• Mint and bean cookies

    By Danielle Nykoluk
    Traditional Wisdom, Modern Kitchen Certified Teacher

    Here in the Northern prairies, spring came early.

    Spring celebrates the turning of the wheel of the year as the dormancy of winter gives way to a time of renewal and rebirth. Spring begins with the first few green shoots and eventually explodes into a multitude of beautiful blossoms, which carry with them a promise of good harvest.

    In ancient times many festivals and rituals were held to celebrate spring – of flowering, growth and fertility of the land.

    Today, many people continue to hold rituals this time of year in celebration of this shift in seasons – from decorating eggs or filling baskets with symbolic treats, to planting seeds for the garden.

    What do you and your tribes do to celebrate spring?

    This time of year always inspires me to plant my indoor herb garden (as an apartment farmer, I do what I can with what I have). I also feel a shift in my hunger for lighter and cooler fare and find myself consuming more greens and more beans.

    Now what ancient people knew about food (that we often forget about today) is that preparation matters and it definitely matters when it comes to beans.

    There is so much nutrition to “unlock” within beans (or nuts or seeds) – essential fatty acids, a wealth of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, and more. These foods are in essence a “perfect” food, containing all the elements necessary for vitality and when properly prepared we gain access to this vitality.

    With beans, the proper preparation doesn’t take much skill or effort on your part (phew).  All you need to do is simply provide warmth, moisture, a small amount of neutralizer (lemon juice, raw apple cider vinegar, whey, etc.) and allow some time for nature to do the rest!  After that, your imagination is the limit.

    This weekend I found my imagination take me to a space where I created a sweet treat using properly prepared beans as the base.

    Now, the basics of this recipe was shared with me through Prairie Shore Botanicals in their 2014 Spring Newsletter. (If you haven’t signed up for Prairie Shore Botanicals newsletter, I suggest you do- no matter where you live. Laura shares all sorts of *wild* information throughout the year, along with offering unforgettable outdoor workshops!)

    Now, I’ve adapted the original recipe a bit to share with you how to traditionally prepare the bean base.

    As well, my city dwelling lifestyle doesn’t provide me with an abundance of opportunity to harvest wild edibles so I’ve suggested using fresh store bought mint as an alternative!

    Mint and bean cookies

    Note: Makes a large batch ~ 4-5 dozen


    • ¾ cups dry navy beans
    • Water
    • 1 TBSP neutralizer (lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar or whey)

    Note on the navy bean puree:  (makes enough bean puree to double the cookie recipe)


    A day or 2 before you plan to make your cookies, put 3/4 cups of dry Navy Beans into a mason jar.  Cover with warm water. Add 1 TBSP neutralizer.  After 18-24 hours, drain water and rinse beans.  Place beans into a pot, cover with water.  Add a piece of seaweed (Kombu) if you have.  Simmer beans on stove until tender (~3-4 hours).  Drain and rinse beans.   Put into a blender and puree until they reach a pumpkin like consistency.  You may need to add a few tablespoons of water to help reach the desired consistency.  NOTE – You can double or triple the bean recipe and freeze in measured portion sizes to have on hand to make these cookies in less time in the future!

    Bean Puree Photo


    • 1/2 cup Butter or Ghee
    • 1/2 cup Coconut Oil
    • 1/2 to 3/4 cups unrefined or raw sweetener of your choice (Unrefined Cane Sugar, Sucanat Honey, Coconut Sugar or a mix of a few)
    • 3/4 cups Navy Bean Puree
    • 1 tps Vanilla
    • 2 eggs or egg substitute (2 tsp ground flax whisked in 1/2 cup warm water)
    • 2 handfuls of dry or fresh mint (wild or store bought)
    • 1 1/2 cups flour (you can mix your choice of your faourites – e.g. spelt, buckwheat, whole wheat, etc.)
    • 1 cups oats
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 to 2 cups of a mix of raisins and raw cacao nibs (you can use chocolate chips alternatively)

    Combine butter, coconut oil, sugar and bean puree with a stand or hand mixer.

    Add vanilla and eggs and beat until combined.

    If using dry mint, crumble flakes into batter.If using fresh mint, chop finely before adding to the batter. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.

    Next, stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients a little bit at a time. Mix well.

    Using 2 tablespoons, scoop about a tablespoon of batter, shape into as round a shape as you can, then place on to greased or parchment lined baking sheet.

    Flatten dough lightly with back of spoon or palm of your hand.

    Bean Cookies in Tin

    * Recipe adapted from Prairie Shore Botanical’s Wild Mint and Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Adrienne: Yum! I have navy beans soaking and I am super excited about trying these. I love the taste of mint in a cookie or cake. Thank you Danielle!


    Inspired to learn more about traditionally prepared foods and learn more about why preparing foods this way is important?  If you are a hands-on kind of person, head on over to the traditional foods teacher directory to find an in-person class near you. 

    Prefer to learn from the comfort of your own home? Head on over and explore the online option!

    Author bio

    danielle-NykolukDanielle Nykoluk is the founder of The Real Food Revival.

    Her passion is to help curious (and maybe a bit concerned), game-changing minds re-connect with food and revive or “re-skill” themselves in the kitchen and beyond (think body, mind, soul, community and planet!).

    Danielle’s goal is to make transformational food skills and information available and affordable for individuals wanting to make changes in their kitchens, eating habits and relationships with food all the while impacting our environment for the better.

    The Real Food Revival offers in person, hands on (samples included!) traditional food workshops, parties or individual consultations for people hungry for connection, curious for answers and open to a different way of eating and being, who want more choice and control over their health and the health of the environment.

    Check out the TWMK Traditional Foods Teacher Directory for information on Danielle’s upcoming classes, along with how to contact her today.


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    I thought we were doing well before, but you have really helped clarify, simplify and basically transform our kitchen.

    Shauna Simpson Winnipeg, MB March 10, 2014

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