Black Bean Brownies: FOX News Cooking Segments

Beans: the often overlooked “Super-Food”

BEANS are THE highest fiber food in our “whole food” repertoire (natural and not man-made like Fiber one bars). They are high in protein, 16g per cup. They are a very, very slowly digested source of energy yielding carbohydrates; perfect for people with blood sugar issues such as Diabetics.
Beans lower cholesterol, naturally, not because man added something to them. They are high in antioxidants that protect the body from cancer. They aid in weight loss on so many levels, from increasing satiety to lowering leptin levels. 1 ¼ cups of cooked beans provides as much protein as 3 ounces chicken for 1/4th the cost and 2 ½ times more volume. That volume and the super-antioxidant content, plus half of your daily fiber needs, are what makes beans a “Super-Food.” Add to that the fact that beans promote weight loss while allowing you to eat more calories. In a study comparing bean eaters to non-bean eaters, the bean eaters lost 7 pounds more and ate 200 calories more than the non-bean eaters.
The protein in beans is not complete but when you eat whole grains, or other complete proteins throughout the day, your body has what it needs to make complete proteins. In the brownie recipe, we have eggs to make a complete protein. In the shake we have the milk and in the black bean and quinoa mango salad, we have the quinoa to help complete the protein for your body.

When using beans as protein source in the shake, you get the protein you would get from a protein powder but you get so much more, such as Manganese, Magnesium, Copper, Iron, Zinc, All of your B vitamins except B12 plus extra Calcium, Potassium and Omega-3 fats. You don’t get any of that from protein powder and you save $0.37 per serving. The protein shake with beans costs only $0.70 for a 15oz serving.

Black Bean Brownies
Makes 20 servings – Ready in 1 hour

2 cans black beans, drained
6 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cocoa
1 cup chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

9×12 inch baking pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Oil baking pan.
Puree all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a food processor until you reach a smooth consistency.
Pour batter into baking pan. Disperse the chips evenly over top of the batter.
Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Best if refrigerated overnight.
Cut into 20 squares

Cost per serving: $0.51
Nutrients per serving (1 piece, 53g):  Calories: 141, Total Fats: 5 g, Total Carbohydrates: 19 g, Dietary Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 5 g 

% Daily Value
17% manganese
14% copper
12% magnesium
10% phosphorus
  9% iron
  8% selenium
  8% folate
  6% riboflavin, niacin & potassium
  5% zinc

Mango Bean Smoothie
Makes 1 serving – Ready in 5 minutes

1/2 cup white beans (such as navy or pinto)
1/2 mango, rough chopped
1 cup lowfat milk (any type)
2 Tbsp coconut, shredded, unsweetened 
6 mint leaves
4-6 ice cubes, add gradually

Throw everything in a blender and blend. Add ice gradually until your reach a desired consistency.

Cost per serving: $0.70
Nutrients per serving (1 shake/ 2 cups):  Calories: 350, Total Fats: 6 g, Omega-3 fats: 110 mg, Sodium: 140 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 55g, Dietary Fiber: 9 g, Sugars: 27g, Protein: 19g 

% Daily Value (DV)
Manganese:     36%
Calcium:          35%
Potassium:      28%
Vitamin D:       25%
Vitamin A:       20%
Vitamin C:      13%
Copper:           11%
Iron:                18%
Selenium:          4%
Magnesium:    17%
Phosphorus:    17%
Vitamin-E:         2%
Niacin:             10%
B-6:                    7%
Riboflavin:         4%
Zinc:                   8%
Folate:               31%
Thiamin-B1:    18%
B-12:                  0%

Black Bean, Quinoa & Mango Salad
Makes 1 serving – Ready in 10 minutes

1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 mango, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp flax oil
Sea salt & pepper to taste

Per serving: 314 calories, 54g carbs, 11g protein, 6g fat, 245% DV vitamin C, 76% vitamin A, 11-45% for all vitamins and minerals except vitamin D, B12 and calcium.

Kicking the Craving Habit

We have all been plagued by food cravings at some point in our lives. We can’t help it, we’re born to crave. It’s part of survival. At birth we crave sweet because mother’s milk is sweet, and high in fat, so when we taste sweet, we associate sweetness with energy, both immediate and stored fuel. But even when we are old enough to make more cognizant choices, often times those inherent tendencies kick in, especially during times of stress. If we are stressed, either because of a deadline, because we skipped a meal or because we exercised and didn’t eat enough, our survival mechanisms will kick in and we reach for quick-fix sugar sources to feed our brain, and high fat foods to provide long-term storage. We also grab for fatty foods because their texture offers a soothing mouthfeel that is learned. High fat foods are high on the hedonic, “pleasure seeking” food scale.

Statics show that 97% of women & 68% of men experience food cravings, 40% of women and 15% of men crave chocolate. Low levels of serotonin, a “feel good” hormone, has been associated with food cravings. Some experts also believe that cravings are your body’s way of trying to take in lacking nutrients, aside from sugar and fat, your body also uses a lot of vitamins and minerals during times of stress or during strenuous activity. Some of the nutrients our body seeks during times of stress include the B vitamins, prevalent in carbohydrate rich foods, but not in highly processed carb sources. Magnesium is another “nutrient” we crave during stress. Many experts speculate that we crave chocolate because it is a good source of magnesium. But spinach, is even higher when you compare ounce for ounce. And one cup of cooked spinach (about 8 cups raw) is only 53 calories whereas one cup of chocolate is 863 calories. If magnesium is what you are truly craving, then you’d better learn to head the signs and load up on spinach or you’ll be buying new clothes every season and not necessarily because you are so fashion conscious.

