Chocolate Black Beans with Oranges and Cinnamon

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Have you had Chocolate Black Beans before? If not, you are in for a big treat. This is my favorite way to prepare black beans to go with Mexican or other Latin American food. I enjoyed so much amazing Latin American food in Los Angeles, and I honestly can’t remember where I got the idea to add chocolate to my beans– but I think this is inspired by Mexican chocolate moles.
IMG_0459In college, I traveled to Honduras a few times, and the black beans there also made an impression on me– so thick and rich. They were probably cooked with bone broth, a fact that would have horrified my young-and-vegan self. Now I am always thankful to be able to make my beans with bone broths, which makes them extra-nourishing and unctuous.

Oranges and cinnamon add a sweetness that go so nicely with the bittersweet chocolate– and cilantro is a must at the end, for those who can take it.

 Chocolate Black Beans with Oranges & Cinnamon

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups dry black beans, soaked overnight or at least 8 hours in fresh water
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat, beef drippings or ghee
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin (can be seeds or powder)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 4- 6 cups bone broth (chicken or beef) or water
  • 1/4 cup chopped or about 50g bittersweet chocolate bar (I sometimes use very bitter– 85%, but it’s up to you)
  • juice of one orange
  • juice of one lime (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • one small bunch cilantro, chopped fine

What to Do:

  1. Drain and rinse the black beans.
  2. Heat the fat in a heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, and add the onions. Sauté until translucent, then add the spices and fry gently with the onions until fragrant.
  3. Add the black beans and broth (or water.)  Add enough liquid to cover the beans by half an inch. Add the chocolate, stir, and bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce to a simmer and cook until beans are starting to become tender. Add the orange juice, salt and pepper. (Just a tip– don’t ever add salt to beans before they are tender, because it causes the outside to harden, and it will take forever to get them to soften.)
  5. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally until the beans are beginning to blend with the liquid. Taste and season with more orange juice or some lime juice, and salt. When the beans are done, add the cilantro.
  6. Enjoy! These Chocolate Black Beans are even better then next day, and freeze beautifully.


We love to eat this with carne asada (recipe coming!) and Roasted Tomatillo Salsa. Tastes like summertime to me!

Chocolate Black Beans with Oranges & Cinnamon

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4 Responses to Chocolate Black Beans with Oranges and Cinnamon

  1. Linda Kazibwe James . August 8, 2014 at 11:51 pm #

    You had me at the title Ariana! This looks absolutely delicious, earthy, nutritious and just plain fun to make! Chocolate, beans, orange and cinnamon…Yum! Looking forward to trying this soon! Thank you!

    • ariana August 11, 2014 at 11:19 am #

      They are so good, Linda– hope you enjoy!

  2. Linda Kazibwe-James September 2, 2014 at 12:51 am #

    I’m eating the leftover black beans and they are even more delicious. The flavors have blended together to create such a decadent treat, I was almost afraid to Soon good Ariana!


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