Black Bean Balls with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce


Today’s post includes a giveaway from Wholly Guacamole.  They provided me with some avocados, free of charge, for a cooking competition I entered. All opinions are my own. 

(Contest Closed!)


I entered a Vegan Ball competition two weekends ago, which is exactly what you’re thinking it is. As long as you’re thinking that it’s an amateur vegan baking competition in Brooklyn. 
Each contestant had to make 200 of any kind of vegan ball: energy ball, cake ball, “meat” ball, rice ball, matzo ball, “cheese” ball, popcorn ball….you get it. Entries were judged by event attendees and a panel of judges. There was also vegan trivia, Oreo door prizes, and a vegan wrestler with a microphone. It was everything I hoped it would be. And more. 

Black Bean Balls w/ Avocado Cilantro Sauce

I didn’t win, (Bobby’s Big Balls did), but I did come across a new recipe for black bean balls with avocado cilantro sauce that I loved and have made several times now. 
These black bean balls are incredibly healthy and probably the most allergy-sensitive thing you could make. They’re dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free, no added sugars, and obviously vegan. They did have plenty of spices, making the cilantro avocado sauce a perfect accompaniment.  
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

For the avocado sauce, Wholly Guacamole was generous enough to send me some of their pre-packaged avocados which was amazing, considering I had to make enough sauce for 200 people. Equally as amazing is that they’re sponsoring a giveaway with me, and YOU can win your own Wholly Guacamole prize pack – enter above!
Wholly Guacamole’s prepackaged avocados are 100% avocado, nothing-added, and pre-cut. I like them because they’re always ripe, and you can freeze them to use when you need them.  I do try to buy regular avocados and avoid unnecessary packaging, but I hate groping avocados at the grocery store and guessing which ones are ripe, but not too ripe. I overthink the entire process. Exhausting. 

Black Bean Balls w/ Avocado Cilantro Sauce

The avocado sauce was simple to make with lime juice, salt, cilantro, water to thin, and just a tiny bit of sweetener. And the lime juice kept the bright green color of the avocados intact, which is always a plus. 
Black bean balls are very similar to veggie burgers, and are really just in a different shape. Ingredients are really flexible, and you probably have everything you need to make a veggie burger/ball right now. You just need a protein (beans/tempeh, tvp, etc.) with a combination of oats/flour/rice/quinoa/sweet potatoes etc. Mix in some spices and any other vegetables you want, put them in the oven, and you’re bound to come out with something delicious. 
Vegan Ball Competition - Me on the left // Winning "Cheese" Balls on the right
Confused Sous Chef // Judging Panel
The first version of the black bean balls using BlissfulBasil’s recipe were a little chewy, so I reduced the amount of oat flour. I also added more spices and decreased the baking time a bit. My modified recipe is below, but I encourage you to experiment with the amount of spices and ingredient combos to come up with your own version! 

Black Bean Balls w/ Avocado Cilantro Sauce

Spicy Black Bean Balls with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce
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For the black bean balls
  1. 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  2. 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  3. ½ cup water
  4. 1 cups oat flour (have an extra 1/2 cup on hand if you need it)
  5. 2 teaspoon chili powder
  6. 2 teaspoon coriander
  7. 2 teaspoon paprika
  8. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  9. 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  10. 2 garlic clove, finely minced
  11. ½ red onion, finely diced
  12. ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  13. ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  14. ½ cup rolled oats
For the sauce
  1. 1 cup avocado
  2. 1/2 lime, juice of
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 tsp sweetener of your choice
  5. 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  6. 1/2 cup cold water + 2 tablespoons
  7. 1 tablespoon roughly chopped onion
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor, combine black beans, chia seeds, water, oat flour, and spices.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in garlic, onion, cilantro, oats and lime juice. Add some of the extra oat flour if you feel the mixture is too wet.
  4. The mixture will be very sticky. Use spoons to drop 1" round balls onto a parchment lined pan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. While black bean balls are baking, make the sauce by combining avocado, salt, sweetener, lime juice, cilantro, and water in a food processor until smooth. Add onion and pulse. The sauce should have guacamole-like taste, but a thin texture.
  7. Serve hot black bean ball with avocado sauce. Also great cold the next day!
Adapted from Blissful Basil
Adapted from Blissful Basil
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  1. says

    The black bean balls with avocado sauce sound yummy! I use avocado in an adaptation of a really old Vegetarian Times recipe called Mega Veggie Burritos. I sauté up some seitan, frozen corn, tomatillo, red bell peppers, tomatoes or salsa, minced jalapenos and taco spices; then stir in fresh cilantro and load into whole grain tortillas. Fresh avocado slices are the last thing that goes inside before rolling the burritos.

  2. kelly says

    These look amazing, can’t wait to try. At first I was unsure of the packaged avocadoes, but LOVE them!!! Go Wholly Guacamole!!!

  3. Alon G says

    Two ways:

    1) avocado salad: mash up an avocado and a hard-boiled egg, add mayo, salt, lemon juice. My grandma would make it for me daily for like 10 years. Not vegan but still.

    2) adding to hummus: when making your own, just add some avocado to the food processor.

    Avocados are kind of a miracle. So good.

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