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June 26, 2012

Friendship Brownie Bites - A Healthy Treat

Week 2 of the MeMeTales Readathon is underway, and we are excited to be part of the fun.  If you haven't yet read about it, here are more details from my initial post about participating in the Readathon.

Each week you can view books online or on your smartphone/iPad and find activities to go along with the weekly theme.

Week 1:  Animals
The boys and I focused on Frogs.

Week 2:  Friendship
I could write a novel about my kids and their friends.  They seriously crack me up.  When JZ was a toddler at the playground he was always running around with the bigger kids, and he called all of them his "friends".  If he came to me to get a drink or snack he yelled back, "I'll be right there, friends!"  Most of the time they had no idea he was talking to them.

J-Bug calls all of his stuffed animals (and he has a LOT) his "friends".  The other day he had a poopsplosion (good times) in his bed at nap time.  I heard him crying through the wall and wailing, "My friends are RUINED!" in the most dramatic voice you could imagine.  He thought he had messed up his stuffed animals, but thankfully not one of them was soiled.

My boys love their friends deeply and look forward to our weekly playgroups, church gatherings, open gym, etc.  When someone we see regularly isn't there they really do not understand it.  The other day we were supposed to meet up with some friends, and one of them fell ill.  JZ was crushed, and J-Bug suggested, "Maybe cookies will help."  Smart kid.  Cookies always help me.  ;-)  I suggested brownies instead, and he excitedly agreed.  (Daddy makes much better cookies than I do, so I didn't want to bother.)

Friendship Brownie Bites
Just to be clear, before you get too excited.  These are not, "Oh my goodness I can't believe these are healthy!" kind of brownies.  They do not taste like store bought mixes.  They taste wholesome and yummy, but yes you know you are eating a reasonable snack.  The fiber from black beans make them very filling, and I promise you can't taste the beans at all.

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 cup oat bran
1/8 cup flax seed meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3-1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

The boys are becoming old pros at measuring, stirring, and cracking eggs.  

The egg shells go into an empty milk jug to be dumped in the compost heap at the end of the day.

The key to teaching young children kitchen skills is patience.  I do not begin a baking project if we are rushed, or if I don't want a mess in the kitchen.  Yes they are pretty darn good at being slow and careful, but they are still three and five.  Spills happen.

I want cooking to be a pleasant experience for them, so I work set a calm, relaxed tone.

  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Combine the beans, eggs, vanilla and honey in a blender or food processor.  We use the Vitamix.
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips.

Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350.  Once cooled sprinkle with powered sugar, if desired.

Share with a friend and enjoy a guilt free snack!

Please sign up at MeMeTales to join the Readathon.  It's free and only takes a few seconds to get started.  Before long your little one can be enjoying the reading selections.  This week available at no cost are StickFiggy Makes a Friend and Lott's Tea Party.

Last week over 1256 kids joined the Readathon which means that over 1256 meals have been donated to hungry kids via FoodForEducation.org

Stay in touch with Train Up a Child via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.


  1. Oh yum! I love the ingredients! I'm pinning so we can try these out. And I so agree with your about having patience and taking time, setting a calm mood for cooking ~ makes all the difference! Thanks for sharing at Happy lil ❤'s are baking x

  2. I bet the brownies helped! What a great way to show a friend you care about them.

  3. I'm so excited! Just made brownies this weekend and said to myself that I need a recipe that has black beans in it - ta da! Here it is! What a fun thing to share with friends too - showing that you care by making them something special.

  4. I love seeing kids helping in the kitchen. I have never made brownies using beans before, hmmm maybe we'll have to try it.

    Thanks again for sharing on Hey Mom, Look What I Did at Adventures In Mommy Land...hope to see you again soon :)


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