One little Food with a Whole Lot of Nutrition!!
When I was contacted to review the cookbook, Vegan Beans from Around the World by Kelsey Kinser, I was all over it! We all want to eat healthier, right? I know I do! Beans happen to be an underused and undervalued protein rich super food ….. that are also very easy on our pocketbook!
Adventure and food generally don’t mix in my book. I had visions of using some crazy ingredients, but thankfully nothing has been out of the ordinary and I actually have most of it on hand. The one tidbit I love is that Kelsey made sure that the ingredients were accessible to all of us. Don’t you hate it when there are some truly off the wall ingredients that you can only find online, overseas, or in New York City ….. which happens to be the melting pot of the world? You should be able to find every ingredient in any major grocery store!! Love!!
Even though the title says ‘vegan beans’, you do not need to be a vegan or vegetarian to benefit from this cookbook. If you aren’t vegan, and don’t strive to be…it doesn’t matter…..you will find 75 protein packed recipes that your family (at least PT will….B and K…..not so much) will ask for over and over again. This cookbook is for all of us looking for healthy and delicious recipes, but who don’t want to put much thought into meal preparation.
I appreciate the first section of this cookbook….full of tips and tricks on beans, ranging from the importance of beans in our diet (beyond being full of protein and fiber, they are also fat and cholesterol free, rich in potassium, folate, iron, manganese and magnesium) to the pros and cons of both dry and canned beans and the conversion factors if you are using the canned versus dry. She even delves into beans being the “magical fruit”, causing just a few gastrointestinal for some of us. Soaking the beans should help you digest them better, as it removes some of the oligosaccharide that our body has trouble breaking down. Who knew!!
This made me laugh, as one of my Mom’s favorite sayings is “Beans, beans, the musical fruit…… the more you eat the more you toot”!!
This cookbook covers it all…..recipes ranging from soups and salads, snacks and side dishes, main dishes…..and even drinks and desserts! I have to tell you that I love the recipes that I have tried so far: Cuban Black Beans, Colombian Red Beans, New Year’s Black-Eyed Peas, Bean Burritos and the fudgy Black Bean Brownies!
Next up will have to be the Italian “Meat” Balls featuring cannelloni beans….
I thought I would share a recipe from her cookbook, and as I haven’t done a Wicked Weekend post in awhile, I thought it would be great to share the Black Bean Brownies. These were a piece of cake to put together….everything done in my Ninja blender! PT actually made a version of this years ago using 1 can of black beans and 1 gluten free brownie mix. I like the fact that this version doesn’t have any flour in them, very little sugar and has flax seeds for additional nutrition.
These are not your normal brownies, and they do take some getting used to. The first bite is an eye opener, but you truly do feel like you are eating a deep, dark chocolate brownie. It is a win-win, as you are satisfying your sweat tooth and getting lots of fiber in every bite!
The only con that I can see is that there aren’t any pictures! I love looking at photos of food, and would love to have seen at least a dozen or so pictures sprinkled throughout! Pictures also allow me to see if my finished product looks anything like the authors……
This one little con should not detract you from seeking out this cookbook. The recipes are too good to miss out on! You can find Vegan Beans from Around the World (from Ulysses Press) at any of your local book stores for $15.99, but I know that you can find the kindle version for even less!!
Hmmmm…… this might be the perfect gift for my sister, who doesn’t eat anything that moves or has parents! She is a vegetarian, but as there are so many different varieties, I cannot tell you with confidence which version she is! 😉
- 1 (15.5 oz) can of black beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups of well-cooked black beans)
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil (coconut oil can be used, but will result in a slight coconut taste)
- 2½ Tbsp of fresh ground flax sees whisked into 3 Tbsp of warm water
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup and 1 Tbsp cocoa powder (sift if full of clumps)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (I used my homemade version)
- 1 tsp coffee
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Optional: Walnuts or dairy free chocolate or carob chips for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Using either a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients except for the toppings. Blend well, stopping at least once to scrape down the sides of the blender carafe and blending again. You do not want any large chunks of beans in this batter. It should be very smooth.
- Pour batter into an 8 x 8 inch glass baking dish.
- Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until knife comes out clean.
- Cool for at least a half hour before cutting and serving.
Disclaimer: Although I received a complimentary copy of this book, I am not affiliated with the author or publisher of this book, nor did I feel obligated to write a review or positive review in exchange. I am just a person who is excited to have a cookbook full of healthy recipes that so far taste amazing!!