Chilly Day Surprise Fudgies

Happy first day of November! Where has 2012 gone? I’m in the tour catering lounge in Wisconsin as we wind down the Music With A Mission tour, and it’s quite chilly here. This is one of my new favorite recipes, one that will warm you from the inside with healthy secret ingredients- black beans, quinoa, and cayenne!

Now, I can tell that you’re already apprehensive of this recipe. I know, it sounds like Mexican food. Don’t write it off yet! This was the first thing I made when I got home from tour in October and I’ve gotta say, I was very pleased. Creamy, dense, and rich, your guests will have no idea what they’re eating- and you won’t feel bad about having seconds. Or thirds 🙂

I’ve altered it a bit to suit my style, but the original recipe is from a lovely blog called The Road Not Processed, which is full of all types of fun recipes if you’re looking to get into whole foods or just for something unique. The author was correct- it isn’t good to call these “cookies”- that isn’t quite true to the dessert. She calls them “oblongs” but I think I’ve nailed it- so, in our house, we call them “Fudgies”. They’ve got a nice Mexican hot chocolate feel, so get bold with those spices!

Ingredients

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed in a strainer
1/2 cup raw honey (or maple syrup for y’all vegans)
1/2 cup all natural nut butter- peanut, almond, cashew, etc
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp instant coffee powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional but recommend)
2 “flax eggs” or just use 2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional but recommended)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Drain and RINSE the black beans in a strainer. Not only is this imperative for the cookie to taste like chocolate and not like bean, but you don’t want to be eating all of that BPA and nasty chemical juice from the can! Yuck.

Place black beans in food processor blender and blend until no whole pieces are left- the smoother, the better the consistency of the cookie. If using a food processor, transfer to blender or stand mixer. Add in the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate chips and flax egg/ eggs and blend well.

Line a baking sheet or two with foil and non-stick cooking spray.

Drop batter into balls onto the cookie sheet, spread them evenly! They hold their shape pretty well so pack them together if necessary.

Start getting excited.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes. A bit longer if they’re super thick, but take note: they solidify once cooled.

Take out of oven, cool for a few minutes if transferring to a cookie rack. While cooling, dust with a bit of cinnamon, and if you chose to include it, cayenne!

Be brave and enjoy,
Karli

Blog Feature: WithBritt

Today I want to introduce you to my new friend, Brittney. Britt is married to Bill of Bread of Stone (easily my new favorite band that Willet is touring with for the next few months) and she just radiates the light of Jesus and an evident love of life. She also is one of the best hair braiders I have ever met! I was very excited when she told me that she wrote a food and hair-do blog, and even more pumped when I started reading it!

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WithBritt features tons of yummy healthy recipes, many of which centered around Britt’s passion for raw food- and not just boring raw food, but amazing, decadent, gourmet raw food- like cakes, gelatos, smoothies, and even entire raw entrees. Yes, I did say raw CAKES! Her recipes are so inspiring, I cannot wait to get home and try them. I hope you enjoy her work as much as I have!

Here is a fun and easy recipe from her site– enjoy!

BRITT’S RAW CHOCOLATE GELATO

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RAW Chocolate GELATO?! What?! Just let the thought sink in for just a moment!

Okay! So, it’s true! You can enjoy creamy, luscious, sweetness of the Italian goodness and still be electrifying your pores, immune system, and skin! I have been playing around with this recipe for many months now and I think I have finally nailed down the perfect combination that would tickle even an Italian’s tongue!

Ingredients
-3 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen
-6 tablespoons of Agave Nectar
-1/4 cup cacao powder
-1/4 cup hazelnuts (if desired)

Instructions
-Place the frozen bananas and agave nectar in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. This may take a while, so be patient! I usually use my spatula to help break up the bananas apart after a few minutes of processing! When the bananas have turned creamy, add the cacao and continue mixing! If you are nutty, like myself, go ahead and add in the hazelnuts (or your favorite nut) and mix until the nuts are as small or big as you like!

