Sunday, February 28, 2010

Two Bricks to Start a Baking Foundation

This weekend, I had in the plans to do nothing by study for my Accounting midterm and the MPRE. Funny thing that happens when I need to study badly, I end up doing everything else but study.
I worked out twice. Once in the morning at the gym to do a little spinning and then lift weights. Once again in the afternoon, I decided to take The Beagle on a 4.5 mile run. I would have gone the full 6 miles but this was at 6pm and it was getting dark out.

It was sunny out so I went on my usually 12 mile bike ride. Note about this: previously I was very discourage by my speed. I was struggling to stay at an average speed of 11mph. This is sloooooooow. I decided to pump my tires with air, seeing that they were low and BAM! I easily was able to stay above 15mph the entire ride.

During my post-bike shower I decided that I was going to get creative (read: procrastinate) and create a healthy version of pumpkin bread. I've heard of people making brownies with black beans and I was wondering if I could add them to pumpkin bread. On top of this creative aspiration, I decided to jump right in to my sugar free life and make the bread sugar free as well.

Okay folks, though sugar free, I am still allowing myself agave nectar and limited maple syrup and honey.

Along with the pumpkin bread, I remembered my Wonder Friend's "pum-cakes" where she made chocolate cupcakes but replaced the oil in the recipe with pumpkin and the results were delicious. So, I remembered that I had a tin of cocoa power and thought why not make another "bread" with chocolate. The results are at the end of this post.

I did some studying for accounting and then DB came over. He wanted to see Shutter Island so I suggested that we bike to the theater. so at 9:30pm we equipped ourselves with headlamps and flashy lights and headed out. The ride to the movie was fun. The ride back at 1am was not as fun. I was cold and sleepy. Either way, not a bad way to get another 5-6 miles in on the bike.

No one think I am a slacker, I still managed a few hours of studying on my sunny Saturday afternoon in spite of all my extra curricular activities.

Today proved to be yet another wonderful sunny, un-oregon, winter day. Off to the dog park DB and I went with The Beagle because I felt guilty for not running with him. He had a pretty good time running around, ignoring other dogs, but enjoying their owners. He came home muddy, but tired. I returned to studying more Accounting, no MPRE today because I'm worn out. (unfortunately, still not prepared) After the end of the USA-Canada gold medal hockey game (yikes~) DB and I ventured to Target and Trader Joes for some more procrastination. (And, I needed hand soap)

DB took The Beagle on a 4 mile run while I stayed inside to "study". (prepare dinner and not study)

Now we're sitting watching the Closing Ceremony while I stress out more about school.

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Black Bean Pumpkin Bread

-2/3 cup mashed black beans
-1 cup canned pumpkin
-1 cup rice flour
-1/3 cup tapioca flour
-1 tea basking soda
-2 tea baking powder
-2 tea cinnamon
-2 tea allspice
-1/2 tea salt
-2 eggs
-1/4 cup oil
-1/4 cup agave nectar.

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Chocolate Hazelnut Black Bean Bread


-3/4 cup mashed black beans
-3/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 cup canned pumpkin
-1/2 cup rice flour
-1 tea baking soda
-2 tea baking power
-1/2 tea salt
-2 eggs
-1/4 cup oil
-1/4 cup agave nectar
-1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

Mix all ingredients except nuts until well blended. Stir in nuts. Pour into a prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour 10 minutes.

And the end results?

Maybe I'll use chickpeas next time so you can't see the black beans, though this didn't bother me.

The texture was great, flavor? Shall we say: very cocoa-y?

Seeing that I just pulled both these recipes completely out of you know where, I'm pretty pleased with the results. They were not sweet enough in my opinion. Here's what I plan on doing next time I make these:

for both:
I plan on adding 1/2 cup of applesauce to sweeten the bread up a bit. Especially the chocolate because the cocoa overpowered everything else.

Each loaf was really fragile and hard to slice. I might add some xanthan gum to each next time for more structure.

for the chocolate:
I think I will add about a teaspoon of vanilla extract. I plain forgot to do this. I'm hoping to would tone down the cocoa a bit.

Today at Trader Joe's I splurged and bought a container of stevia powder. I have been hesitant to use artificial sweeters, but I guess technically, stevia is not artificial. It's made from the leaf of the stevia plant, so it's natural... Anyways, I think it'll help be really stick with this sugar free thing so oh well. Plus the tiny container supposedly has 622 servings. I used a pinch (seriously, a pinch) in my tea earlier today and it really sweetened up the thing. More of this later.

Back to the breads.

My whole stevia tangent was so I could say that I might use some stevia next time.

I sliced up the rest of the breads and stick them in the freezer. I warmed a slice of each in the microwave this morning for breakfast and they tasted a ton better than yesterday. I don't know why but maybe the flavors melded together better? Works for me. If you look at the ingredients, the recipes have added protein, fiber, and reduced sugar and fat. Also, don't forget the added nutrients of the pumpkin and cocoa power (antioxidants, yo!) almost guilt-free... almost.

Any tips for baking GF and SF from scratch? let me know. hah BTW: Check out Simply Sugar & Gluten Free for more recipes!

For those of you squirming from disgust, you can't taste black bean at all in either bread. I swear! If I didn't tell you, you wouldn't know. ;)


  1. These actually sounds delicious. I am gonna have to try it. What did you think of Shutter Island?? I'm deciding whether or not to go see it in the theater.

    P.S. It makes me feel better that such an intelligent person (case in point: LAW STUDENT) procrastinates :)

  2. It was okay. T.J. really didn't like it. You could probably wait until it comes out on video to see it. It's not scary, just more suspenseful.

  3. oh, and I would recommend taking out the agave nectar and using 1 cup of sugar in either recipe.

  4. They both look dense and yummy! I always run my black bean baked goods through the food processor ... no beans seen. ;-)