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Sunday, December 7, 2014

B is for Brownies and Beans...

As I was pondering what to post about today, my mind began drifting to Brownie Day which is tomorrow. “You have posted so many brownie recipes between Brownie Month and Brownie Day” I thought to myself, “how many brownies can one blog audience consume?”

Pause…

In the world of food days, today is none other than National Cotton Candy Day, why oh why it arrives in the first week of December is beyond me. It seems to me “fairy floss,” as it has been called through the ages, should be celebrated during fair season. Don’t you agree? Here’s another thread of Cotton Candy history. Cotton Candy was first introduced by a Louisiana dentist to his patients! Yes, I said dentist!!!

Originally called “Fairy Floss”, the process of making Cotton Candy was invented by four men: Thomas Patton, Josef Delarose Lascaux, John C. Wharton, and William Morrison. In 1899, Morrison and Wharton were able to patent the first electric cotton candy machine, which used centrifugal force to spin and melt sugar through small holes. In 1904, these two Nashville candy makers introduced their invention of how to make cotton candy to the St. Louis World’s Fair. Due to fair goers’ curiosity, these inventors sold approximately 68,655 boxes of cotton candy for 25 cents a box for a total of $17,163.75. Back then and today this is a great deal of money, just think of the profit that you could make today selling such a low cost and enjoyable product! (What Are You Doing for Cotton Candy Day?)

If you are intrigued by the thought of Cotton Candy Day being celebrated in December, you might want to visit my Cotton Candy Day Pinterest board. Yes, dear visitors, there’s a board for that!!!

Cotton Candy Day

Whew, I’m glad that’s over. I have more pressing matters I would like to share with you today, Brownies! Yes, I’m sticking with the Brownie post but, this brownie post is not like any other brownie post you have ever heard from these lips. This brownie post has a whole other twist.

It all started with Velva. Do you know Velva? She has a delicious blog called Tomatoes On the Vine. Well, I dropped by Velva’s for a bite to eat one day back in November and what to my wondering eyes should appear but an enticing plate of gorgeous looking brownies. I LOVE brownies! Doesn’t everyone? Oh, alright, maybe one or even two people on the planet don’t like brownies but I doubt it, lol…Aren’t brownies one of the most decadent of all comfort foods? They are for me.

I’ve been missing brownies lately. There aren’t very many things I have been missing since drastically changing my eating habits the past five months. (can you believe it has been 5 months since my “episode?”) Anyway, there have been big changes around here. Two of the major changes I’ve successfully made have been absolutely no butter and no eggs! (well yolks anyway:) Now, now, don’t you worry about me, I’ve been eating like a Queen and enjoying every minute. Well, almost every minute. Brownies are one of the exceptions.

You can imagine my delight, when I envisioned the possibility of changing up the recipe Velva posted for Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies. Yes, you heard me correctly, Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies!!! In the past couple of months, I’ve learned that many recipes can be adapted to fit into my diet of keeping my cholesterol numbers down and up. Down for the “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and up for the “good” cholesterol (HDL) I find it all very confusing actually but, I’m learning:) Bad cholesterol is the kind you don’t want hanging around clogging up arteries and good cholesterol you do want as a scavenger for ushering out that bad stuff.

…Eating beans on a daily basis could help improve cholesterol levels in two different ways. One is by displacing other foods in the diet that may not be as heart healthy…A second way is that beans, lentils and chickpeas are good sources of fiber, plant protein, vitamins and minerals, which may all play a role in lowering cardiovascular disease…A previous study found that a person who switched from a less healthy plan to a heart-healthy diet, which is high in fiber and low in saturated fats, might expect to reduce LDL levels by 5 to 10 percent. If that person also increased legume intake to one serving a day, it could drop LDL cholesterol by another 5 percent. (source)
And this from Prevention Magazine’s 10 Best Cholesterol Lowering Foods:
Beans: The High Fiber Solution Except for your morning wheat bran, no food is more fiber-rich than beans. And beans are especially high in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. Eating a cup of any type of beans a day—particularly kidney, navy, pinto, black, chickpea, or butter beans—can lower cholesterol by as much as 10% in 6 weeks.
Soluble fiber forms a gel in water that helps bind acids and cholesterol in the intestinal tract, preventing their re-absorption into the body. This may be why soluble fiber helps to lower cholesterol levels (and decreases the risk of heart disease). Soluble fiber is also found in oats and oat bran, barley, brown rice, beans, apples, carrots, and most other fruits and vegetables.
Chocolate: The Sweet Heart Bonus Want to help your heart the next time you indulge in chocolate candy? Choose the dark or bittersweet kind. Compared to milk chocolate, it has more than three times as many antioxidants. These flavonoid antioxidants work to keep blood platelets from sticking together and may even help keep your arteries unclogged. Milk chocolate is good too, having as much antioxidant power as red wine. And what about white chocolate? Sorry, it has no flavonoids at all. Research shows that about an ounce of chocolate a day increases good cholesterol and prevents bad cholesterol from oxidizing.

