Black Bean Brownies for Valentines

Valentine hearts

Wait! Before you skip over this recipe . . . it’s good! When I first read the title, I thought to myself, “No way!”   (Plus, read on ~ Dr. Ferreri made a delicious Chocolate Cherry Pie using it for the crust.)

Since Valentine’s Day is just eleven days away, and chocolate and valentines go hand-in-hand, I decided to give the recipe a try to see if it would be worth making as a special treat for my family. I didn’t mention that beans were in it, and they liked them. However, I highly recommend keeping the black beans a secret ingredient!

I have a son with type I diabetes that requires accurate insulin coverage, so I calculated approximately 30 grams of carbs per brownie if the recipe is cut into 12, even pieces. Because of the beans, they didn’t affect his blood sugars in a negative way. 

 

Black Bean Brownies

½ cup dark cocoa powder

2 t. vanilla

1 t. baking soda

1 (15 oz.) can of salt-free black beans (drain liquid)

1 large handful of sunflower seeds or 1 T. ground flaxseed

1 ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

2 cups pitted dates (chopped)

¾ cup whole wheat flour

1 cup walnuts

Put the first six ingredients in a food processor. Turn it on and then gradually add the 2 cups of chopped dates, a few at a time until blended. Add the flour and continue to mix until everything is well blended. Turn off the machine, remove the blade, and stir in the nuts. Spread into a 13” x 9” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. 

brownie batter

Note: I doubled the recipe, put the batter into the 13” x 9” stoneware pan, and increased the baking time to 55 minutes. It made 24, chewy brownies. I thought they were plenty sweet, but next time I’ll slightly reduce the applesauce, and add one or two ripe, mashed bananas to make them a tad bit sweeter for my family's tastebuds. 

 

Dr. Ferreri made and taste-tested the following recipe. She and her friends gave it a “thumbs up!”

 

Chocolate Cherry Pie

Crust = ½ recipe of the black bean brownies

Spray a pie plate with olive oil, and spread the brownie batter into the bottom and sides.  Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Filling:

2 - 16 oz bags of frozen cherries, thawed

1 cup dates

1 Tbsp arrowroot

Drain the cherries and reserve the juice.  Set aside ½ cup of cherries, and place the rest in a bowl.

Blend in Vitamix or blender: cherry juice, ½ cup cherries, dates, arrowroot

Stir the juice/date mixture in with the cherries, spoon into the crust.  Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

 

Enjoy! These recipes make delicious, health promoting treats. Please let us know how yours turn out!    

       

image credits: hearts, cabotblog.com; brownie batter, Emily Boller

Watch Out for Vampire Easter Bunnies!

If Peter Cocktail comes hopping along today, don’t worry. The worst he’ll do is leave a few pellets on your carpet, but should you encounter any vampire rabbits. Quick, lock the refrigerator and hide your tomatoes. If not, Bunnicula will suck them dry:

 

 

Oh, and if you’re fighting the urge to sink your fangs into some Easter treats. Satisfy your bloodlust with this candy carnage. See what happens when marshmallow Peeps meet the microwave and Cadbury Crème Eggs fall on mousetraps. It’s gruesome.

Via Diet-Blog.

Image credit: muzikman74

Chocolate Craving, Walk it Off...

Chocolate is my weakness. Sometimes I need it! But next time a craving hits, I’ll try walking it off. A new study in Appetite claims a brisk 15-minute walk can halt chocolate cravings. And short spurts of exercise, like walking, might help improve mood and alertness too; Reuters reports.

For a healthier chocolate alternative, give my chocolate pudding a try!