We all know you can make pancakes with pantry staples. You’re probably thinking of flour and sugar, maybe a dash of vanilla, possibly some cocoa powder if you’re more interested in pancakes when they taste like brownies. It’s highly unlikely that black beans even crossed your mind. Seriously, they’re pancakes, right? What in tarnation would beans be doing in a sweet breakfast? Well, think again, because today we’re making black bean pancakes

Before you get weirded out, legumes like black beans, chickpeas, and cannellini beans actually work wonders in sweeter breakfast recipes. With a mild flavor, creamy texture, and tons of protein, they’re basically like a flour-and-fat super-ingredient hybrid. In the case of this recipe, you can make pancakes that taste like a warm, gooey brownie with just a few classic kitchen ingredients and, yes, a can of black beans. 

Drain and rinse a 15-ounce can of black beans and drop them in a blender along with 2 eggs, ¼ cup applesauce or ½ a banana, 3 tablespoons of your preferred milk (I like to use coconut), 2 tablespoons maple syrup or granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and puree until smooth. If your blender is struggling, stream in about 1 more tablespoon milk.

Add 3 tablespoons all purpose flour and ½ cup cocoa powder and blend again. If you’d like another layer of flavor intensity in your pancakes, toss in 2 tablespoons of your favorite nut butter.

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Heat a nonstick pan over medium and grease it well with cooking spray, butter, or coconut oil.

Scoop batter out in scant ¼-cup measurements and pour it into the pan. Sprinkle on a handful of mini chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. Let the pancakes cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Repeat until all the batter is gone.

Serve brownie pancakes with yogurt and jam, melted nut butter, maple syrup, date caramel, whipped cream (or coconut whipped cream).