Now can you see why the notion of Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies was just too intriguing not to give a second thought? Fact is, Velva and I are both kinda late to this Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownie Party. The earliest recipe I found online was from 2012. Better late than never they say:) While I was checking back for the earliest recipes, I happened upon Kylie’s blog which lists a round-up of various Black Bean Brownies. I found the comments quite encouraging:) There seems to be as many variations for Black Bean Brownies as there are for everyday brownies. Each with its very own personality much like the person baking them:) This girl is no exception. I’ve changed up the recipe I found at Velva’s and if you are feeling creatively adventurous one day, who knows, you might make some changes too. (adding some instant coffee or Kahlúa might be my next venture:) There’s one thing I can tell you for absolutely, positively for sure, the black beans are completely undetectable! I baked two pans; one for Marion and myself and one for Bill and his Mom and Dad. No one was the wiser. (if you decide to experiment on anyone, please remember to rule out food allergies:) Not even Marion! She LOVED them!!! (and she’s a bean eater from way back when:) Just look at this batter:)

Black Bean Brownie Batter

There’s one more thing I have to say about this recipe, it is soooooooo easy! Everything goes in the food processor!!! Easy peasy and oh so good. You won’t believe how good these brownies are. Be warned, this recipe is for those of you who are addicted to ooey, gooey, fudgy brownies.

Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies
(adapted from Velva who adapted from Rebecca:)
Ingredients:
1 can (15-ounces) Black Beans, drained and rinsed really really well
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (you could use regular chocolate chips)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (you can use regular salt)
2 large eggs (see note below)
4 tablespoons butter (I didn’t use butter. I used 2 tablespoons of applesauce and 2 tablespoons of Canola Oil) You can use butter of course:)
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 piece of parchment paper
Butter, softened for greasing pan (I didn’t use butter, or anything to grease the parchment paper)
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350°
2.  Line 8"X 8"X 2" baking pan with parchment paper and grease with butter
3.  Combine Black Beans, chocolate chips, flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, butter and vanilla extract in bowl of food processor.
4.  Secure food processor lid and blend until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.
5.  Spread batter evenly into prepared baking pan, using rubber spatula to scrape batter from bowl.  If desire, sprinkle chocolate chips and walnuts evenly over top.
6.  Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of brownie comes out clean.
7.  Remove pan from oven and allow brownies to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Black Bean Brownie Batter

Note: I sprinkled more chocolate chips and a few walnuts over half the pan because Marion doesn’t care much for walnuts. I didn’t have any problem with it all mixing up in the food processor, even the chips seemed to mash up. I saw some recipes where people used a blender which worked also. If you don’t have a food processor, you might try a blender but it also might change the texture and results. I didn’t use butter in this recipe. I was tempted to try the avocado method I used for the Thumbprint cookies a while back but decided against it. I was quite tempted after seeing Grace’s recipe for Lean Green Applesauce Muffins which she recently posted. She successfully used avocado as a butter substitute. Maybe next time. As for the eggs, I didn’t use any. I considered using 4 egg whites but quite frankly, I wanted to add a bit of orange essence because everyone seems to rave about the marriage of chocolate and orange and it seems I’m late to that party also. So, I substituted one of the tablespoons of water for the mock egg mixture (2 tablespoons of flaxmeal to 6 tablespoons of water) for one tablespoon of fresh squeezed orange juice. I may just use two next time. I liked it!!!)

Baking Tips for Flaxseed

So, how did they turn out??? Indescribably delicious!!!

Happy Brownie Day!

Thank you Velva for inspiring me to try this recipe. It did not disappoint!!!

For those of you who may have missed previous Brownie Day posts, I shared a recipe for this Baked Alaska Brownie amongst other vintage recipes;

Baked Alaska Brownie

And, Chocolate Syrup Brownies from 1974. Enjoy:)

Chocolate Syrup Brownies

Resources
1. Good vs. Bad Cholesterol
2. Beans, Lentils: Your Recipe for Lower Cholesterol?
3. A food pyramid made of cookies “Point in space to where you want to create something, and find out what recipes live there.”
4. Fudgy Paelo Beetroot Brownies

65 Nibbles:

Cakelaw said...

