These gluten free vegan cookies, aka Dark Chocolate Pecan Love Bites, are a healthy family favorite, and hard to keep stocked in the cookie jar! They’re also low FODMAP & are quick and easy to make~perfect for whenever the chocolate craving hits!Be still my beating heart!

Dark Chocolate Pecan Love Bites | Gluten Free Vegan Cookies, Grain Free, Super Easy & Delicious!

I’m thrilled to be sharing my own heart healthy recipe for Dark Chocolate Pecan Love Bites with you today, as we continue our Gluten-Free & Heart Healthy 2013 event this week.

Big hug to Lexie Croft at Lexie’s Kitchen for creating this gorgeous gluten-free heart healthy badge!

Before I divulge my recipe, I thought I would share some of my favorite foods for keeping your ticker in tip-top shape!

Heart Healthy Foods and Nutrition Tips

  1. Fruit and veggies, the more the merrier~especially citrus and apples which are high in soluble fiber to help decrease LDL cholesterol, and polyphenol packed berries, which may lower blood pressure and raise level of good {HDL} cholesterol.
  2. Beans, beans, the musical fruit! Β Like certain fruits and veggies, beans are a great source of soluble fiber, and also contain a variety of flavonoids which help prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, and preventing abnormal clotting of blood platelets.
  3. Seedy stuff!  Flax, chia, and hemp, all provide plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which, although not as powerful as seafood omega-3’s, may also help with heart health.  In addition, flaxseed contains phytoestrogens called lignans, which may also help prevent cardiovascular disease.
  4. Get your fish on…Fatty fish such as salmon, mackeral, sardines, tuna, anchovies and trout all provide 1 gram of more of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  Omega-3’s provide cardiovascular protection by lowering triglycerides, decreasing inflammation, reducing blood clotting, and lowering blood pressure.  To choose fish that are not only heart healthy, but are also environmentally friendly and low in contaminants such as mercury and PCB’s, bes ure and check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website.
  5. Chocolate~the darker the better! Rich in flavonol, the main type of flavonoid in cocoa and chocolate, research has shown that {a little} dark chocolate {choose chocolate with at least 70 % or more cacao} can be a heart healthy choice.
  6. Cheers to a glass of vino!  What’s even better than a square or two of dark chocolate?  A glass of red wine {if you choose to drink alcohol} to go along with it.  Another heart healthy polyphenol, resveratrol, makes red wine {in moderation~up to 2 drinks/day for a man or up to 1 drink/day for a woman} another heart healthy choice by helping prevent damage to blood vessels, reducing LDL cholesterol, and helping to prevent blood clots.  In addition alcohol, in general, {again, in moderation}, has been shown to raise good, HDL cholesterol, thereby helping to reduce the risk of heart disease.  Salud!

And now on to these scrumptious gluten free vegan cookies!

Gluten Free Vegan Cookies | Dark Chocolate Pecan Love Bites | Also, grain free, low FODMAP, and absolutely delicious!

After looking through my posts from the last two months, aside from my Gluten-Free All-Star buddies’ spectacular sweets, I haven’t shared a proper dessert with you in over 2 months.

Heck, I didn’t even make any holiday cookies for you last December πŸ™

So, clearly you are way overdue for something sweet and decadent.

Oh, and super heart healthy to boot.

How’s that sound?!

My inspiration for this recipe comes from these fabulous peanut butter chocolate chip cookies over at Texanerin.

If you like peanut butter, you MUST make them.

My version, is equally delicious, yet features a different sort of heart healthy nut~pecans.

Oh, and there are beans and  dark chocolate too…

Plus a little maple syrup, and some ground flaxseed…

Gluten-free heart healthy ingredients…

Didn’t I tell you they were healthy???

But, healthy without delicious doesn’t exist in my kitchen, so I promise you they will make your heart beat for joy πŸ™‚

Dark Chocolate Chunk Pecan Love Bites//The Spicy RD

Chocolate Pecan Love Bites

These gluten free vegan cookies with pecans, flax, & dark chocolate are SO easy to make, and guaranteed to satisfy all you chocolate cravings!
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies


  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans, canned, or dried and soaked
  • 3/4 cup dark {70 % or more cocoa} chocolate
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus extra, if desired, for sprinkling on top


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine pecans, garbanzo beans, maple syrup, ground flaxseed, vanilla, baking powder,and sea salt in a food processor, and process until smooth, or ~8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile chop dark chocolate in to chunks, then stir into pecan/garbanzo mixture. Form dough in to 12 ~ 1-inch balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Press lightly on dough with the back of a spoon, and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove to cool, and sprinkle with sea salt, if desired, before serving.


Low FODMAP Option: Use canned, rinsed, and drained garbanzo beans.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 66mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g
EA Stewart, RD | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Low FODMAP Option, Vegan
Add to Recipe Collection
Like this recipe?Sign up for my newsletter & get new recipes and nutrition tips delivered straight to your inbox. SIGN UP!

