To accompany our hour-long chat (BTW, 8-11 year old girls get just as restless as boys...I now know this), I made them cookies and brownies.
Aha! But not just regular cookies and brownies, I made them healthy Plant-Based cookies and brownies. And the whole day I was just sitting in my mind thinking, "What have I done? They're going to hate them. The moment I tell them what's in them, they're going to make faces and push them away. They'll never want to eat any of my treats ever again!"
(The final thought of "I'm going to have to eat all of them!" actually wasn't that bad). :)
So, the activity started...I put the desserts on the table and I told them, "Okay, try them first...and then I'll tell you what's in them. But you have to guess the secret ingredient!"
Naturally, the girls were hesitant. They thought I probably poisoned them or something. But soon, I was hearing, "These are so good!" "Is it cinnamon?" "Is it cashews?" "Is it spinach?" "Is it zucchini?"
Finally I told them that the brownies were Black Bean Brownies (from my favorite Happy Herbivore), and that the cookies were Chickpea Chocolate Chip (from The Colorful Kitchen).
They were made out of BEANS.
All the girls begged me to send the recipes to their moms. And one of them stressed that her brothers couldn't find out that there were beans in the cookies...or they'd never eat them. So I had to promise to be discreet;)
Since I don't want to just keep the recipe to myself and within the surprised little ladies who ended up LOVING the cookies and brownies, here are the recipes!
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 40 min
Dense, fudge-y and ultra-healthy, these brownies are a great alternative to traditional brownies! It's amazing how they taste like chocolate and fudge and not beans! Chef's Notes: Rolled oats run through the food processor may substituted for the instant oats. Use optional sugar if your bananas are still green and not very ripe.
15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
2 whole bananas
⅓ cup agave nectar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup raw sugar (optional)
¼ cup instant oats
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8x8" pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the oats and pour batter into the pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing. Chef's Note: if you find these brownies are too soft or too fudge-y, add another 1/4 cup oats or flour.
The Colorful Kitchen
makes about 16 cookies
What you’ll need:
1.5 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 15oz can
1/2 cup peanut butter (I always look for unsweetened)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup agave
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chocolate chunks or chips (can substitute carob chips)
Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine chickpeas, peanut butter, vanilla extract, agave, baking powder and salt in blender until mostly smooth. The batter will be a little thick so you may need to scrape the sides down a couple of times.
Transfer batter to a medium bowl and mix in oats and chocolate.
Wet hands and roll batter into balls about 1.5″ thick. Place on baking sheet 1″ apart. Use the palm of your hand to slightly flatten balls on top.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until cookies are firm on edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before enjoying.