Happy Cotton Candy Day! (We call it Fairy Floss.) Happy Brownie Day for tomorrow - glad you have found the perfect recipe for your diet.

Mae Travels said...

I am reading more about the history of chocolate... The aztecs used. pulverized corn in their cocoa beverages, along with spices. I wonder if we could adapt some of their recips which were pretty much fat free outside the cacao. They did sweeten their drinks with honey despite modern rumors to the contrary.

happy cotton candy and brownie days!

mae at maefood.blogspot.com

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Happy Brownie Day, Louise, with a healthy helping of beans! I'm not surprised that beans and chocolate are a good marriage - and what great fiber for a sweet treat!

Mijú said...

Se ve bien diferente :-))
Un saludito

Gloria Baker said...

I love brownies!!! This recipe look amazing Louise:)))
xoxo

Kitchen Riffs said...

I love black bean brownies! We've never made them, but our next door neighbor does all the time -- and without gluten (she can't tolerate gluten). We really need to get her recipe and make them ourselves -- they're really good! And this recipe looks really good, too. Congrats on the 5 months -- changing eating habits is hard. We use a lot of egg whites for various things, and usually buy powdered ones. Mrs K R swears by the Honeyville brand of powdered egg whites (it comes in a big container, but we go through it). We use them just for baking -- never tried making scrambled eggs, etc with them. They're wonderful in angel food cake. Just an FYI in case you're interested. Anyway, fun post -- thanks.

Dottie said...

Dear Louise, Happy Brownie Day! Plus Happy Fairy Floss Day! Fabulous post and that recipe is amazing. I love the Black Beans mixed in the brownie mix. Boy, I just wanted to have a little piece to taste...These brownies look scrumptious! You are so funny, I had to laugh when you wrote that Fairy Floss was invented by a Dentist! I have to agree with you Louise, that Fairy Floss Day should be in the summer or fall when the fairs are going on. So glad that you are acclimating yourself to this new way of eating, we can't have our Louise sick...I give you credit, and so happy that you are feeling much better...Thanks for sharing this fun and interesting post..Have a blessed day..Wave to Marion for me...Dottie :)

Mary said...

Louise, this recipe is now on my list of "to do" sweets...it's simply amazing!! I would never have thought it possible to make brownies with black beans, but the idea is thrilling! Your posts are always soooo interesting, full of useful information and healthy food tips! Thank you for sharing dear...Hugs, Mary

SavannahGranny said...

Hi Louise. So glad to hear that you are still eating healthy. Boy this recipe sounds great. Bob simply loves brownies and of course he does have to watch his cholesterol and sugar. I may try this and cut the sugar with half stevia.
We are doing well. Bob still is not getting around well. He tries to help but he just doesn't have the strength and stamina of yore. I think of you often and just had a chance to stop by today while he is sleeping. I really need to get by more, you always make me smile. Hugs to you and Marion, Ginger

~ Nee ~ said...

Good evening Louise,
First and foremost congrats on the 5 months , I know you are felling better health and ill continue to do so and 'Girl" keep wiggling those toes .
This post is the cat's meow , love brownies , never heard of making them with beans , just in time to put the kids to work . They like trying new things . (Baby Boy likes the clean-up ) ;-D .
Heard about fairy floss but didn't know it had a day , I have learned so much since coming to your home , keep up the good work and don't forget to wiggle . (((HUGS))) to you and Marion and have a good night . Thanks for sharing ~Nee~ :)

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Ginger!!!
It's so wonderful to "hear" from you!!! I think of you often also. I can no longer leave a comment on your blog letting you know that I'm thinking of you and Bob but believe me, I am!!! (I'm sure Nee is too:)

I do think you may be able to cut down on the sugar especially if you use sweetened applesauce and Stevia. I was tempted to use the NuStevia that I won from Kristy but "chickened" out. Please let us know how it works out when you get a minute. Will keep you and Bob in my prayers, Ginger. Thank you so much for popping by. It sure did brighten my day:)

Beth said...

I remember seeing that recipe on Velva's blog. So glad it worked out! And oh my - that Baked Alaska brownie is stunning.

grace said...

i've heard of this being done, but i've never tried it myself! i love black beans in savory dishes so why wouldn't i love them even more in something like this? :)

Amelia said...

