Some visually hypnotizing black bean brownies for you.
Song of the Day to play while baking them: Wayfairing Traveler by Keyon Harrold
I am calling these brownies “Shades of Brown(ies)” in celebration of International Women’s Day–which is just a handful of days away–and the wrapping up of Black History Month. These are a metaphor for the beautiful blending/intermingling of POC post-trump and post-Wakanda and all that love, support, power and fearlessness experienced and shared between us women and POC (especially those who love brownies), obviously. 🙂
They happen to be sans gluten, vegan, and laminated with a trio of nutty butters.
So a couple things first…
ABOUT MY BODY GROWING STRONGER: First listen to this podcast from the Food Heaven Show by my girls Wendy and Jess: Body Kindness Episode– I love this episode because it brings a bit of realism but also ENCOURAGEMENT to those whose bodies don’t fit the ‘healthy’ body stereotype served in most social spaces. As a woman who dabbles in the health space everyday I was plagued with anxiety about my bubblicious body; I wanted it to reflect what I thought people would expect and respect. This episode just offers an extra bit of breathing space for bodies like mine. (Read more about my body revelations below while we indulge in some dark chocolate together..)
Yes, Let me set you up with these Brownies:
I use the entire can of black beans in this recipe. I repurpose the liquid like aquafaba and I attribute the nice crackly crust to its presence–it also acts as the binder/the egg in the recipe. So a two for one–you know I love two for ones! Only seven ingredients, and I am having so much fun coming up with more recipes like these, and loving my growth in this baking world. I may have to come out with a Black Girl Baking #2 if I keep this up!
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 can of black beans, beans and liquid separated
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 tsp salt
- Toppings: 2-3 tbsp melted chocolate, 2-3 tbsp creamy peanut butter, 2-3 tbsp creamy almond butter, 2-3 tbsp creamy tahini
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and have a 7″X11″ baking dish oiled and lined with parchment nearby.
- Melt the chocolate chips with the 2 tbsp of olive oil (in the microwave or over a double boiler) and mix until smooth. Set aside.
- In a food processor, puree the black beans, remainder of the olive oil, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract until completely smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, and stir in the melted chocolate.
- In a clean stand mixer with whisk attachment or in a bowl with a handheld beater, beat the liquid from the can of black beans on high until completely frothy, about 5 or so minutes. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, sift the cacao powder, baking soda and salt together to remove the lumps. Mix to combine well, and then add it into the bowl with the pureed black beans. Mix to combine, and then fold in the frothy black bean liquid gently until just combined. Don’t overmix it. Transfer the batter to the oiled baking dish, and spread evenly.
- Alternate spooning small dollops of the almond butter, peanut butter, and tahini over the brownie mix. Then drizzle over the melted chocolate, Using a toothpick or a chopstick like me, and drag it gently through the dollops, swirling just along the surface until you’re happy with the design. Plop in the oven and bake for 45ish minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and chill in the freezer for an hour before slicing to keep the surface from over cracking when you go to cut it.
NOTES: Blend the black beans separately before adding the sugar and oil if you really want to ensure no traces of black bean skin.
While there is no added refined sugar in this recipe, most sources of chocolate contain refined sugar. Be sure, if this is an issue for you, that you check the labels.
Make sure to mix all your nut butters in the jar first so they spread and swirl easily after adding them to the top of the brownie batter.
Some Podcasts for this week:
- Side Hustle School
- A Hungry Society
- Uncut Podcast- Slice and Torte(thanks for the shoutout, girls!)
- and The Coffee Colored Couple on Anchor- My friend Corrine Dacosta has started a podcast with her hubby! Check it out. –talking more about our early struggles in the journey toward merging business and personal life with each other below.
Some fun BGB cookbook features this week. I want to thank my friends for celebrating pieces of the book on their own platforms and supporting me. I have so much love for you!!
- I got to speak with Wendy and Jess for Black History Month about Black Girl Baking, about claiming and navigating my blackness in the food space + more. Listen to the podcast episode HERE.
- My friends Ryan and Adam made my Tofu Chocolate Chip cookies and did a LIVE, that was seriously entertaining. The episode will be up soon on their youtube, but in the meantime please watch and follow them here if you are looking for something/some new people to love.
- Also BOSTON BOOK SIGNING PARTY– if you’re in BOSTON March 23rd, around lunchtime I am having a small/short book signing in South Station at Barbara’s Bookstore. Stop by and taste some pieces from the book! Xx Email email@example.com if you have more questions!
Also inspired this week by the women in this refinery29 article: Black Women You Need to Know Right NOW!
My Body (Continued): Everyone’s health is a personal journey. And we are not in competition (just like with everything else in life) with our neighbor. Things come to us as we need them, when we need them and when we are open to receiving them; and you are the most receptive when you are the most loving (to your body).
