09 February 2013

Simple Gifts: Revolutionary Black Bean Brownie Dip

Post II of III in Simple Gifts series

Changing your health, particularly losing weight, isn't just about letting go of pounds, it's also about letting go of that which doesn't serve you: people, jobs, over-the-top responsibilities, habits...in short,


A revolutionary new way to have a brownie is this proteinaceous snack or pudding or dessert. It will satisfy you and give you energy to burn without a crash because the plant protein and fibre will slow down the absorption of the sugar from the dates.

Mint Brownie Dip

1 cup hot water
1 bag mint tea (I used Tazo, but use whatever mint tea you like best)
1 cup dates
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup almond butter or hempseeds
2 16-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 unsweetened or Dutch-process cocoa
2 tablespoons GF rolled oats
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
dash Kosher salt
dash cinnamon (optional)

1 cup raisins or other dried fruit
1 cup sliced almonds or shelled pistachios

Boil the water. Pour the water into a small measuring cup.  Steep the teabag in the water for as long as you have patience. Remove the teabag and place the dates in the water. Either cover and refrigerate to soak overnight or soak uncovered for anywhere from 1-8 hours.

When you are ready, drain the dates (drink the tea; it’s delicious!). In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients save the dried fruit and nuts, tamping or scraping down periodicially to make sure the beans and dates are obliterated.  You may want to blitz the dates first just to make sure they are incorporated before adding everything else. 

Enjoy while listening to The Piano Guys “SimpleGifts/Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” After a friend introduced me to The Piano Guys while driving home from an SCA event, I’ve been hooked on their cello-piano duets.  “Simple Gifts” and “Lord of the Dance” (both pagan and Christian versions) is one of my favourite religious songs.

Besides these recipes, I truly am trying to simplify my life and learning a heck of a lot about myself in the process.  I know I reach for social media and email first thing when I feel lonely or otherwise unfulfilled. As I am adjusting to a more social work environment, I don’t really want to check in every half an hour with what’s happening on the interwebs. Clearly humans have survived for years without the degree of connectivity we currently have. While dismissing social media because of its nonexistence in the past is not necessarily a valid argument for my not using it—one could say one’s survival today in a digital world depends on to some degree one’s capacity for social media—I can manage how big of a chunk of time I give it.

I used to be good at asking myself, “What are you craving, really?  Do you want company? Do you just want to ‘fill the void?’” Having learned a little about macrobiotics, I ask, “Do you need something soft, yin, expansive to take the edge off hard, yang, contractive work?”

Yeahhhh. ’Swhy I came up with this blend. And used to eat it at work.

So I am working on asking myself, “What do you need to be kind to yourself, Q?”

Final post in this series will also reflect on social media and what it means (gahhh, academic phrase!) to miss someone/thing/place/noun.
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