Hi Louise, Happy brownies day. Another interesting post from you. Thank you so much for sharing with us your interesting postings. Your chocolate brownies look so good, the generous topping look awesome. Great to go with a nice cup of coffee. Your cotton candy collections in pinterest look so cute and delightful. Great work!

Have a lovely day ahead, regards.

~ Nee ~ said...

Oh my goodness .... Ginger !! so glad I stopped this morning to see what Louise was doing . I am sending you and Bob my prayers. I will put your family on our prayer list at church . ~~Nee~~

Pam said...

I've heard black beans are great in brownies but I have never tried it. The baked Alaska brownie looks amazing.

Janet Rudolph said...

Happy Brownie Day!

Kathy said...

Hi Louise, Loved this very interesting post! I have heard of Black Bean Brownies before...but never searched a recipe! I am totally intrigued! Can't wait to give them a try....and not tell anyone what is in them! Healthy is always better...especially if it stops the craving for something sweet and decadent!

Eva said...

Count me in the ooey gooey fudgy brownie camp! I have seen black bean brownies before but haven't actually made them yet. I love that yours are made in the food processor - I need to add this to my baking list and make it soon!

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks Gaye! I really like your version way more than Cotton Candy Day, lol...the recipe is quite perfect for me, thanks Gaye...

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks for those nibs, Mae...Anyway you slice it, there's always troom for chocolate and brownies in my book!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks T.W!
I must say, I was quite surprised but it works and it's delicious!!!

Lady Lilith said...

Yum cotton candy. Brings back memories of going to the fare.

SissySees said...

Darn! I wish I'd seen this before 10:53 PM. Maybe tomorrow night?

Sonia De Macedo said...

I'm afraid I am one of those people who doesn't like them. I'll eat it though I wouldn't choose to if you know what I mean. I guess I haven't had a "great" brownie yet. I find them too dry which means they're overcooked or something. I do make a mug brownie (I posted a recipe of it on my blog) that I actually do like, though I think of it as chocolate cake I get to eat out of a mug with big dollops of ice cream lol.

Sxx
www.daringcoco.com

Johanna GGG said...

Your brownies look lovely - the fudgier the better - though I confess I have only made black bean brownies once (I think it was 2007) and I threw them out - I suspect it was possibly because I used kidney beans because back then I didn't know where to find black beans - they are a little easier to buy now and I have made some black bean fudge that worked really well.

And I wonder if we are just way behind the rest of the world because we still say fairy floss here - I didn't know that cotton candy was more modern but I think fairy floss has a little more poetry to it :-)

Luv Sweet and Savory said...

Hi Louise, Happy Brownie Day !
Hmm ... indeed, very interesting that black beans are added in this brownie recipe.
While I do love chocolaty brownies ... dark chocolates etc. But I can't consume too much as I will have 'sexy husky' voice.... lol !
Thanks so much for the sharing.

Brandi said...

This is a brownie recipe I would enjoy without the guilt. Then I'd wash it down with a cotton candy daiquiri!!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Irresistible! This is something I really want to try making soon.

Cheers,

Rosa

Ivy Sew said...

Hi Louise, your Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies looks so delectable and moist. Love to have it with a cup of hot coffee. You have a great day and regards :)

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Mijú:)
El sabor delicioso! Tal vez algún día va a probarlo :)

~~louise~~ said...

Me too Gloria! They are all gone and boy were they good!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Those brownies are all gone now John but they will definitely be remembered!!! You really need to get that recipe!!! Thanks for that Honeyville tip. I just checked out their website and will most definitely be going back. Please thank Mrs. K.R. for me too:)

~~louise~~ said...

So glad you enjoyed this post Dottie:) It was such fun to share. Although the brownies are all gone, Marion and I will be munching on them in our minds for quite some time. Thank you so much for visting...

Storybook Woods said...

Gosh who does not love brownies? I am a big fan of beans in baking. Besides being healthy, it adds so much moisture. Thank you for the recipe. Clarice

~~louise~~ said...

Oh Mary, I do hope you try them. They really are amazing and delcious too!!!

~~louise~~ said...

I'm glad it worked out too, Beth. There will be more and of course a few more twists too:)

~~louise~~ said...

Go for it, Grace. You really never taste the black beans so it wouldn't matter much if you didn't like them. It would, however, matter if someone were allergic to beans...

~~louise~~ said...