-Enjoy immediately! The gelato is at it’s best creaminess when it is freshly blended but you can also pour into a container and it will last for weeks for you to enjoy! But if your family is like mine, this RAW Chocolate Gelato does not last very long!! Which is the best form of a compliment!!!

Have you tried any new recipes lately? Have any blogs you follow religiously? Leave them in the comments! Have a great day!

Thoughts on Global vs. Local Trade

I have an inner dilemma that I have been battling for a while now: the question of whether to support global economies or focus on local economies. Brands like American Apparel have brought “made in the USA” to the forefront of our shopping brains, particularly in a season when sweatshops and child labor run rampant in most parts of the world. But shouldn’t we try to provide for our brothers and sisters overseas if we can, too?

This debate reached a head for me when I discovered that a shirt that my organization sells is manufactured in Haiti. My initial reaction was negative- we have been active in Haiti and have seen the conditions of work there, and the thought of promoting those environments sickened me. When I raised my concern, however, I was gently reminded that the company that we work with was committed to high ethical standards and that, because the shirts were made in Haiti, we were providing jobs and income to those people that we love, and helping their economy in perhaps the only way we could from a distance. My mind was eased.

My thoughts are further compounded when it comes to food- while I love eating with the seasons, purchasing local foods, and building relationships with farmers and craftsmen, I also really appreciate many foods that don’t grow locally and items that are manufactured in other parts of the company, or even the world. Things like coffee, chocolate, spices, and tea are cultivated well in certain parts of the world that I just don’t live in. As a responsible consumer, do I forgo these things, therefore saving carbon emissions due to shipping and dedicate myself to eating what my local community has to offer, or do I support these global markets, while perhaps putting the global economy on the back burner?

I don’t know what the answer is, but here are a few things that I am confident in:

-If you can buy something local, do it. Especially when it comes to food. Local farmers and culinary artisans depend on their local economy because, for the most part, they can’t export. Plus, you are getting a better quality food that you can be confident in- less preservatives, easier to check on gardening and farming operations, and good relationships with the people you are buying from.

-Fair trade is a beautiful thing. If you can’t get something locally, fair trade is a great way to ensure that your purchase from the global economy is something that you can be confident is building up global individuals and not causing any injustice along the way. There are many fair trade stores popping up now, such as the 10,000 Villages network, that make fair trade shopping feel like a breeze.

-Sweat shops are terrible. If you can’t guarantee that an item you are buying was made without blood on someone’s hands, you just shouldn’t buy it- at least not with a clear conscience. At times, this requires research not only into a store, but also a specific brand- but it is well worth it to know that you are using your money responsibly, and not to cause injustice.

-If there isn’t a good alternative, try making your own. This is especially helpful when it come to things that are really hard to research, such as cleaning products or cosmetics. There are so many ingredients in these items that its hard to say with confidence if a product is manufactured and sourced responsibly. However, there are countless way to replicate these items at home, where you can source the items yourself and be confident n the products you are using.

-Support your friends. Why buy a grocery store card made in who-knows-where when you have a friend that makes them for a living? Why buy a headband at Target when your friend is upcycling pieces and selling them on Etsy? Maybe you have friends that are photographers, or event planners, coffee roasters, stuffed animal makers, or jewelry designers. Show them love, and be loved in return.

-It is better to bow out of an economy than to stimulate a unjust one for lack of a better option. Thrift stores provide a way to purchase (many times with proceeds to a good cause) without giving any money back to the manufacturers. This can be a great place to find things that are difficult to source well, such as shoes, dressy clothes, or furniture.

While I wish that the answers were more cut and dry, I recognize that these thoughts are just part of the journey in being a Christlike consumer, and I certainly have not arrived at full understanding yet. We have to educate ourselves in order to use our money well- each dollar is a tool we are given to build the Kingdom, and we must take that seriously.