Bean Brownies? Yup, they are real, they are good and they are (mostly) preschooler approved.
I found this recipe over at Mealtime Hostage. I found her blog during the race to the Top 25 Canadian Mom blogs (I didn't make it). I was hooked. She is another Canadian mom with twins. Her twins are older and she has a selective eater. This is not a picky eater, this is more, but I will let you read her blog for more info on that. I worry sometimes that my kids may be headed this way as the food list they are willing to eat gets smaller and smaller, but that is a different story for another time.
So Bean Brownies. I liked the recipe enough to want to try it. It was naturally gluten free plus with 3 eggs and a can of black beans they are full of protein. But being me, I couldn't leave well enough alone. I try to avoid excess sugar for the kids, not none, but control it. So the first thing I did was cut the sugar by half a cup. This being new, I didn't want to vary that much so I decided to break out the Krisda. This stevia blend is one that you can substitute measure for measure for sugar, so added half a cup of it. And I love coconut oil making that was my oil of choice, which meant a bit of an extra step to melt it a bit. And I like raw cacao over your everyday processed cocoa.
Our friends Monika and Aias were coming over to help. In advance of 3 preschoolers in my kitchen trying to cook at the same time with no patience, I poured the ingredients into measuring cups in advance. So they would cook a bit faster and cool a bit faster, I also went with the mini-muffin format over the cake pan. This made 24 of these two-bite brownies.
The kids were all quite good at taking turns cracking eggs, running the food processor and stirring.
Although both my kids like to push buttons Corwyn usually gets upset quickly at the volume of the food processor. He takes a small turn then puts his hands over his ears telling me Too loud mommy, too loud! and demanding it be shut off. So to keep him happy (distracted) while Nathan and Aias had a turn at the machine I let him pour all the dry ingredients into the bowl.
Then all three crowded around the bowl to stir. Nathan insisted on helping me pour the wet mixture in, then gave up quickly on the stirring so he could lick the dirt off of each spoon (yes, he called it dirt).
Nathan was very happy to put parchment paper liners in all the mini-muffin tins. He considered it his job and didn't really let anyone help. I've said before how much I love parchment paper liners. It keeps everything from sticking with no oil.
I let them put in some dairy free mini chips for some extra chocolate taste (less than a quarter cup). Then it was time for sprinkles. Sigh. Yes, they are chemical toxins but 3 year olds and sprinkles seem made for each other. They did a fabulous job taking sprinkle turns and you could still see the cupcake brownies. They put sprinkles only one half of them.
Overall, the kids were great waiting for them to cook. Nathan kept running to check but didn't try to take them out of the oven. I tossed one pan into the fridge to cool faster. From making many gluten-free foods over this year, I knew that any baked goods without flour should be totally cool or they will fall apart. But they were no longer hot enough to burn and it was nearing bedtime so I gave in.
They were good. Very good. Nathan ate as many as he could sneak. Aias had one and took some home for later. Corwyn liked the first bite but on the second gave up. I suspect for him it was more about the texture and taste. He will probably eat more tomorrow now that they are totally cooled and set more.
To me, while still a bit warm, I really noticed the stevia after taste, not enough to ruin them at all, they were still good, but I could taste it. But now that they are totally cool, the stevia taste isn't there anymore at all. Yeah!!!
I wish I had more pictures of the kids baking and eating, but it was more fun being in there than watching and taking pictures.
Check out Mealtime Hostage for the recipe in its original form and for a great new blog. Try the brownies for a wonderful snack for the kids chalk full of protein and no gluten.
We will be making these again in the future. Now that I did them once, I will play with them even more, maybe instead of the half cup of stevia blend, I'll try a fruit puree or something.