May 10, 2008

Anasazi Almond Brownies

I cook with a variety of foods that I buy from Native Seeds. They are a nonprofit conservation organization based out of Tucson, Arizona. Their mission is to "...conserve, distribute and document the adapted and diverse varieties of agricultural seed, their wild relatives and the role these seeds play in cultures of the American Southwestern and northwest Mexico." * They are working to retain our crop biodiversity and cultural diversity of traditional foods of Native Americans and the Southwest.

They seek out traditional crops and collect their seeds for raising on their Conservation Farm. Then they collect the seeds to maintain in their Seed Bank and to sell in their retail store and catalog. Additionally, they have created a Gardener's Network from around the country to grow and evaluate the seeds in the Seed Bank.

In their store they sell the seeds they have collected from their Conservation Farm, foods, crafts, books, videos, soaps, salves, and cards. They have a wide variety of food offerings from the Southwest. My family's favorites are the different variety of beans, corn products, agave syrup, and various meals. A unique and recent addition to my kitchen is the Madrone Serving Spoon, carved by the Tarahumara Women's Cooperative in Cusarare, Chihuahua, Mexico. It is the perfect spoon for serving or working a large pot of beans.

This recipe uses the Anasazi beans, a beautiful maroon and cream fleck bean. It was originally collected from the 4 corners region of the US. They have a rich flavor and a creamy texture making them perfect for making brownies.

My family loved these brownies. They were moist and very flavorful. They didn't last long, which thoroughly disappointed my children. My son asked if I could buy some more chocolate so I could make these brownies again.


1 cup cooked Anasazi beans, drained
3.5 ounce bar Green & Blacks Organic Dark 70%, melted
1/2 cup + 2 Tb cane sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening, melted
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond meal
1 1/2 tsp chia seed meal
Optional: 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1. Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Dump the cooked beans into the food processor and process until smooth or in a large bowl dump in the beans and mash until the beans are a smooth paste. Pour in the melted chocolate, sugar and salt into the bowl and stir.

3. In a small bowl, dump in the almond meal and the chia seed meal. Stir together and work out any lumps you might have in your almond meal. Then pour this mixture into the bean mixture and stir.

4. Pour in the melted shortening and beaten eggs and stir. Using a spatula ease the brownie mixture into the pan and spread out evenly.

5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing the brownies from the pan. Cut and serve. Makes 16 brownies.


1. You can substitute any mild flavor bean for the Anasazi beans in this recipe. You can use Bolita, Pinto, Tepary, Colorado, Moon beans.

2. If you cannot tolerate chocolate you could substitute it with 1/2 cup carob powder.

3. If you would like to use an alternative sweetener, substitute the cane sugar with 2/3 - 3/4 cup honey.

4. I used chia seed meal as my gluten free binder, you could substitute with 1/2 tsp xanthan or guar gum.

* Quote from the Native Seeds Website.

Disclosure: I am a Native American member of Native Seeds, supporting their conservation efforts.


glamah16 said...

Sounds interesting. I have to check out the link as I would be interested in the agave syrup,etc.

VeggieGirl said...

Native Seeds sounds like a great organization! Kudos to you for supporting them.

Wow, I never thought brownies could get any better, until I read that recipe you just posted - WOW! No wonder your family loved them! Yum! :0)

Taste said...

Hi Natalie, this looks and sounds very interesting. The photos are lovely too. What would you use to substitute almond meal?

Sheltie Girl said...

Hi Glamah - Do stop by their site. They sell both dark and light agave syrup in small and large bottles.

Sheltie Girl

Sheltie Girl said...

Hi Veggie Girl - Thanks for stopping by and leaving your wonderful comments. I was thinking about you as I put the eggs in, but I was hoping that with just two eggs it would be pretty easy to use egg replacer.

These were very yummy brownies.

Sheltie Girl

Sheltie Girl said...

Hi Taste - You could use another nut meal, but if you are allergic to tree nuts then: You could substitute 1/2 cup all purpose wheat flour, 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend (with xanthan gum) & do not add the chia seed meal. You could also use 4 Tb millet flour, 2 Tb sweet rice flour and 2 Tb arrowroot starch to make your own blend.

I hope this helps.

Sheltie Girl

dailydelicious said...

This one looks great, I love to try different thing in baking but I can't find this bean, so I might use azuki instead. (Hope it will be good too).

Anonymous said...

Oh these look and sound so good! Once again, Native Seeds/SEARCH rules! I would love to try these, and they would be easy to veganize, now if only I could get my hands on some beans other than kidney and navy...

Sheltie Girl said...

Hi DailyDelicious - You can use adzuki beans in this recipe. I think they would be delicious.

Sheltie Girl

Sheltie Girl said...

Hi Shellyfish - You can use navy beans since they have a mild flavor. I wouldn't use the kidney beans though, I think they have a stronger flavor.

Sheltie Girl

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I am hearing about anasazi beans. thanks for enlightening me:) your brownies look delicious! moist, the way I like them.

Naomi Devlin said...

Sheltie girl,

I have been dreaming about bean brownies ever since I saw the one on 101 cookbooks. This version sounds fantastic - and I bet you get a little warm glow after eating one, knowing that you are supporting such a great cause.

In about a month's time, I should be ready to try beans again and I'm thinking a blonde version with honey and cocoa butter? (can't have that delicious cocoa or carob).

x x x

Becky said...

What a great idea to add beans to brownies. So healthy !

linda said...

What an interesting brownie with the beans, looks delicious!

Gabi said...

Good on you for supporting such a worthwhile cause and those Anasazi bean brownies look fabulous!

Simply...Gluten-free said...

I was just sitting here trying to resist my chocolate urges and wham! These look amazing.

Sophie said...

This is a really amazing recipe! First off, I've never heard of Native Seeds, nor have I ever heard of Anasazi beans. OOh, you mention they have a creamy texture and rich flavor, do they also have a hint of sweetness? I'm so tempted to try these. This is such a cool post, will save this recipe :). Thanks for sharing. :)

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