you like.


  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1⁄2 cup chocolate chips (add after everything else is mixed in food processor)


Bake in lightly greased 8-by-8-inch pan at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until sides pull away from pan. Do not overcook or it will be crumbly and dry.

No one will ever suspect there are black beans in this! (adapted from

Written by Heidi Sexton

Heidi Sexton is a certified health coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, a six-year Juice Plus affiliate and founder of the wellness blog and newsletter Reach her at

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