Celebration (With a Side of Black Bean Brownies)
The plan was to post this group photo of the March restock pieces on Sunday. And then Sunday became Monday…and then Tuesday (yesterday). And here we are - restock day, the first day of spring.
I blame this last trio of rings that I just HAD to finish.
My whole goal this year was to NOT push myself too hard and to make sure I was never forcing myself to make. But as I came down to the wire, as I continued to tell myself it was ok to stop, I found that I really WANTED to finish these last rings. They felt like they belonged in this collection - a way to bridge the work I have been doing with the work I have planned. So even though time felt short and the schedule I had imagined got thrown in the trash, I made the rings. And they feel so, so right.
I really tried to keep up with writing my listings as I finished pieces over the past six weeks - so while I had a few to finish up this morning, for the most part Ponderosa and I have just been curled up on the couch double checking that everything is ready to go. And it appears that it is. All of the pieces are scheduled to appear in the shop at noon - so now we get to relax and celebrate a little!
And I know the perfect way. Black. Bean. Brownies.
For me at least - because, as we all know, dogs can’t have chocolate. I’ll just give Ponderosa a frozen carrot and she’ll forgive me.
But back to brownies. Eric loves brownies. Like, really, REALLY loves them. So back in February I started working on a recipe that would make both of us happy. For me, I threw in all of the healthy ingredients that mean I can eat them and still feel good - and for him I threw in extra cocoa, chocolate chips, and just enough sweet to make them sing.
Unlike other black bean brownies we’ve tried, these are not just a chocolate-y mush (bleh!). They aren’t sad and pancake-thin. Instead they taste like CHOCOLATE HEAVEN, have a consistency that is both cakey AND fudgy. I may have eaten my way through 4 batches in the past few weeks all in the name of “testing.”
Anyhow, they are fabulous and already a staple in our house. So give them a try the next time you have something to celebrate - even if it’s just that you’ve made it to Wednesday and you feel you deserve a treat - because, obviously, you do!
Black Bean Brownies
1 15oz can black beans, drained and well rinsed
200g of pealed and shredded beets
6 pitted Medjool dates
1/4 cup ground flax
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup +1 Tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup nut or seed butter (almond butter gives the most “classic” brownie flavor - but we’ve also
used both peanut butter and sunflower seed butter to great success! I suspect you could also
substitute 1/2 of an avocado to make this recipe nut-free, but I haven’t tried that myself!)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Begin by peeling and pre-shredding the beets. This whole recipe is mixed up in a food processor, but I find that I get a smoother and more consistent batter if I use a cheese grater to shred the beets before mixing them with the other ingredients. And before I go on - if you’re wondering why the heck a person would put BEETS in BROWNIES it’s because they add a little sweetness, some extra volume, and create a brownie that is incredibly moist and delicious. And, like the beans, you won’t taste them at all once the cocoa goes in.
Measure out 200 grams of the shredded beets and put in the food processor with the beans, dates, flax, and 1/4 cup of water. Run the food processor until the ingredients begin to blend and then add the remaining 1/2 cup of water. Pulse a few times to incorporate and let this mixture sit for 5 minutes so the flax can begin to thicken.
After 5 minutes, add all of the remaining ingredients to the food processor EXCEPT for the the chocolate chips. Blend for about a minute, stopping once or twice to scrape the sides and bottom of the container. Then, add in the chocolate chips and pulse a few times just to get them mixed in.
At this point, you should have a thick batter that resembles a berry smoothie - but it should taste like some sort of chocolate dream.
Use a spatula to pour your batter into a 9”x9” pan and pop it in the oven. I find that 45 minutes creates a brownie that is just BARELY baked - exactly how I like it. But give it a couple of extra minutes if you want a brownie that is more done. Either way, a cake tester poked in the middle of the brownies should come out clean.
Let the brownies cool completely before cutting - and for best results, I recommend letting them sit in the refrigerator overnight. But if you can’t wait, they’re pretty good right when they come out of the oven, too.
I’m getting some excited butterflies now - is it noon yet? Better go eat a brownie…