One of my favourite plant power books is Brendan Brazier’s “Thrive” . If you’re a plant based athlete there’s lots of interesting stuff in there, but if you’re more couch potato athlete like me, it’s still a good resource. There are recipes too and one of my favourites is the black bean lime salsa:
It’s simple, fresh and tasty: black beans, tomato, garlic, coriander (cilantro), lime juice, balsamic vinegar and hemp oil (I left out the cayenne). Really filling, and I’m thinking of giving jars of this as part of Christmas gifts.
So lately I’m on a baking roll with Ricki Heller’s ‘Naturally Sweet & Gluten Free’. I’m really enjoying these recipes and seeing how Arthur and DeeW react. Their reactions, and this book, are proof enough that you don’t need to bake with refined flours and sugars.
A recipe I marked was the Best Bean Brownies. I’ve made brownies with beans before from different websites and cookbooks and they’ve all been blah. You can either taste beans, or the final result was just moosh inside, or you were left feeling like “I may as well have poured a heap of sugar on a bowl of beans and eaten that”. If I’m going to be baking something like bean brownies, they better be damn good!
And so it came to pass that I, not a lover of brownies, now consider these one of my favourite treats to bake. First of all, things are thrown in the blender. BRILLIANT. Secondly, the recipe contains tahini and I loooove tahini and chocolate (I used my raw cacao powder). Thirdly, I finally got to use the packet of teff flour I bought a while ago and it has been sitting in the freezer doing nothing. I used canned cannellini beans so it really was so very easy. Mix your wet ingredients with your sifted dry ingredients (which include psyllium husks), bake for about an hour, walk around the house Hoovering up the amazing baking-brownie smell and then sit down to stuff your face with THIS (yeah, I cut a big piece as soon as they were out of the oven, stuck it in the freezer and hopped around impatiently for it to cool down enough):
I love this recipe (the white choc chips made an appearance again) and Arthur loved it too. I did use slightly less coconut sugar and they were great. You absolutely can not pick up the flavour of beans. I could taste the sunflower oil so if you don’t like that taste, perhaps another neutral flavoured oil would suit you. I didn’t mind it at all, which is why I polished off most of the finished product.
I will definitely make this again and perhaps add some pecans or walnuts. I’m planning on baking for Christmas gifts this year so if it’s not too hot to use the oven, these brownies will be a main feature 😀
After my visit to Wide Open Road last week, I’ve been thinking about those beans. I thought about them again today when I saw two cans of butter beans in my pantry. I bought canned butter beans ages ago, to do something that I obviously forgot about. Then of course my mind started ticking, could I replicate the canellinni beans recipe at home? Probably not but it was worth a shot.
Surprisingly, they actually tasted pretty good. This is what I did with no exact measurements, just a bit of this and a bit of that.
I opened two 400g cans of pre-cooked butter beans and rinsed-drained them. I put about one and a quarter cans worth in the blender with about half a cup of water and lightly pulsed so they were halfway between pureed and solid. Then I loosely mashed the remaining beans by hand, leaving enough chunks. I added the slightly-pureed beans and the slightly mashed beans to a small saucepan. Whisked them together to break up lumps.
To the beans I added a sprig of fresh rosemary, the juice of half a large lemon (the lemon was too soft to zest), a tiny pinch of onion powder and ground pepper to taste. The consistency was a little soupy but I knew it would thicken up. I got them to a slow bubble on a low heat, stirring often.
When they were done and put in their serving bowl, I drizzled a little extra virgin olive oil on top and sprinkled a generous amount of a pistachio dukkah:
Sure, they’re not slow cooked but if you’re impatient like me (or have had rotten luck with making slow cooked beans, like me), then these could provide you with a nice quick, easy and cheap comforting cold weather meal.