Things have been turning around for me this summer. I don’t know if I told you, but Ron and I have had some not-so-great summer adventures. First, when we came back from that national conference a few weeks ago, Ron woke up with 15-20 bug bites. We were convinced we had bed bugs in our hotel room and might have brought them home! We had multiple days of cleaning, steaming, and fumigating our entire apartment ourselves. Things came to a close when we realized that the previous tenants had a carpet beetle infestation–bugs that look like bed bugs but are much less invasive. Sigh of relief.
Then, literally a few days later, Ron’s computer stopped working. After trying EVERYTHING (re-formatting, resetting his computer PRAM), he reluctantly had to give his expensive Mac up to the genius bar.
I also ended up having Chronic Hives all summer. (Yes, I have had hives this whole time! 3 months of summer.) In fact, I still have them! I can’t wear fragrance, I can only use sensitive skin everything, and I have to take 3 antihistamines a day. I’m actually going in for blood-testing this week to make sure everything is okay.
After all that, my point is that Ron and I have had a strange summer. But, things weren’t all bad, and we’re actually having a great time! We moved in together, which feels SO much better than having to constantly pack our stuff and move one place to the next. One of my jobs ended, too, and everything feels just a little less stressful. Life is good! Life’s a beach!
Anyway, now that things have slowed down, we had two dinners this week (two nights in a row!) to show our friends our new place! We created two dinner menus and desserts. The first night we made dressed-up brownies from a box–I added a cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk swirl. But when Ron and I both woke up feeling blah from too many brownies and red wine, I decided to try and make things a little healthier. How about Extra Fudgey Mocha Brownies? Made with-gasp–black beans!
These fudge brownies are SO good. I cannot stress that enough. (Ron is obsessed with them!) And at 100 calories per square, you can’t beat ‘em. They have an interesting texture–too smooth and dense (not cake-like) to be a brownie, but not quite oily enough to be a fudge. It’s something in between! A guest who tried them said, “You’d never know these had black beans in them! They taste like a dense mousse!”
I adapted Melissa d’Arabian’s Black Bean Brownie recipe to make these squares of heaven. I replaced the necessary oil with applesauce (using only a tsp of coconut oil), used Oat flour instead of regular flour, used dark chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet or milk chocolate, used all Stevia in the recipe (no sugar), added extra vanilla and instant coffee, and added 3-4 dates to the recipe. I also used Trader Joe’s Cocoa powder, which has more cocoa solids and is a darker chocolate than Hershey’s Cocoa powder. These brownies pack quite a punch of protein with black beans, oat flour, and eggs. (And don’t forget the fiber from the beans, dates, and oats!) I think I’m going to freeze these and see how they taste cold. Definitely try these! You won’t be disappointed. And enjoy!