Black Bean Brownies: Make it for Bae

Happy almost Valentine’s Day! ❤ ❤ ❤ I hope you’re super pumped to spend this weekend with the people you love! I’m hoping to fill Saturday with a friend-brunch, a good run, a baseball game and lots of warm blankets. This cold weather is killing me, but at least it’s sunny.

In honor of love, I had to try a new to me recipe full of lovely ingredients to share with some of my favorite girls. These Black Bean Brownies are absolutely phenomenal! Of course, I didn’t let anyone come into the kitchen during this baking adventure because I didn’t want any biased opinions. Luckily, the end product was better than I could have ever hoped for. I was expecting a hint of “earthy” flavor, but these brownies were fudgy and so decadent. I cannot say enough about this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie! If you’re skeptical, you should totally make them for laughs (and be surprised).

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Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (15 oz can, drained and rinsed well)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup quick cook oats
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8×8 dish. Toss all of the ingredients besides the chocolate chips into a food processor or blender (I used a blender) and blend thoroughly until smooth and batter-like. Stir in chocolate chips and spread the mixture into the baking dish. Bake for 15-18 minutes (18 worked best for me) then cool for an additional 10 minutes before cutting.

Again, huge shoutout and thank you to Chocolate Covered Katie for this recipe; I can’t wait to explore her site even more!

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These are especially amazing with a cold glass of almond milk, and I can only imagine that a scoop of ice cream would be to die for! Let me know if you try them! Happy Valentine’s weekend, y’all! ❤

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Blast Off

Good morning beautiful people! On a scale of 0—Awesome, how dumb is that title? I’m going with awesome. I guess I’m breaking typical blog rules and posting on a Saturday, but hey, it’s always fun to be a little rebellious. Plus it’s just been too long since I’ve hung out over here. Here’s a countdown of some random things that have made unexpected appearances in my life lately. They’re all pretty cool though, so I’m not complaining!

Four foods/drinks I’ve been eating, craving, and loving:

1 // Wow green smoothies! I am pretty proud to include this on the list because it means I’m officially a smoothie person. Holla! I’ve made my fair share of berry smoothies with yogurt for a base, but I decided to get crazy and experiment with greens. Needless to say, it was a success because my mom even liked it. Here’s what I threw in: a huge handful of spinach, frozen mango, frozen banana, pineapple, and water. So good! (A tip for green smoothies: blend greens and water well before adding the fruit…just trust me.)

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2 // Chocolate pudding, where have you been all my life? My mom has gotten me on a pudding after dinner kick, and I’m not even mad about it. Here’s the great thing about pudding: it’s good but not too rich, you get to put Cool Whip on it (as if I need an excuse to eat Cool Whip), and it’s the perfect dessert because you don’t even really have to feel bad about it. Join the pudding club! You won’t regret it!

3 // Cottage cheese. I’m weird. I became a believer at the Jason’s Deli salad bar, and now I think everybody needs to love it. I like it plain, on a salad, or with coconut and dark chocolate chips mixed in. The protein benefits are pretty sweet too! Check out this graphic at Women’s Health to see where cottage cheese falls on the list of protein rich foods.

4 // Coffee all day everyday! I actually don’t drink it everyday, but I should. This hot weather has me especially loving iced coffee lately! Here’s a transformation Saturday for you: the first coffee I would ever drink was the tiny drop they put in Starbucks’ frappuccinos, and look at me now. Going for a plain iced coffee with skim milk and no sugar. Crazy how the times change; we grow up way too fast.

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Three places that I call “my places” in Bainbridge:

1 // The Bean. If college has taught me anything it’s that your house isn’t where you do productive things. You have to go to a coffee shop where people can see you listening to hip music and doing your thing (that’s not why I go at all though). Whether it’s sitting outside with friends or getting studying done, The Bean is the perfect atmosphere for anything. Comfy and quaint!

bean photo creds to Chelsea Kornse

2 // The Square. All I have to do is go downtown, spread out my quilt, and I’m loving life. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older but downtown Bainbridge is becoming such a special place to me. From the thick green grass to the brick street to the “smile and speak to everybody” vibe, it’s just beautiful. **Sorry, I should’ve warned you to grab a tissue for that one!

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courthousephoto creds to Chelsea Kornse

3 // My house. This is not a joke at all! It is so sweet to have a summer at home with my fam. Though taking classes is not the most exciting way to spend the summer, it has been one of the best decisions for so many reasons. I’m pursuing my passion for nutrition, getting to grow my relationships with my family, and cherishing my town in a way I never have before. I foresee many memories being made here over the next two months.

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Two exercises that have been my go to lately:

1 // Biking like it’s my job. I ride my bike basically every single day, no lie. It’s such a fun exercise, and everything looks better on/from a bike. I’ve been able to ride all over town, and luckily I haven’t gotten completely sketched out yet. If you’ve been feeling out of the whole exercise thing lately, pull your bike out of the depths of your garage or borrow a friend’s and go ride for a while. It’s cathartic. Btw, the train trestle at sunset has to be one of the most picturesque views around.

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2 // Lifting weights! I’ve read, you’ve read, we’ve all read forever that we girls need to lift heavy weight because it boosts metabolism, tones muscles, and is so great for bone health. I kinda avoided the weight part of the gym and stuck with cardio until the beginning of the summer, but now I love weights. I think one of the greatest things about them is that you can see results so quickly, and I can already tell how much stronger I’ve gotten since I can grab heavier weights now. (Sorry I don’t have any pics for this. I’ll have to get Cole, my brother, to teach me about gym selfies. 😉 No shame in his game.)

One lesson I’ve learned over the past few months:

1 // Take a risk. Step out of your comfort zone. You never know what will happen, but it’s guaranteed to be a memory. Just make sure to check for rocks before you jump!

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Hope y’all have a fun, chill, relaxing, or exciting weekend–whatever you’re needing! Let me know, what are you loving or learning lately?