Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chick Pea Brownies: I Know What You're Thinking, but Wait...

   Here's another one of those posts I've been meaning to make forever, but life keeps getting in the way. This time, though, I was determined. I made the plan, I took the pictures, I got the baby sleeping, and here I sit, furiously typing in hopes of getting it done before he wakes up again. IF he wakes up again. It is 8:15pm, but he's a wild card, that sweet little Badger.
TEXTURE APPROVED!
   If there's one thing about food for me is that I'll try anything once. When I was looking for a way to use up my stash of dried beans in a form other than hummus(we love hummus, but you can only do so much of that a week) several years ago, I started to search. Hmmmm... What did Chef Google have to offer? That's when I stumbled across an intriguing headline: Chick Pea Brownies. Are you for real? I am a die-hard chocolate-lover. Was it really possible to make BROWNIES out of CHICK PEAS? Or even ADD the chick peas for a little healthy incentive like I do to sneak some 'healthy' into many dishes? I doubted it mightily, but what did I have to lose? The ingredients were so minimal, I had to give it a shot. Once. I'm so glad I did. Not only are they GOOD, but they're so healthy, dairy-free, gluten-free, and jam-PACKED with protein! They're also a great way to get fiber and nutrients into my SN-kiddo who literally gags and heaves involuntarily at most textures of ANYTHING. Yes, even my sensory guy can chow-down on these brownies thinking he's getting a fabulous treat.
  So I know this list sounds wacky, and even the batter, as you might call the pre-baking soup, is dubious, but fear not. Follow the recipe and You will be pleasantly surprised.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups cooked chick peas
  • 1.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup raw natural honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
That's it. Really ridiculously easy, right? The directions are even easier. You can melt the chocolate over a double boiler or carefully, oh-SO-carefully in the microwave, and these are prepped in less than one minute. Yep- just one minute. Even an insanely busy work-at-home, homeschooling mom of four can do that! First, put the chick peas, eggs, and honey in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add the chocolate and baking powder, and spin a bit more until it's thoroughly combined. Pour it into a greased(we use EVOO) 8x8 pan, then place in a preheated 350-degree oven. Bake for 40 minutes, or until it's softly firm in the center. Now this last step is key: LET THEM COOL! The fresh-from-the-oven texture can be off-putting, but once they're cooled completely, they're very much like a moist, fudgey brownie. Like most baked goods, if you over-cook them, they will be crumbly and dry. If you under-cook them the center will be wet and, um, strange in texture. Yes, I've done it. Both of them. 
You might find that the chick peas are not completely pureed, but that's okay! They're cooked soft to begin with, and when they're baked they are very much the texture of walnuts so unless you're a brownie purist, it's not off-putting at all. 
   So give them a try. Just once. Odds are you're going to be pleasantly surprised and can add this gem to your arsenal of secretly-healthy goodies. 
   Lest I be remiss for leaving them out, the credit for this recipe(which the above is my own derivative of) goes to the blog Married to a Non-Foodie. It was a GREAT food/cooking blog I really enjoyed in 2009, but disappeared from the 'net in early 2010. SUCH a bummer, but I am thankful I had the need to print the recipe before it vanished so I could continue baking these treats and chuckling inside as my kids and husband devoured the ridiculously healthy snacks. 

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