Returning from a tropical adventure in Brazil, I’ve been hyper-focused on cozy stuff to make the arrival of the cold season more enjoyable. After hearty soups, hot beverages I could not shy away from a much needed supplement of any cold day – the sweet stuff.
I love to travel, because it inspires me to try new things and challenge my ways of thinking. Due to the abundance of legumes, Brazilian cuisine is rich in beans. Before my latest journey, I thought of beans as a heavy ingredient of savoury meals. Little did I know.
Jessica, the wonderful chef and owner of Pininga Restaurant showed me that beans are so much more than that. After finding out that the secret ingredient of her fantastic chocolate soufflé was beans… I was baffled! The texture knocked me out of my socks and showed me once again that a creativity can get you pretty far when working with local ingredients.
Inspired by food heroes of my last journey, I opened a can of beans and rethought sugar, flour and butter-heavy cookies. Here’s a take that will be better for your health and Mama Earth’s.
- 150g oats
- 1 can black/kidney beans, drained and washed (~400g)
- 1 tablespoon of cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons of honey/ agave syrup
- 80g dark chocolate (min 70%), cut into small chunks
- 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Put the beans, coconut oil, cacao powder, honey/ agave syrup into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Transfer the mix into a large bowl, add the oats, chocolate chips, dried cranberry and stir through.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop equal amounts of the mix out of the bowl. Form each into a ball using your hands, then flatten and finish off the sides. Finally, place each onto a lined baking tray.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then take the tray out of the oven. Allow the cookies to cool before nippling on them!
^ Besides the fantastic food, I was humbled by Pininga’s philosophy in the sand dunes of Atins. I had the pleasure to sit down with the owners and talk about food, cooking and hospitality from an environmental perspective. The article on my experiences and learnings is dropping soon. Stay tuned!