Chocolate Black Bean Cupcakes

I am the black sheep of the family when it comes to food.

I eat very differently from everyone else and they often stare at me with a look of disgust when I explain some of the things we eat….and then they look at Andrew with a distinct look of pity. “What is she making you eat?!?” is written across their faces and sometimes they even say it out loud.

But I am not easily deterred…

Good thing because I would have never found this gem of a recipe and believe me, when you try these cupcakes, you will never go back to regular cupcakes again. Seriously…these are incredible AND healthy AND delicious. What more could you ask for?

Chocolate Black Bean Cupcakes

I originally made these cupcakes for my uncle’s birthday. He was recently diagnosed with diabetes and is trying to limit his sugar intake as well as up his fiber intake (music to my ears). I wanted him to have a treat without having to compromise his healthy eating plan. I have always wanted to make black bean cupcakes/brownies/cake, so I figured this was the perfect time to try it. I made them a day early and forced Andrew to be my tester. If they were REALLY bad, I would go and buy a not so healthy dessert and no one would be any the wiser (and Andrew would have only had to suffer through one cupcake).

And just so you know- I have made these cupcakes 4 times for my family since my uncle’s May 1st birthday. Here is what is interesting and vindicating all at the same time- everyone makes fun of me for eating the way I do, they crinkle up their noses and ask Andrew how he can possibly survive all this weird stuff….but when someone needs a healthy dessert, who do they come running to? Me! Healthy, fiber-loving, sugar-limiting, hiding-veggies-in-other-things me.

Chocolate Black Bean Cupcakes

To make these cupcakes you will need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners. The first time I made these I just sprayed my pan and poured the batter right in…but they were VERY hard to get out. Go with the liners, it just makes everything so much easier.

In a blender mix together the following things until very smooth.

  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp baking soda

In a separate bowl whip the following ingredients until smooth

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 7 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 eggs

Pour the honey/coconut oil mixture into the blender and blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides to make sure that everything is mixed together well.

Pour the batter into the muffin tins and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. I usually start checking around the 15 minute mark so that they do not over bake.

Once cooled you can ice with any type of icing you like or serve with a little whipped cream and berries. These are awesome just plain, but be aware they are a rich dark chocolate flavor (because there is so little honey and absolutely no sugar) so if you want just a little hint of sweetness (since they are so healthy) a small dollop of icing won’t hurt you.

Chocolate Black Bean Cupcakes

The verdict- I’d like to think my dad would have taken a bite of one of these, chewed it thoughtfully, nodded his head and said “hmmm, these are actually good.” and then proceed to eat 2 or 3 as the night went on. They are a guilt free way to have a treat and feel like you are indulging without really indulging. And an added bonus- these are gluten free too. I know I will be making these again…and like I said, I may never make a regular cupcake again.

Vanilla Pear Bread

Well, school is back in session and just like that Summertime Melissa is gone for another year.

She doesn’t linger…it’s more like Work Melissa slams the door after she pushes her out. It’s all very dramatic.

I think saying goodbye is harder for Andrew than me. I don’t mind routine, work, lists…structure in general. But maybe I should try to make the transition easier for Andrew.

We did get to ease back into the year with two days before the long weekend. That makes for two short weeks and a gentle start to the year for the little people we work with.

Teachers, just like students, can find the first day of school a little daunting. I never sleep well the night before school starts. I lie awake wondering what the kids will be like, what the parents will be like and most importantly, what should I wear to look like I know what I am doing.

This year was an easier start than most. I got myself ready and headed in early to prepare for the sea of children that would enter my room at 8:30 am.

As I was walking into the school, one of my earrings fell out and hit the ground. The backing had disappeared and the post was bent up funny. Now if you know me, not wearing earrings is akin to not wearing pants…it’s just not acceptable, and frankly I feel a little bit naked without them.

So I did what any good teacher would do…

I cut the eraser off a pencil and jammed that on the back of my earring to hold it on.

Vanilla Pear Bread

#teacherhack, #erasersarentjustformistakes, #nobackingnoproblem

I’ve had a jar of pears sitting in my pantry for who knows how long. Every time I grab something out of the pantry they taunt me…they just sit there and I wrack my brain trying to figure out what I can do with them.

Then I found a recipe for vanilla pear bread.

Vanilla Pear Bread

I decided this would be the perfect fall way to use up the pears. So I opened them up and promptly blended them in my ninja.

Unfortunately I don’t keep vanilla pods in my house (I’m not that fancy), so instead of infusing the pears with beautiful real vanilla, I just threw in a splash of vanilla extract and let it sit while I started with the other wet ingredients.

Vanilla Pear Bread

In my stand mixer I mixed

  • 1/2 cup softened margarine (you can use butter too…I bet it would taste awesome)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

Vanilla Pear Bread

When that was well mixed, I added in 2 eggs and finally 1/2 cup of pear puree.

In another bowl I mixed the dry ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each cloves, cardamom and nutmeg

Vanilla Pear Bread

I added it to the wet ingredients and mixed until just combined.

Then I had another great idea. I bought some dark chocolate coconut bars when they were on super clearance at Superstore. Again, I have had them for quite a while and we weren’t eating them. So I chopped them up and threw them into the batter.

Vanilla Pear Bread

I decided to make these into muffins for easier transport to work and school. I sprayed my muffin tins and filled them 3/4 full. I baked them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. They got a little more brown then I would like, so next time I would check them at the 25 minute mark with a toothpick.

Vanilla Pear Bread

The Verdict- The spices in these muffins give them that distinctly fall flavor, which I love. The pear and vanilla are amazing together and chocolate makes everything better.