I’ve finally started practicing yoga. My entire life I’ve stuck to jogging (mostly on the treadmill), ellipticaling and recently piyo, some weight lifting, a lot of squats, and then lots of meditating, but never slowed down to understand and practice yoga despite all the years and signs that it was a fitting practice for me. And since starting, it has given me the this profound inner strength and confidence that often felt shaky inside me, and I’m sure once I make this practice a solid part of my life, which I will, I will grow exponentially, just the way I was intended to grow.
My advice (and something that is a continuing lesson along my journey but also what I’ve been practicing for many months now): start appreciating, respecting and loving your body just as it is RIGHT NOW, you beautiful queen/king! I’ve accomplished so much since Novemberish following this guide, and I’m not measuring that success in lbs and inches shrunk along my waistline, I’m measuring that success with how much better I feel about myself, how much more I understand my body, how often I have BMs now, and how less often I walk around with a distended belly (thankfully moving away from 98% of the time with this one)–yes that was my life. I used to think about my weight constantly and would obsess over how I was failing myself and my brand whenever my weight increased without a confirmed explanation. I wasn’t eating a lot, I was eating mostly fruits and I was miserable–I was stressing that my glow was going and my body wasn’t as tight and fast-moving as it was just 2-3 years ago. Why was I so stressed all the time over little things, and why my sleep was so disturbed at night when my energy was pitiful during the day? Why was my body constantly bloated and backed up?!?!? This was more than the effects of ageing–I felt heavy and weighed down by pressures to conform and pressures to keep up with everybody else. Nothing good was going on inside me because I didn’t feel good about me.
I just stopped. I stopped criticizing and trying to shrink myself into some standard way of looking and being. Once I wrote my beliefs down about going against the grain in my business and building my own mold (some posts back), I watched that mentality seep into other areas of my life–like body consciousness, and I began to forgive and let my body breathe and fluctuate and flow just as it needed to with no judgements or time constraints. I let it eat what it wanted, I let it move when it needed, I just let it be.
Since then, I’ve discovered so many things about my body besides that it’s STRONG AS HELL. In just the past couple weeks I found some insight about why my innards haven’t been operating at their highest for so long. I met with my mother in New York on my book signing tour, and she told me about this internet doctor who elaborates on different body shapes and what it means about what’s going on in your body. I went numb in the head listening to her talk about weight at the breakfast table–by this time I was done listening to talk like this and I’d rejected this obsession and value scale, but she said some things I couldn’t ignore about physical energy, and that’s when my ears perked. Some research and youtube videos later, I wondered if I had been suffering from adrenal fatigue and if I’d been in a really bad state/stage for a couple years now. I had all the symptoms listed. My memory jumped back to November 2015– when I went through some of the most stressful and self-stretching moments in my life and my career. I was a terrified girl then who shivered and shook whenever I had to represent myself in front of people. I was a girl who took risky jumps but doubted herself all the way through it. That winter my entire body broke out in a disabling rash. I stopped working out because of it too. I remember that time and cringe because I was so stressed. And that’s around the same time my body began to change. Something was different. Bad-different.
Long story short, two+ years later, I am realizing there has still been something off since then. I notice how too much sugar (especially lots of fruit and those over-hyped fruit-based smoothie bowls), affect me poorly and spike my insulin levels, and I am taking steps to reduce these things. It doesn’t mean that I will stop baking, God no, but it does mean that I have more incentive to bake with better ingredients or ingredients that aren’t as hard on my body. ALSO taking digestive enzymes is changing my LIFEEEEE. Why nobody told me about these?~?~?
SOON TO COME by months end so keep a lookout:
- Our 30 day Yoga Challenge Experiment for Inner Strength and Confidence
- Our Favorite Sugar-free Breakfast Recipes
ABOUT STARTING AN OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITH BAE: Currently sitting with Eric right now, eating these, now chilled, brownies, and brainstorming ways we can build on our future TOGETHER. As far as business goes, this is new territory for us, because, while I use the hell out of Eric’s beautiful hands and while he is the most supportive and encouraging beam of light and offerer of sufficient bounce back when I’m shooting off him, we don’t actually work WORK together, and this is something I’ve been desperate to change. Sometimes business conversations with him leave me exhausted though, because we have entirely different approaches to accomplishing things. He is stubbornly practical and I’m a stubborn idealist. But with our desire to combine forces successfully and gracefully, we are open to new approaches on how to flow together better in order to build something great. I know our differences, without a doubt, will make us stronger, and that’s what keeps the conversation open. For now I am trying to get out of my head about it and just enjoy the ride, despite us being very serious about it at the same time.
In the interim, we’re on the look-out for insight on how people have built a thriving and emotionally healthy business with their partner mostly so that we have more compassion for ourselves and each other during the transition. In the end I believe that everything will fall into place as we both need it to and there really is no need to force or overthink it. I can live with baby-steps despite my sometimes creeping impatience.
P.s- We are moving from Boston later this year (something we’ve talked about since arriving back in late 2014 but something that snuck up real quick on us); Details soon to come on this and all the new projects as soon as they’re up and running!