On this cold, December morning, sounds of a crackling fire and Christmas music should fill the air. Instead, I’m stuck listening to unabated sounds of cleaning going on above my head. Our upstairs neighbor, who is generally loud enough when her heels meet the hardwood, has decided that this morning should be spent pounding nails into the floor while dragging a vacuum over apparently threadbare rugs. At least, that’s what I imagine she’s doing as I try to eat my breakfast in peace, staring at our overloaded Christmas tree and willing my mind to function despite the racket.We live in a condo, which is actually going on the market next week. The pounding and grating in my ears is made somewhat sweeter as I think of a place to call my own that includes four walls (and hopefully a fire that I can hear crackling in time to Christmas music). But, until that day comes, I’m left dealing with the racket in the best way I know how.

Writing is made difficult, so I instead tiptoe into the kitchen. I try to move as silently as possible, hoping to counteract the Armageddon upstairs. Opening cabinet doors and peering inside to take stock of ingredients, I decide that baking something for my husband’s fellow teachers will drown out distractions and center me once again.

Being the end of the week, the contents of my cupboard are somewhat bare, but I forge ahead and decide to try out a Flourless Brownie I came across the other day. The pictures had appeared fluffy and rich, and had received great reviews as far as texture and taste (even from biased judges such as children and picky relatives). The curve ball in this mixture was the main ingredient…Black Beans. I was skeptical, but gave them a try anyway.

After modifying a few of the ingredients, they turned out quite nicely, especially warm out of the oven – the chocolate chips sank to the bottom and provided a lovely gooeyness. I will say that this will not be my ultimate go-to brownie recipe, nor did they make the cut for sending off with my husband, but they will make a fantastic snack with some peanut butter for later in the afternoon!

This is VERY easy. Admittedly there is a slight black bean consistency to them, but that could be because I realize they’re in there. Enjoy! And let me know if you make them, or if you’ve tried another version that’s worked well for you.

Gooey GrainFree Brownies

  • 2 cups Black Beans (or 1 can of no salt added)
  • 3 lightly beaten eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or melted butter) – I used half of each
  • 1/4 cup carob powder (or cocoa if you prefer)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I also put in some grain-sweetened semi-sweet)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8×8 pan. Toss all but the chocolate chips into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the chocolate and mix until blended (with a spoon, not the blender!) Pour into the pan and bake for about 30 minutes.

This blog is a part of Simple Lives Thursday, by Sustainable Eats.

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