I'm just going to warn you now: the 3rd and final bean recipe I have to share is for brownies. Yes, brownies. So you're going to want to keep reading this until the end.
I've been intrigued with dried beans for years. Stared at them for years in canisters on my mom's French canning rack. Researched them but have still been intimidated by them for years. Maybe it's that whole soaking-overnight thing? Seems rather high maintenance for a dirt-cheap nutrition-packed super food. So in order to sidestep the not even difficult part about soaking beans, I simply found a recipe that specifically told me that I didn't need to soak the beans.
Thank you, Deb, from Smitten Kitchen, for proving yet again that you know, well, pretty much everything. And I quote: "You can soak your beans but there's no need to." And then later she says (as if she can read my somewhat skeptical mind): "This recipe doesn't call for or require pre-soaking."
The recipe: Three-Bean Chili from Smitten Kitchen. The not-presoaked dried beans (kidney and black, in my case) cooked to perfect tenderness, and this vegetarian chili was so easy and hearty and just plain great comfort food.
Well, I couldn't stop at just one chili recipe (mainly because I had half of the bags of dried beans calling to me in the pantry waiting to be used again). So, I found another vegetarian slow-cooker chili recipe, this one from the blog Clean Green Simple, and we had chili again the next week.
Drumroll, please: Black Bean Brownies! You literally dump everything in a food processor, whir it into a batter in which you can't tell the difference (I swear) between "bean" and "cocoa powder." And then bake it to perfection.
Now, being the completely brilliant baker that she is, I must share my cousin's totally incredible edit to this recipe. She made the recipe as-is, and the result was a dense and incredibly fudge-y brownie. When she made it a second time (and this is what I did when I got around to making these brownies), she added 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. The result: a cakier, fluffier, lighter brownie (that didn't lose any of the chocolate punch it had before).
Confession: I preferred the fudgy brownie (recipe as-is), my husband preferred the cakier brownie (recipe + 1/2 tsp each baking soda and powder). It's up to you. "Choose your own adventure" brownies, if you will.
Hi! I'm the creator of Pot Belly Bird, hailing from Spokane, WA. Here in my blog, I'll tell you about all the fun stuff I'm up to in addition to making cards, like cooking or biking or gardening!