I have officially given up on feeding therapy for the Wise Old Owl. It is a long story, but basically after 2 years, I have decided that our time and money could be better spent. So we are adding more speech therapy and letting him eat more fries and cookies. I am trying to reduce the stress in our home around mealtime, it gets pretty intense. I have a feeling we may return to feeding therapy down the road. But for now, we really needed a break.

The administrative assistant at my kids' OT clinic gave me a recipe for black bean brownies that she feeds to her picky son. It wasn't allergy safe, but she figured I could doctor it up, and I did! I served them to the Owl, told them they were his "protein brownies," and watched him happily gobble them up. I actually had a hard time not eating them myself. Now I admit that regular brownies with no pretense of nutrition taste better. But these were still quite good. And with some protein, calcium, omega-3's, and plenty of chocolate. I can envision myself serving a dinner of all brownies. It might be something like a black-bean brownie for protein, a quinoa brownie for the grain, a spinach brownie for a vegetable, and maybe a blueberry brownie for fruit. And of course a real brownie for dessert. I'll have to work on the spinach and blueberry versions.

Here is my recipe for anyone with a picky eater with allergies who loves chocolate and baked goods. (My apologies to the folks with legume allergies!) I added DariFree and flaxseed meal because, well, I add those things to anything that can hide them. They are probably not crucial. The chia and sweet rice flour may seem a little random. I was worried that the egg replacer might not be enough since the original recipe called for 3 eggs. I like the gel that chia forms (and chia is really nutritious!).  I didn't really play around with the recipe since it worked on the first try. I have found that baking is more forgiving than people think, there is a pretty wide range of acceptable textures when it comes to brownies. (But bread is definitely more touchy.) When the Wise Old Owl "helps" me bake, he is not the most precise at measuring, and it always turns out OK. So I hope someone has fun with this and gets a little extra protein into their child.

Black Bean Brownies

Puree wet ingredients in food processor:
1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed & drained
3 T coconut oil
1 T vanilla
1 T Ener-G egg replacer whisked with 6 T warm coconut milk

Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl:
¾ c baker’s sugar
¼ c cocoa powder
1 T ground chia seeds
2 T sweet rice flour
2 T chocolate DariFree powder
¼ c flax meal

Mix the wet & dry together, fold in ½ c chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand is safe for us). Bake in a greased 8x8 pan for 40 minutes @ 350F.


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