 Start with the dough, which, BTW, tastes amazing “raw” by the spoonful if your power goes out or you just don’t feel like baking.  It happens sometimes πŸ™‚

After you’ve mixed in the dark chocolate chunks, press out your cookies on a parchment lined sheet…

After you take them out of the oven, try with all your might, to let them cool a smidge before poping one in to your mouth!

 Enjoy to your heart’s content!

What are your favorite heart-healthy foods?  Have you ever used beans in a sweet dish before?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. These were so good! I subbed chia seeds for the flax seeds because that’s what I had. I also added a banana and some pumpkin pie spice and omitted the chocolate (because…that’s what I had). They were moister due to the banana and so I dropped spoonfuls instead of rolling into balls. Will definitely go back to this recipe. I might try grated carrots next time instead of banana.

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by Beth! I always love getting feedback on my recipes, and all of your substitutions sound delicious! I’ll have to try it your way the next time I make them πŸ™‚ Cheers!

  2. Jessica @ Nutritioulicious says:

    These look amazing! Yum!!

  3. Jessica @ Nutritioulicious says:

    O.M.G. I want to eat these right now!!!! YUM!

  4. Adrienne @ Whole New Mom says:

    Hey there. The photos here are broken. – Just an fyi :).

  5. Vegetarian Gastronomy says:

    Awesome recipe!! I’ve made 3 batches of these cookies in the past two weeks and they are all almost gone! This is the first time i’ve used beans in a sweet dish and i’m already a huge fan! They were extremely easy and quick to make (my 3 yr old even helped me). And my kids loved the cookies…i have no problem saying YES to them eating these chocolate chip cookies. I took a batch home to my brother, who has Celiac, and he even loved them!

    The only change I made was to add both pecans and hazelnuts, mainly because I love the taste of hazelnuts and chocolate! =)

    Thanks again!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      So glad you enjoyed the cookies, and thank for letting me know-I love getting feedback! I think your idea to use pecans and hazelnuts is brilliant & love that your 3 yo old helped you too πŸ™‚

  6. Usha Prasadh says:

    Tried making this with Navy beans as suggested and I was pretty pleased at how the cookie came out..I used the 100% dark chocolate unsweetened baking chips and that made it too bitter. Will have to use a different chocolate next time, but overall a good experiment!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience making the cookies Usha, and so glad you enjoyed them!

  7. My son is allergic to garbanzo beans..what can I substitute so I can still keep it gluten free? Also, can I use Agave nectar instead of Maple syrup?

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Hi Usha! Thanks for your question. If your son is ok with other beans,you could try white navy beans. If he has problems with all beans, you could use brown rice flour-not sure of the exact amount, but you could definitely experiment. If you do, I’d love to hear back from you about how they turn out πŸ™‚ And, yes, agave nectar instead of maple syrup should work fine.

  8. Joule Thomson says:

    I did try making these but i didnt use the cup of raw pecans. I used 2 cups of garbanzo beans and the ground flax. I also didnt use the qtr. cup of maple syrup… instead i used a tablespoon and then i added some stevia for sweetner.
    I added extra vanilla extract and a dash of vanilla soy milk to get the food processor going.
    instead of folding in alot of nuts and chocolate chips …i put just a few on each cookie and topped them with a small piece of pecan.

    i know this sounds like it takes away from the recipe but believe me…. for me…it came out GREAT ! I made the cookies VERY small… just one bite and not alot of calories.

    my goal is always healthy with as few calories as i can get away with…. and still have it taste good.
    but thats just my preference. you may find it blah…. but to me it was wonderful.
    and made even MORE so because i could have a few cookies instead of just one.

    that dough is fabulous ! I had a terrible time trying to keep from eating it. lol
    next time…. i am going to make these as NO bake cookies.

    thanks for the recipe.

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Hi Joule-your most welcome! And, thanks so much for sharing your substitutions-sounds delicious too πŸ™‚

  9. I’ve made these twice – they are amazing!! Love the simple recipe and they are so good. I want to get away from canned stuff, and I read you said soak them first if you buy the dried bagged chick peas, how long, overnight? And if you soak them you don’t have to cook them? Thanks, I’ve never used dried chickpeas before and all other dried beans I’ve cooked after I soaked.

      1. I finally made these using dried chickpeas that I quick soaked – it did not turn out the same. I made the mistake of measuring my chickpeas before I soaked them, so that was some of my problem. But I estimated my scant 1-1/2 cups dry was about 2 cups of the soaked ones. But they dough was so dry, I added some more maple syrup, maybe about a TBS and almond milk, no idea how much, maybe around 1/4 cup. I’m sure some of this has to do with the fact that my measurements were off, but the quick soaked beans were not as soft as canned beans I’ve used before, so I’ll be sticking with canned from now on.

