Chocolate Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

I know, sounds a little funny, but this chili is hearty, healthy and delicious. It doesn’t really taste like chocolate, the chocolate just gives this dish a richness that gives the chili a really great, satisfying finish. I had a hard time making up my mind calling this a chili or a stew. Most of the recipes on the internet say chili, but the broth this dish created reminded me more of a stew. I decided to go with chili since the beans are so prominent.

Black Beans
I tried this recipe using canned beans at first, but then I thought, why not try it with dry cooked beans and see if it tasted any different. It did and, for me, cooking the dry beans was well worth the effort. Cooking this chili with canned beans tastes ok, but the beans are really mushy and the liquid makes this chili a weird kind of chunky thick because of all of that congealed liquid and beans at the bottom of the can. Using the cooking liquid from the beans gives the chili more depth of flavor. The texture of the cooked dry means was much firmer and just tasted awesome with the chili.
 Dark Cooking Chocolate
I also used this really good chocolate called Valrhona (it was on sale on amazon) which made this chili taste amazing. You can order it offline from (also where I got the chocolate picture), but it is a bit pricey. I have also used unsweetened dark cocoa powder and regular unsweetened baking chocolate and it tasted great. Again, I only used this chocolate because it was on a huge sale.  
Chocolate Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili:
3 Medium Sweet Potatoes, diced
1 Vidalia Onion, chopped
4 Cups Cooked Black Beans, plus 3 cups of the cooking liquid
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 tbsp. Ground Cumin
1 tbsp. Chili Powder
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 Square Baking Chocolate (or 3 tbsp. cocoa powder)
In the bottom of your dutch oven, large pot or stew pot heat olive oil. Add diced onion and a little coarse sea salt and cook for 3 minutes. Add diced sweet potatoes. I like big chunks of sweet potatoes in my chili, so mine are about this size (I forgot to take a picture of mine, so I just googled this one). 
Saute for about 7-9 minutes on high heat until the outside of the sweet potatoes brown up a bit. In a blender, puree half of the beans with half of the liquid (I got this tip from the mynewroots blog). Add pureed beans and whole beans to the pot with the sweet potatoes and onions. Add tomatoes, cumin, cinnamon and chocolate. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let chili simmer for 1 hour. This chili is really good, but actually tastes better after sitting for a day. I even eat this stuff cold it’s so good.
Note: You can also throw all of these ingredients into a crock pot and it is delicious… can you tell I have made this chili a LOT? Sadly, the below pictures were the only two I took. The others I googled and added for asthetics :).
photo.PNG   photo.JPG

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