Black Bean Brownies – Take 2

You’ve probably heard of making desserts with chickpeas, avocados and black beans. Have you tried any? I was on the chickpea train for a while, and now I’ve made black bean brownies for the second time. All of my avocados end up as guacamole, except that time I attempted to make chocolate pudding (you should read it, it’s comical), but I plan on giving it another shot (and follow a recipe this time). So anyway, I’m here to tell you, desserts can be made healthier AND still taste good. These brownies are a perfect example!

Fudge-y, chocolate-y, and no, they do not taste like beans at all. As a matter of fact, the only difference between black bean brownies and regular brownies is the texture. It’s not a bad texture, just a little different. They are moist without being too gooey and they are not crumbly.
This recipe came from the cookbook Vegan Beans from Around the World by Kelsey Kinser.
I was interested in reviewing the cookbook because my family definitely does not eat enough beans. Since beans are loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals (and they are cheap!) I would love to incorporate more into our diets. Even if it is in brownie form!
I also want to try Kelsey’s Chickpea Cupcakes and plan on making the Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas very soon! Of course, if you are a more ‘traditional’ bean eater, there are salads, soups, burgers, etc. to choose from.
Black Bean Brownies from Vegan Beans from Around the World
(reprinted with permission)
 
Either you’ve heard of this recipe before and love it or you are scratching your head and thinking, “There is no way this is going to be good.” Trust me. It’s good. It’s really, really good. Also, this recipe benefits from the surprising bonus of being a gluten-free dessert option. So go ahead and try it. With about 5 to 10 minutes of actual active cooking time and a brief and inexpensive ingredient list (for which you probably already have everything already), you have nothing to lose and a delicious, fudgy, surprisingly guilt-free world to gain. Canned black beans are used in this recipe for convenience, and the point is to not taste that is made from beans so the quality of flavor is not as important, but feel free to substitute 2 cups of well-cooked black beans.
(Note: This recipe produces a more fudge-like brownie. If you prefer yours more on the cakelike side, double the amount of flax seeds and water.)
Serves 9 to 12
1 (15.5-ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups of well-cooked black beans)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (coconut oil can be used but will result in a slight coconut taste)
2 1/2 tablespoons of fresh ground flax seeds whisked into 3 tablespoon of warm water*
1⁄4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1⁄4 cup and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (sifted if need be)
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coffee (optional but worth it; can be left over from the morning)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

walnuts or dairy-free chocolate or carob chips for topping (optional)
     *Blogger’s Note: if not vegan, can use an egg in the place of flax and water 
 
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Using either a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except for toppings. Blend well, stopping at least once to scrape down the sides of the blender carafe and blending again. You do not want any large chunks of beans in this batter. It should be very smooth.
Pour batter into 8- by 8-inch glass baking dish. *Blogger’s Note: I suggest spraying pan with cooking spray.
Bake on middle rack of oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife poked into the center comes out clean.
  
Cool for at least half an hour before cutting and serving. 
*I added chocolate chips to the tops after removing from oven
 
Do you have any “unconventional” desserts that you and your family enjoy? My kids have actually enjoyed my bean desserts, and considering how uber picky they are, that’s saying a lot! (If interested in checking them out. – Biscoff Cookie Dough Dip, Double Dark Chocolate Cookie Balls, Deep Dish Cookie Pie)
I was sent the above cookbook for review. No compensation was received, all opinions are my own.


This recipe was featured at:

DIY Vintage Chic

No-Bake Chocolate Pie

So…it’s the later part of January. How are those resolutions going? I know most of us are trying to get our healthy on, but it doesn’t stop our brain from telling us to EAT CHOCOLATE does it? I crave chocolate on a pretty regular basis, and have been pretty creative in coming up with ways to satisfy those cravings without using a days allowance of points. (Weight Watcher talk) This Chocolate Pie is a delicious way to satisfy cravings, without totally breaking the calorie bank.

This recipe came from Mr. Brown. Alton Brown that is. It was pretty awesome. You would never know the main ingredient was tofu. I was calling this ‘Special Ingredient Chocolate Pie‘…but then I saw the movie ‘The Help’ based on a comment a reader made. So, I decided a new name was in order!

No-Bake Chocolate Pie

1 bag (13 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup coffee liqueur (store bought or make your own)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound silken tofu, drained
1 tablespoon honey
1 (9-inch) prepared chocolate wafer crust (I used chocolate graham cracker but Oreo would have been better!)

  • Place about an inch of water in the bottom of a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Melt the chocolate chips, coffee liqueur and vanilla in a medium metal bowl set over the simmering water, stirring frequently with a rubber or silicone spatula. 
  • Blend the tofu, melted chocolate and honey in a blender or food processor until smooth (about a minute)
  • Pour the filling into prepared pie crust and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until set. 

Source: Alton Brown’s Moo-less Chocolate Pie

 

You will be amazed at how unhealthy this chocolate pie tastes. And I’m pretty sure no one will be able to guess the special ingredient!

If interested in other special ingredient desserts, you might want to check out my Biscoff Cookie Dough Dip, Deep Dish Cookie Pie, or Double Dark Chocolate Cookie Balls!

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry LoveThe Newlyweds PilgrimageSowdering About in SeattleCraft and Repeat (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeSarah Lynn’s SweetsBeBetsy and VMG206Twinkling Trees , Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeThe Real Thing with The Coake FamilyTessa the Domestic Diva  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,   Lamberts Lately (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage Chic (Saturday)  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ StuffIt’s OverflowingMade from Pinterest

Egg & Nut Free Holiday Treats – Round Up

The holidays are a little tough when you or someone in your family has food allergies. My son was diagnosed with egg, peanut and tree nut allergies at a very young age. He is now 5 and has outgrown the egg allergy, so things have gotten easier. However, this time of year, with food pretty much everywhere, I have to be diligent in monitoring what my son eats.

