Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beans, beans, the magical fruit....

I told my kids beans are called the magical fruit and maybe we should taste some and see which one felt the most magical and they bought it!
We tried red kidney beans, green beans, white northern beans, chickpeas, edamame (soy beans), and black beans. There are many other types too that we will try later as the tasting did not go over well. The texture seemed to play a big part, particularly the 'skin'.
Ad depicting different types of beans. Eden is the only brand I know of that has
a BPA-free lining if that is important to you.
  We tried canned beans, beans cooked from scratch, and a couple recipes that puree the beans into them. (Click here for a pizza crust using white bean puree).

Surprisingly, edamame won. I lightly steamed the shelled beans available in the frozen section of the grocery store, and let E sprinkle a bit of salt on them. When I asked her why she liked those, she replied that she could take the 'skin' off to get to "just the magic baby beanstalk". Most of the soy beans have a small stalk at one side.
Green beans came in a close second. These were cooked the same and lightly salted, but not eaten with as much enthusiasm.  I, myself, was happy that at least she ate a new green food.
Of the new recipes with puree or mashed beans, we tried hummus, homemade refried beans, a mild spicy red bean dip, and black bean brownies.
And if you take a wild guess, I'm sure you know which was the winner! This recipe was adapted from one in Delight Gluten Free Magazine. (I added eggs to give it more lift & protein). I give you:
Magic Black Bean Brownies
(16 servings; gluten free; dairy free if using shortening)

* 6 ounces high-quality unsweetened chocolate bars
* 5 tablespoons Earth Balance Na
tural Shortening (or butter)
* 1 can (15 oz) of low sodium black beans, rinsed well and drained (or 1 1/2 cups black beans cooked from scratch)
* 3 eggs
* 1 cup agave nectar (or honey or maple syrup)
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder (if avoiding coffee, sub in 1 teaspoon almond extract)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2/3 cup coconut flour or 2/3 cup almond flour (found in health food section of grocery store)
* 3 tablespoons flax seed meal
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 cup walnut pieces (optional) or 1 cup chopped almonds (optional)
* 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 deg F, and grease a small (8x8 or 9x9) pan. Break up the unsweetened chocolate, and place it in a bowl with butter or shortening. Heat the mixture on low power in the microwave or in a double boiler, stirring often, until it's melted and combined.
2. Meanwhile, put the black beans in the food processor. Process for about 30 seconds until almost smooth. Add 3 eggs; process another 20 to 30 seconds. Add agave (or syrup), vanilla, espresso powder, and salt, and pulse until incorporated.
  1. 3. Add the chocolate mixture, and process 2-3 minutes - until the black beans are obliterated and the mixture is well-combined. 
  2. 4. Add almond flour (or coconut flour), flax meal, and baking soda. Process two minutes more. (This much processing will not make the dough tough since there is no gluten to worry about). Fold in nuts and chocolate chips, if using.
  3. 5. Pour the mixture into the greased baking pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes - until the top is set. Allow to cool for at least an hour; otherwise, the brownies may be too gooey to slice.
  4. 6. Store covered on the counter. These taste best if allowed to sit at least a day. The slight bean taste dissipates and you are left with a fudgy tender brownie. (If you prefer cakey brownies, then this is not the recipe for you).
Nutrition per serving (1 2-inch square): 300 calories, 19 g fat, 32 g carb, 6.7 g fiber, 6.6 g protein.
Note: This can be made without the eggs but notice the difference in the picture below. The one with the eggs has a lot more rise and a better texture and taste.

Black Bean on Foodista

1 comment:

Alisa said...

I followed you from the foodie blog roll and I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site. I hope you could add this black bean widget at the end of this post so we could add you in our list of food bloggers who blogged about recipes for black bean,Thanks!

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