Other high magnesium foods include all leafy greens, beans, nuts (especially brazil nuts, cashews, almonds and pumpkin seeds) as well as brown rice, barley, quinoa and dates.

To help you overcome your cravings, keep nutrient dense snack options on hands at all times. Fresh fruit, especially crunchy apples and sweet berries can easily offset your desire for less nutritious options, plus they add disease fighting antioxidants and fiber. Cut up veggies such as cucumbers, carrots and celery and creamy dip made with Greek yogurt will please your palate for creamy, fatty foods, while adding calcium, protein and fiber rich, water rich, low calorie crunch that beats the butt of any potato chip; baked, whole grain or whatever marketing tactic comes along. If nature made it, it’s made to eat, if man made it, RETREAT!

If you really have a chocolate craving, some experts recommend small pieces of dark chocolate, but when you’re truly hungry, your body wants volume and one little 1/2 inch square will not suffice. Instead, try my Aphrodisiac salad that incorporates spicy arugula with sweet berries, zinc rich pine nuts, sweet balsamic vinaigrette dressing, and rich, dark chocolate shaved over top. It’s an unusual combination that satisfies so many senses and can even sublimate for “something” missing, which is another reason we often “crave,” as a substitute for “affection.”

As a final offering, I also recommend simple frozen grapes and an ounce of mixed nuts. Use a portion-friendly container for calorie dense snacks such as nuts. A one cup serving of frozen grapes and a one ounce serving of mixed nuts has 150 fewer calories than a cup of ice cream plus at least 10-20% of all of your essential minerals and most of your vitamins. Ice cream has little to offer besides your daily allotment of saturated fat.

Crispy Kale Chips
Makes 1 serving – Ready in 20 minutes

One bunch kale, dinosaur or curly
2 tsp canola or other high heat oil
Dash of sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry the kale with paper towels. Use kitchen shears or a knife to remove ribs and cut kale into 2 inch pieces. Toss in a bowl with oil and sea salt. Place on 2 large baking trays lined with parchment paper. Bake 10-15 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.

2. Remove the kale chips from the oven. Enjoy!

Nutrients per serving (1 bunch):  Calories: 194, Total Fats: 10 g, Total Carbohydrates: 20 g, Dietary Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 6 g
Daily Value: 400% vitamin C, 180% vitamin A, 10-30% for every other vitamin & mineral except B12, vitamin D, Selenium & Zinc

Savory Greek yogurt dip
Makes 1 serving – Ready in 5 minutes

1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain, fat-free
Juice & zest of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp fresh chopped dill
1/8 tsp (dash) garlic powder

Mix everything together in a small bowl. Serve with your favorite sliced vegetables such as carrots, celery, peppers and cucumbers.

Per serving: 68 calories, 7g carbs, 10g protein, 0g fat, 25% DV for vitamin C, 13% DV for calcium

Aphrodisiac Salad
Makes 1 serving – Ready in 10 minutes

2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp flax oil
2 tsp honey
2 cups arugula (arugula’s peppery flavor complements the sweetness of the berries, much like the perfect couple—sweet & spicy)
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1 Tbsp pine nuts
1/4 oz dark chocolate

In a large single serving salad bowl, pour in equal portions of apple cider vinegar, olive oil and honey. Mix with a fork. Add two big handfuls of arugula. Toss with dressing. Add 1/2 cup each of Blackberries and Raspberries. Squeeze some lemon juice onto the salad, just enough to sprinkle with flavor and extra antioxidants. The lemon helps to pull together flavors similar to salt but acts as a diuretic, unlike salt. Sprinkle with pine nuts and shaved dark chocolate. Cut slivers using a sharp knife or a microplane. Apply just enough chocolate to decorate the salad. A little goes a long way to perfectly compliment the flavors of the sweet berries and spicy greens.
Per serving: 290 calories, 16g heart healthy fats, 36g carbs, 9g fiber, 5g protein.

Other winning nutrients include 73% of your Daily Value for Vitamin C– perfect for protecting the immune system of both you and your loved on, 25% of the Daily Value for Vitamin A- obtained from those ever loving, visual protectors known as carotenoids. 15% of the Daily Value for that essential, oxygen transporting nutrient known as Iron (typically found in highest concentrations in animal products). Plus 11 % of the Daily Value for Bone Building Calcium and even more if you add a touch of creamy goat cheese. This salad contains a significant amount of every Vitamin & Mineral (10% or more) except for Vitamin D & B12 – you may want to eat it while standing in the sun for 15 minutes a day to get your D & perhaps accompanied by some poached chicken or fish for some B12 & extra protein. Best of all, this salad contains a variety of tastes, textures and colors all indicating a wide range of disease fighting, antioxidant nutrients.

Although one might think an Aphrodisiac Salad should be savored only in pairs, this salad can be eaten and enjoyed absolutely anytime your heart desires. To protect your heart & increase your energy, you also get 2,660mg of ALA omega-3 fatty acids from the flax oil. Omega-3 fats make every part of your body work better. You and your loved one will thank me forever.


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