In another time, brownies and beans just wouldn’t be in the same sentence for me. When I first heard about making brownies out of beans … it went into the same category as those recipes that say you can make mash potatoes out of cauliflower; or substitute spaghetti squash for spaghetti noodles. Are you kidding me? I don’t care what they say; I’ve tried both of them, and guess what? They tasted like I was eating mashed cauliflower with butter and salt, and spaghetti squash with tomato sauce poured on top of it. It is what it is. It’s like the saying goes, “you can put lipstick on a pig – but it’s still a pig”, right?
The reason I’m even talking about beans in the first place comes from a conversation I had with a friend of mine about her baked beans and how yummy they were and wanted to know what brand baked beans she used. This was a turning point for me and beans. For you see, my friend’s baked beans were made from real beans – not from out of a can. Gulp!
Now I had tons of beans; all varieties, and in all sorts of containers and bags in my food storage, I just didn’t have a clue what to do with them or even how to prepare them. And so she told me. I can imagine the look on my face when she told me the first thing that needed to be done was to remove all the rocks from the beans. Rocks? Yes, it seems that no matter how the beans come; sealed in a bag or a bucket, or what variety, they all contain little rocks or pieces-parts of little hard thingies like leaves, small stones, twigs or broken bean. So, in order to “clean” the beans you kinda have to play “one for me – one for you” with them by pouring them out on the counter, on a plate or pie tin and then start separating them out in two piles … the goodies and the badies. “Oh joy”, I remember thinking. Here I had always thought you just pour the bag in a pot with some water and cook them! “Not done yet” she said. Apparently, once you finish the onesie- twosie game with the beans, you still have to rinse the good ones under cold water. I mean really? A person could starve to death before they got to eat the first dang bean!
Next, you have to soak the beans. There are two reasons for this I’m told; one, it reduces the cooking time and the other; it’s supposed to break down the compounds that cause flatulence. Yeah right, like that happens (toot-toot.) Oh, and the beans will double in size during the soaking phase depending on what soaking method you use, but I’ll save that for another day.
Once the beans have been “picked-over”, rinsed and soaked, only then can you cook them. Yay, finally!!! And that is where I am today. No, I’m not still cooking the beans. I am a bean cooker! I can make baked beans, bean burgers, chili, dips, refried beans … and my favorite … chocolate bean brownies!
And, why the heck would you want to make brownies out of beans? Well think about this. If flour was a little scarce and needed to be used for other things … that just might take brownies out of the picture for us. But making them with beans we still get those warm, chocolatey, gooey morsels of heaven. And, no they don’t taste like beans! This is how I make mine:
1 1/2 cups black beans
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips
(use 1/2 cup of the chips in the recipe and save the rest to sprinkle on top too)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips, blend until completely smooth. The key here is to really blend the mixture well. Stir in the chips, and then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Next, sprinkle the extra chocolate chips over the top of the mixture. Cook the brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. The brownies aren’t a real stiff brownie … but more like fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.
Preparedness for me is all about planning ahead so we don’t have to do without. So, if you haven’t done so already, pull out those beans in your pantry and start experimenting with them!
And don’t forget to soak them first! Remember … toot-toot?
- Survivor Jane
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