        1. The Spicy RD says:

          So glad you shared your experience making these with quick soaked dry beans Virginia! Too bad it didn’t turn out as good as the canned bean version though. Although I have used the quick soak method with success w/ some beans, I guess it doesn’t work with all beans-good to know!

      2. I finally made these again using dried chickpeas with the quick soak method, it did not work out for me πŸ™ My first problem was measuring the dried beans instead of after they were soaked. I estimated my scant 1-1/2 cups dried were about 2 cups soaked, because of course I had already dumped them into the food processor with all the waiting ingredients. So I upped the rest of the ingredients to be a double recipe instead of one and a half and the dough was really dry. I added about a TBS more maple syrup and almond milk, maybe about 1/4 cup. They turned out okay, but not as sweet as the last few times. I think I’ll stick to canned from now on. And for anyone else who uses dried, but sure to measure after the soak.

  10. These just came out of the oven and are delicious! Can you really go wrong with dark chocolate? The texture is chewy, does that sound right?

  11. This is just what my heart would have demanded for Valentine’s day ;o) Thanks.

    Flavourful wishes,

  12. amy @ fearless homemaker says:

    Oh wow, these sound just amazing and I love how good they are for you! What a perfect Valentine’s Day snack … wish I had a few on hand right now! =)

  13. I might not make it to the baked cookie stage, the dough does sound pretty awesome πŸ™‚ But that chewy bite looks like it might be worth waiting, yum! Thank you so much for participating!

  14. The Spicy RD says:

    Thanks so much everyone for all your kind comments!!! If you make the cookies, I’d love to know how you like them πŸ™‚

  15. Erin @ Texanerin Baking says:

    These look SO good! I definitely want to try these out. I don’t normally like pecans (wait, we don’t even have pecans where I live – switch that to walnuts!) but I do love a good walnut butter cookie. I’m happy that the peanut butter version inspired you. πŸ™‚ Thanks for linking to the recipe!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks so much for the delicious inspiration Erin!!!!

  16. Oh my! These looks soooo yummy and I love that you used chick peas! If you’re using dried ones, do you need to cook them as well?

    1. Thanks so much Maggie! And, yes, you could definitely use dried beans, but definitely make sure to soak them first. Funny story…a friend tried my recipe for fried rice, and didn’t realize she had to cook the rice first-came out pretty crunchy :-). Enjoy!

  17. I plan to make these TODAY! WOW! they sound and look delicious. Can you suggest a sweetner other than the maple syrup or sugar. I usually cook with xylitol, splenda, erythirol, stevia. Thank you for your hard work in the “kitchen”. This will be a first for me with garbanzo beans.

    1. Hi Jean-thanks so much! I don’t bake much with alternative sweeteners, but I think erythritol might work out well in the recipe. If you do try it out, I’d love to know how they turn out!

  18. raechel @the rebel grrrl kitchen says:

    Oh my gosh, these sound AMAZING. I am absolutely going to make them! Yum!

  19. Would be able to give the cal/fat/carbs/sugar count for the cookies? Looks yummy.

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Hi Kapu! 160 calories, 11 g fat {mostly monounsaturated}, 7 g sugar {I didn’t write down total carbs}, 3 g protein, and 3 g fiber. Hope that helps πŸ™‚

  20. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies says:

    Okay, I am SO going to make these. I’m not gluten-free, so a lot of GF baked goods have flours that I don’t have on hand. But this? This I can totally do!

  21. These look amazing! I love using beans in sweet dishes. I have a cookie dough snack that I make that reminds me very much of this recipe and a chocolate bean butter that is heavenly on rice cakes. Now can’t wait to try these cookies, too! Pinned. πŸ™‚

  22. christine says:

    Well, I often use garbanzo flour in my baking, but I’ve never used the whole beans before – must try it – not influenced in the slightest by the presence of chocolate in the recipe:) …….. well, okay, maybe a little:-)

  23. Lauren Slayton says:

    EA will you be my Valentine? I was told to bring cookies to a friend’s house this weekend, these may be my cookie. Done.

  24. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says:

    Okay, I must try these cookies! They are so pretty, and I love sneaking things into dessert. πŸ™‚

  25. Karin Anderson (Karin's BΓ€ckerei) says:

    Though I have no problem with gluten myself, I love dark chocolate, nuts and good cookies, and these look delicious!

  26. Gina (The Candid RD) says:

    Oh my heavens!! These cookies sound fabulous! Now all I need is a glass of wine with these cookies and I’ll have all my heart-healthy foods in one sitting πŸ˜‰

  27. Kellie@foodtoglow says:

    LOVE the idea of these! I was expecting a gluten-free grain, but no, chickpeas! As a sensitive soul I would probably use aduki beans (& lose the pretty pale colour) but other than that I would make as you describe. I bet your family loved these. Beautiful ingredients image too