Come for a visit, Amelia! I'll make more brownies and coffee!!!

~~louise~~ said...

You should try them when you get a chance, Pam. They really are yummy:)

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks Janet!

Zoe said...

Hi Louis,

Nevermind the beans... Please tell me if you know anyone who doesn't like brownies or candies?? This person must be a zombie!!!! LOL!

Zoe

Jeannie Tay said...

Wow! Those brownies are tempting! I don't know which one I would choose, both looks so good!

Alida said...

Brownies are one of the favourite cakes here in the UK along with apple pie. Britain is madly in love with chocolate. I love the look of those brownies...rich, moist with lots of chocolate! Brava Louise!

~~louise~~ said...

HI Kathy,
So glad you enjoyed this post. I don't think I would have even considered them if not for my new "diet." Too bad because I surely would have been missing out! I do hope you give them a taste and let us know what you think.

~~louise~~ said...

The whip up in the food processor in two minutes, Eva. Seriously, how easy peasy is that AND, they are so yummy!!! So nice to "see" you Eva. Thanks for popping by...Invite us over when you bake the brownies:)

Catherine said...

Dear Louise, I did see this recipe at Velva's! It is intriguing. I bet it is like cooking with zucchini. When I told my son his birthday cake had zucchini he said, "I still like it"! lol
I am going to have to give this a try. xo Catherine

www.mipiacemifabene.com said...

Wow! Che bel blog e che bellissime ricette! Complimenti :-) Sono contenta di averti trovata! Io ho un blog di cucina salutare che si chiama Mipiacemifabene, e abito a Rimini in Italia :-) Tornerò a trovarti presto
Federica :-)

~~louise~~ said...

Translation: Wow! What a nice blog and wonderful recipes! Congratulations:-) I'm glad I found it! I have a food blog called Mipiacemifabene healthy, and I live in Rimini in Italy:-) I'll be back to see you soon Federica

Benvenuti Federica,
Sono felice che hai trovato il mio blog e che vi siate divertiti visita. Sarò popping verso il tuo blog per una visita al più presto! Grazie ancora per la visita, la porta è sempre aperta :)

Welcome Federica,
I'm delighted that you found my blog and that you enjoyed your visit. I will be popping over to your blog for a visit as soon as possible! Thank you again for visiting, the door is always opened:) Louise

Juliana Levine said...

OMG! I never had black beans brownies...not you got me thinking...initially I was like "What? Black beans?"...now I can see how tasty and healthy they can be...I will try to make them since my husband like brownies, but I will not tell him about he beans...
Thanks for the post Louise :)

~~louise~~ said...

It sure does Lady Lilith...

~~louise~~ said...

Any time you have 2 minutes, Channon, give them a try. The Knight won't know the difference, lol...

~~louise~~ said...

That Mug Brownie sounds like waht a "real" brownie should not only taste link Sonia but also make you feel like (oh so naughty:) You really should try to make a brownie to your liking. They are memorable if made right!!! These brownies I made come {{{this close}}} and since they are pretty healthy and fit into my new "diet", they are my new memorable brownies!!!

Thank you so much for visiting, Sonia...I'll be right over:)

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks for visiting, Johanna. Now I am intrigued about that Black Bean Fudge. I'll be looking for that recipe, lol...Try the brownies with balck beans and let us know what you think. I have a feeling E and Sylvia will approve:)

~~louise~~ said...

You are so funny Karen, lol...So glad you enjoyed this post:)

~~louise~~ said...

Sounds good to me, Brandi:) I'll bring the brownies!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Go for it, Rosa!!! Please let us know how they turn out:)

~~louise~~ said...

Come on over, Ivy. The coffee will be on and the brownies will be hot!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Thank YOU for visiting, Clarice...

~~louise~~ said...

I'm sure there are a couple out there, Zoe but so far not too many here, lol...

~~louise~~ said...

Then both it should be, Jeannie!

~~louise~~ said...

Thank you Alida...you're sweet:)

~~louise~~ said...

Now that you mention it, Catherine, it is like cooking with zucchini or even beets in beet cake! Good point:)

~~louise~~ said...

They really surprised me Juliana...If you only saw me smelling the beans and eyeing the cocoa. It must have been quite a sight but, once everything was in the food processor, it looked just like brownies and even smelled like them too. And, oh so easy:)

Thanks for visiting, Juliana...

Debra Eliotseats said...

Love brownies, any and all! (At least the title of the cookbook wasn't arsenic and old lace!)