Crazy Delicious (Gluten Free) Black Bean Brownies

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I’ve got kids who DETEST it when I try to slide health into their food (something I do EVERY DAY)

So, when I made some like cheesecake with tofu or brownies with black beans, I keep it on the down low.

What happens in the kitchen, STAYS in the kitchen, right?

I just serve them up and what to discern the expression as “MMMMMMM” or “EWWWWWW”. These brownies are wheat free, gluten free and a slam DUNK every time.

Even AFTER if “spilled the beans” they are still a family favorite and one of my husband’s “love languages”

You won’t believe how EASY they are to make, how easy they are to EAT and how little guilt is involved in chowing down a pan of these brownies!

Dark chocolate black bean brownies

Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

1 15.5 oz. can black beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar or Xylitol
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
3 eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules or 1 shot of espresso
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped, optional
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, more if you like

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place parchment paper in the bottom of an 8X 8 pan. Grease the parchment paper. This will be your security blanket to make sure the brownies don’t stick to the pan!!

Place all the ingredients except chocolate chips and walnuts in a food processor or blender and pulse thoroughly until smooth and well combined.

Pour batter in the baking dish. Top with nuts and chocolate chips. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is dry and edges begin to pull away from the baking dish. Cool completely before cutting.

Black-Bean-Brownies

A Simple Song of Grace

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Last night, compelled to write, I sat down.

A song came out! I have only written one other song in my life…when I was 9.

It was right after my Catholic school class went to confession.

The song was called “I didn’t mean to sin”.

Last night…in the spirit of renewal, God gave me a new song.

I’ll learn to play the tune He gave me, but share the lyrics with you:

It’s called A Simple Song of Grace

by Shannyn Caldwell

I will sing a simple song of grace
I will sing a simple song of praise
A simple song about a King who’s battle won us everything
So I will sing a simple song of grace

And I will bring an offering to you
A hurting heart’s the best that I can do
A broken/contrite heart, my God, you say you won’t detest
I’ll wear that like a blanket and find rest

(bridge)
And I don’t sing because I have a voice
I sing to you because I have a song
And I will search of stillness in the noise
And seek hard after you my whole day long

And I will sit and settle down my soul
The voice inside it says “Be still and know”
And the hardest thing I’ve had to say is “I am yours Lord have your way”
But in surrender finally, I’m whole.

So I will sing this simple song of grace.
And I will sing thing simple song of praise.

It’s a song about faith and hope and love and mercy
Blessing those who chose to curse me

Reaching out to help then needy

Telling of the One who freed me.
Standing in the intersection, dying and then resurrection
First for Him and then for you and me.

(bridge)
And I don’t sing because I have a voice
I sing for you because I have a song
And I will search for stillness in the noise
And seek hard after you my whole life long.

So I will sing a simple song of grace
And I will sing a simple song of praise
A simple song about a King who’s battle won us everything
So I will sing a simple song of grace.

princesswarriorsong

You may know that right now, I am doing “a second round” of the 40-Day Healing Season...this time going after a tornado that has been swirling in my life since I was…like 7 years old.

I feel God restoring me. Renewing me. I’m reclaiming the Shannyn that “little girl Shannyn” was born to be.

#1000speak for Compassion

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“We want you to go to Africa.” That’s what my boss said, and he was talking to me.

If my boss would have called a meeting of the entire staff of my Christian radio station and said, “Who wants to go to Africa with Compassion?”

There would have been and instant long line and kindhearted co-workers making their best case. And me… hiding behind them and praying to be unnoticed. But that’s not how the meeting went. It was just me and the boss-man and a sentence that chilled me to the bone. “We want YOU to go to Africa.”

Friends…here’s what I knew about Africa when he made the request:

The kids are starving and sick and dying. The parents are often dead…AIDS. It’s hot. It’s dangerous. The bugs can kill you. It’s stark and if you go, we will not come back the same.

“Let me ask my husband,” I said.

“What do they want you to do,” my man asked me over our meat and potatoes dinner that night.

“I don’t know. Love on kids. Pray with them. Feed them.”

“You should go,” my husband encouraged.

“I don’t want to. I don’t think I can take it.”

“Don’t think you can take what?” “I just don’t want to cry the whole time,” I confessed.

“That’s what compassion IS, Shan.” my hubs reminded me.

Compassion: To suffer with.

See it’s one thing, isn’t it, to say, “Oh dear…they are starving, as you pass the homeless in…say…your neighborhood. It’s another to grab them a bean burrito and still another to get our and share a meal together, right there on a milk-crate chair. It’s another to learn about that persons heart. To love them.

When you feed them…that’s goodness. That’s mercy. When you know them and love them, that’s compassion, because it hurts.

They say a problem shared is a problem cut in half. Sometimes the most compassionate thing you can do is just listen and pray.

Sometimes the most compassionate thing you can do…is GO!

beckywhisper

This is Becky. We sponsor her through Compassion

This photo was taken moments AFTER I “Got it together”.

When we arrived in Becky’s village, her school social worker explained to me that Becky was falling behind in school because she was often sick with Malaria. When I met her…she was shuttled pushed toward me by a crowd of her family and teachers. Becky did not want to hug me. I don’t blame her. She didn’t know this weird white lady at all. I did not WANT her to hug me if she didn’t want, and so (feeling her pain and respecting her) I whispered, “It’s ok. You don’t have to hug me, Rebecca.” That’s when she hugged me.

That’s when this picture was taken.

beckycrying

So was so so thin. Thinner than anyone I’d ever touched. She was a heap of scared and angry skin and bones when we met.

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and I was mush. I’m still mush. That’s what happens when God heals your heart. He wrecks you in the most beautiful way. He wrecks you do deeply that you cannot be still or silent.

So, we spent the day together, as I read her Bible stories about the loves and fishes and instilled, as best I could, the truth that God does not change. That he SAY’S he’ll provide for the needs of His children and that means He will. We went, by bus to the Compassion office, where Becky saw her first toilet. Remind me to tell you that story one day. Saying good-bye to her that night was the first and only time in my life I’ve wept inconsolably. And that same still small voice said, “You can’t let her down, Shannyn.” and I pray that I’m not.

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That night, back at my hotel, with wall and a roof and running water and a dinning room with while table cloths, I prayed “God, why don’t you make FOOD GROW HERE? You made the Garden of Eden!  Why don’t you give them WATER? Why do you LET THIS HAPPEN?” and in the still small voice that marks the king, He replied.

“Why do YOU let this happen, Shannyn? I live in you.”

You know, there ARE problems…lots and lots of them. But there are also solutions to the problems. For Becky and her family, a simple mosquito net was a game changer. That’s one of the things that my tiny little $38/month was able to accomplish. Now Becky and her family and thriving!  She’s doing really well in school. She has a dream for her future. Remind me to tell you about that sometime, too!

Sometimes the answers are simple. Rarely are they easy. If they were, it wouldn’t be compassion.

Go to http://www.myflr.org/compassion to Give Hope for 2 and release a child from poverty in Jesus name.