#The100DayProject: Brownies & Blessings…A Sweet Experience

I love when I am among good people.  Not people who claim “good,” but the ones you just KNOW have a good heart and soul in them.  We live in a bit of a cynical world so usually when you come across a good soul there is a tendency to immediately look for something in them that isn’t “good.”  I think finding the “true” good people is a blessing and I am lucky in my life now to have many “blessings” among me.  They often are people you least expect, which in a way is how blessings live on.  You never know what you will get or should expect…

black bean browniesIt’s like these brownies I made on the weekend…

I confess that I have a brownie expert and connoisseur in my house.  He loves brownies and although we both wish they were more abundant, the lifestyle changes and nutrition in our house don’t exactly give much leniency to that delectable, fudge and chocolate goodness.  While meal planning, I was searching my old reliable of Pinterest to find black bean recipes and found a gluten-free, dairy-free recipe for brownies – I was pretty skeptical of the recipe. And really doubtful when I read the main ingredient – Black Beans.

That’s right, kids!  Black Bean Brownies.  All I could think of was the big scoops of the black beans in my Chipotle bowl and thought NO WAY.  However, if this project has taught me one thing, be daring and try it anyway.  I’ve stumbled into the BEST recipes this way and super awesome meals along the path.  So I bookmarked it and when I was prepping the black beans for the week, I found an errant can in the back of my pantry and went for it.  I made them on a Sunday night when the hubs and I were easing off our staycation Spring Breakish when I could be relaxed in the kitchen and not rushed.  It was super easy to assemble and throw together and bake.  And then I waited – and doubtful as I figured I truly wasted many of my precious ingredients and started writing the “FAIL” chapter in my head of the “no food waste” experiment going WASTEFUL.  And then…

The beautiful scent of yummy brownies wafted from the kitchen and when done, they looked beautiful and perfect.  I sliced after cooling and waited patiently as my “taste tester” tried them.  When he asked for another, I knew we were good.  I waited until a few had been “tested” before I divulged the “secret ingredient” – no complaints just a few nods and observations that they were different but not in a bad way compared to regular brownies.  That was good enough for me.

So like blessings, these brownies definitely earned the patience, goodness, and effort to find out that my least expectations can often be my best.

Black Bean Brownies   (adapted from my darling lemon thyme’s gluten & dairy-free black bean chocolate brownie recipe)

makes 12.
3/4 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight in plenty of cold water & cooked until soft but not mushy OR 425g can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 large eggs
5 tbs oil
1 cup (200g) muscovado sugar (or substitute light brown sugar!)
1/2 cup (55g) cocoa powder
1/2 cup (55g) flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup of chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a baking pan (I used an 8×8 Pyrex) and set aside.

Blend black beans into a food processor until a smooth paste. Add eggs and your oil and combine. Add sugar, cocoa, flour vanilla and baking powder. Process until smooth and well combined. Add chocolate chips and mix up until combined. Pour bowl of batter into prepared pan and then bake for 30-40 min until skewer comes clean.  I really had to watch mine – at the end of the 30 min I had to keep checking so they wouldn’t burn.  Cool in pan and then slice into squares. Store in closed container OR refrigerate.  I preferred the ones in the refrigerator they were so yummy!

What a cool recipe!  Now, one big distinction here is mine were NOT dairy-free OR gluten-free.  In the original recipe there is almond meal and dark chocolate and gluten-free baking powder.  I have none of those and am allergic to almonds– so that was definitely a change.  However, do go and make the recipe the original way – I only wish I could sub in those ingredients!

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