Month: January 2018

Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies (GF, DF)

Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies (GF, DF)

If I’m going to indulge myself, I’m going all in. I don’t want a “healthified” version of something that doesn’t really satisfy and will lead to an even worse craving or food binge later. Nope, I want the real deal. So, when the idea of using beans in desserts became a thing, I was s-u-p-e-r skeptical. How could any dessert primarily comprised of these complex carbohydrates become a drool-worthy treat? Well, all doubt fell to the wayside with these fudgy, Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies.  

 

 

Why brownies? For one, brownies are a relatively easy dessert to make (win) and second, they are chocolatey delicious (double win) which would undoubtedly cover any lingering bean flavor. Also, unlike cookies or cake which require precise measurements and some finesse, brownies are more forgiving, and, dare I say foolproof for even the novice baker 🙋 

 

 

To me, a truly great brownie needs no a la mode, caramel sauce, or chocolate chips. It is pure perfection all on its own. To achieve that classic fudgy perfection, I turned to our other fibrous friends, flaxseeds. Ground flaxseeds are able to hold onto mega moisture during baking, therefore increasing that irresistible “fudge factor”. Additionally, flaxseeds are a rich source of dietary fiber, alpha-linolenic acids (omega 3s), and can replace some eggs in baked recipes! We’ll chat more about their long list of benefits later. First, let’s get to baking.

 

To start, create your flax “eggs”. First, add ground flaxseeds to a small bowl.

 

 

Add water.

 

 

Whisk together and set aside while you prep your beans.

 

 

Wash, rinse, and drain your beans and add them to a food processor with oil and vanilla. 

 

 

Blend until smooth. 

 

 

Next, add your sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder and eggs. Process until well incorporated.

 

 

 

By now your flax “eggs” should be ready. Test this by stirring with a spoon. The mixture should have a thick, viscous consistency. 

 

 

Add your flax eggs to your mixture and blend a final time until ingredients are well mixed.

 

 

Transfer to a baking pan…

 

 

And bake for 30-35 minutes.

 

 

Nutrition Notes: In addition to the improving the texture of baked goods, flaxseeds are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber which can support healthy cholesterol levels and a healthy gut. Flaxseeds also contain a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids known as alpha linolenic acid, or, ALA. ALAs have been associated with many benefits including reducing arterial inflammation, assisting with hormonal balance, and reducing the risk of several types of cancer. While flax is no replacement for the powerhouse omega 3s EPA (ecosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) we get from fish, fish oil, or algae, the plant-based ALA may still play an important role in our overall health. 

 

 

Ingredients

2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup unsweetened extra dark cocoa powder

6 tbsp oil of choice 

3/4-1 cup sugar (for a traditional brownie flavor use 1 cup, for a more bitter, dark chocolate flavor, 3/4 cup)

3/4 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

4 tbsp ground flaxseed

12 tbsp water 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a small bowl, combine flaxseeds and water. Whisk together for 20 seconds; set aside. 

Add rinsed and drained beans to a food processor with oil and vanilla. Process until smooth. Add cocoa powder, sugar, and eggs. Blend until well combined. Lastly, add flax “eggs” and blend again until smooth. Pour brownie mixture into a lightly oiled 9 x 9 baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

 

Nutrition Facts (makes 16 brownies)

Calories – 160  Fat – 7g  Carbohydrates – 24g  Protein – 4g  Fiber – 3g 

Avo Hummus

Avo Hummus

Avocados, you sly devils. You can spend DAYS lounging firm and unchanged on the countertop with the other members of your bright green posse. Then, in the blink of an eye, you join together and turn smooshy soft with a dark hue. Can anyone else out there relate?

This week we bought a large bag of ‘cados to use up in several different recipes. The avocados as you may have guessed, had other plans. We also had a jar of leftover garbanzo and white beans that were nearing the end of their welcome in our fridge. We needed to get creative with these ingredients fast. You see, the Compstons are not fans of tossing unused food.

This year, more than ever, our family is making an effort to do our part to reduce annual food waste. According to a study conducted by the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics, Americans throw away up to 40% of the food we produce and harvest. 40%. Just think of the impact that loss could make to the nearly 16 million food insecure families living in our country. We can all play a role in reducing waste. 

Now, let’s get back to those avocados and beans. In an effort to extend the “fridge life” of these nutrient-dense ingredients, we got to work in the kitchen and oh boy! A star was born. Friends, we would like to introduce you to Avo Hummus. Or Humcado. Avomus? Ok, so the name is perhaps a work in progress but this recipe is pure perfection. Fluffy, creamy, bright and savory, this recipe takes simple, fresh ingredients and upgrades a classic favorite. 

 

 

Like most SOC creations, this recipe requires only a few ingredients and can be prepped in a matter of minutes. Once you establish the ‘base’ recipe you can start creating new versions by adding different seasonings to fit your personal preferences. As I mentioned, the stars of our recipe were two types of leftover beans and extremely ripe avocados. You are welcome to use purely garbanzo beans, and, for you hummus purists out there, you can certainly add tahini and cumin for a more traditional take. 

 

To start, assemble your ingredients and food processor.

 

Next, peel your garlic cloves and peel and pit your avocados. They don’t have to look perfect. They are going to blended after all!

 

 

Then, place all ingredients into your food processor. 

 

 

And blend until you reached desired consistency. 

 

 

Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with more beans and freshly cracked pepper. Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

 

 

Ingredients

2 ripe avocados

1 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 lemon juice, freshly squeezed (lime juice also works well)

2 cloves garlic

Salt and pepper, to taste

Water as needed to thin

Directions

Rinse and drain beans. Peel and pit avocados. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until you reach desired consistency. Garnish with extra beans and freshly cracked pepper or minced garlic. 

 

 

Nutrition Facts (makes approx. 10, 2tbsp servings)

Calories – 143  Fat – 10g  Carbohydrates – 11g  Protein – 3g  Fiber – 4g