May 10, 2008
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.