I have just returned from Iowa! Did ya miss me? Did ya happen to see a 5 month pregnant woman running through the Atlanta airport last night in an effort to catch her connecting flight back to New York on time?
If you did, let’s just pretend that wasn’t me.
No, instead let’s chat about Iowa! I was invited to speak at a conference called Women Blazing Trails for the non-profit group, Iowa Women in Natural Resources at the Springbrook Conservation Center in Guthrie Center, Iowa.
I was one of the presenters at their conference, but I also got to be a conference attendee. Over the course of the last two days I learned a lot about the women who work in natural resources and conservation, plus some cool outdoor survival skills (including how to start a fire with an aluminum can and a bar of chocolate! Really!)
I also thoroughly enjoyed the Bird Banding presentation.
(Be sure to notice the American Goldfinch in my hand, K?)
My presentation was on Healthy Living and I was pleased with how it went. I must give a huge THANKS to all my fabulous new friends at IWINR and how incredibly warm and welcoming they were despite any stupid faces I surely made during our time together.
Among other things, my talk about living a healthier life included a few of our favorite things to eat around here. Green smoothies, kale chips and banana whip – plus one recipe I realized I haven’t shared on the blog yet –
Black Bean Brownies!
Much like White Bean Blondies, black bean brownies are a treat with a sneaky helping of extra fiber, protein, B vitamins and iron to go along with a dose of chocolate and sugar.
(That is of course when you’re not using your chocolate to keep yourself warm out in the woods with a gang of American Goldfinches who laugh hysterically every time you bug your eyes out. Birds are real suckers for cheap jokes.)
To make Black Bean Brownies you’ll need:
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (or about 1 cup of prepared, dried black beans)
1/2 c of water
1 c flour
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten
1/3 c canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c sugar (or sweetener of choice)
1/2 c chocolate chips or 1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)
If you puree those beans up nice and smooth in your blender or food processor,
I promise they’ll go completely unnoticed by your children, picky adults and any small birds you might be feeding.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Puree beans and water in food processor or blender until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Stir in bean puree with dry ingredients, eggs and wet ingredients and mix well. Once well combined, fold in chocolate chips or nuts if you’re including them.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes in a greased 8 x 8 pan. They’re done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out completely clean.
Now go make some brownies and if you ever find yourself in Iowa, look for a Goldfinch with the Band ID LK59001, say Hi! to all of the amazing women who make up Iowa Women in Natural Resources and try to avoid the Atlanta airport if you can.