Here is a collection of things I have made in the past that are egg and nut free, and make tasty treats for everyone, food allergic or not! (Just click on the title and it will take you to the recipe) First up –

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
These were really good, and I don’t think anyone would realize they are egg free. You could also add some colorful sprinkles or candies on top to make them more festive.


Reindeer Mix, affectionately known by some as ‘White Trash’ Mix, is a sweet and salty combo that is always a hit. Whatever you call it, I call it good!


Oreo Truffles  Oreos, cream cheese and chocolate are all that makes up these delicious little treats.


Egg free gingerbread men Fun to decorate and have a good flavor too!


Faux Toffee‘ Sorry for the blurry pic, I will try to update this one very soon. The treat however…there is a reason it’s called Christmas Crack. So good, so addictive!


DIY Twix Bars with Biscoff  Ohmigosh…I absolutely love these tihings!


Egg free Sugar Cookies  This is a good egg free cookie recipe for cut out cookies. They are great for decorating with the kids and hold up well to cutting out and frosting.

Pretzel Turtles Super easy and yummy treat. You can tell we like the sweet and salty thing.


Old Fashioned Fudge  Fudge is my all time favorite Christmas treat. I only make it at Christmas, and you do need a candy thermometer for this one, but it is ohhhh so worth it! This one has nuts, but it is delicious without. I usually make a batch of both. This is the only “real” fudge in my book!


Rolo Brownies  An easy brownie recipe starting with a mix and using yogurt instead of eggs.


Monster Magic Bars  These are another holiday favorite, and no eggs or nuts needed to have one fabulous treat. OR this version –

Not Your Mama’s Magic Bars (just leave off the nuts)


No Peanut Butter Blossoms These are a delicious version of a Christmas classic using a peanut butter substitute. SunButter is my favorite, but SoyNut Butter is cheaper and easier to find around here. I’d like to try these using Biscoff one day too. Hmmm, sounds like a plan for later in the week!

NOTE: It is very important to always check your labels on all ingredients used when baking for someone with food allergies (even if you have checked them before, b/c sometimes manufacturers change things without warning!) You would be surprised how many “hidden” allergens can be in foods. Also, my advice is that if you are baking for someone else, and trying to be allergy friendly, it is still best to let that person or parent look at the labels of the products used. I have been really touched by the extra efforts some people have made to accommodate my son’s allergies, even though I always say – do whatever you have planned and I will make accommodations for him. Of course, I’ve also gotten pretty pissed off irritated at some people’s insensitivity or deliberate ignorance. But that’s a story for another day. Right now, let’s go
EAT DRINK AND BE MERRY 🙂 Safely!

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry LoveThe Newlyweds PilgrimageSowdering About in SeattleCraft and Repeat (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeSarah Lynn’s SweetsBeBetsy and VMG206Twinkling Trees , Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeThe Real Thing with The Coake FamilyTessa the Domestic Diva  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,   Lamberts Lately (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage Chic (Saturday)  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ StuffIt’s Overflowing, (Sunday) Made from Pinterest

Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Curd filling

Best.Muffins.Ever. I’m not sure why, but I always take the WORST pictures of the BEST food! I would love to have gotten a pic that could convey how scrumptious these were. But….maybe you will take my word on it?!  If you love the combination of blueberries and lemon – these muffins are for you.

First, I was out of eggs (I was trying to use up all my perishable items before moving, & didn’t want to buy more), but not an issue – I just followed this vegan blueberry muffin recipe.  The muffins turned out great…not too dense or crumbly.  However, I used a prepared lemon curd for the filling, so they were definitely not vegan. (The recipe link has a vegan lemon curd recipe too if interested.)

Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Curd Filling 

  • 1-1/3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (orig.recipe calls for canola or other light tasting oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup prepared lemon curd, chilled 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray a 12-cup regular muffin pan (or use cupcake liners).
 
In a medium bowl combine milk, lemon juice and lemon zest. Let stand about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl mix together 2 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk sugar, oil and vanilla into milk mixture until well blended.
Add wet mixture to the dry and stir just until blended. In a small bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour to coat, and then fold the blueberries into the batter (flour prevents them from sinking to the bottom).
Divide half the batter evenly among the 12 prepared muffin cups, making a slight well in the center of each. Spoon 2 teaspoons of lemon curd into each well and top with remaining batter. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the tops of the muffins.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 24 minutes or until tops are golden brown and spring back when touched. 
Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Do not try to eat immediately. This will cause serious burning of the tongue from the very hot lemon curd filling.  Not that I know this from personal experience, I’m just sayin’. *ahem*

Verdict – As I have already said….these were the BOMB! Oh so good, and it makes me sad that I am all out of lemon curd.  When my kitchen is in order, I will have to make these again with the homemade vegan lemon curd.

 Now….off to do some unpacking.  Anyone wanna help?!  Especially since my girls just informed me that half the stuff that belongs in the house (my son’s clothes, their bathroom items, etc.) were just found in the storage area above the garage.  Hello?! When it says on the box….’BATHROOM’….WHY would you stick it in the garage?!  Don’t EVEN get me started about my moving experience.  I’m sure I will rant about it in another post 🙂