Food Psychology and Legumes

If you are familiar with the reality TV shows, Survivor® or especially Fear Factor®, you’ll understand what I mean when I say every meal in this house is a food challenge. Asking my son to eat any sort of meat or (heaven forbid) a vegetable would be like expecting me to gobble up a lightly poached cow rectum.

I’ve traveled to exotic destinations and eaten well presented dishes. There were times when I didn’t ask too many questions. On the list of less weird things I’ve eaten are Escargot. Tender morsels dripping in garlic butter and cheese are delicious. Still, I have to try really hard to forget that these tender morsels are, in fact, snails. Once that tidbit of information hits my brain, my stomach immediately begins churning in reverse.

This is the psychological hurdle I must help my son to overcome.

The exotic fare on his plate might include potatoes, broccoli, chicken or beef. What he sees is the same as serving me a large locust or a wriggling fur-covered caterpillar. If I was ordered to eat cow rectum or face dire consequences, hands down, I would go with the consequences. If those consequences included great pain, well, I’d have to think about it, but few things, if any, would convince me to eat another mammal’s poop chute. I’m not going to threaten my son with consequences for not eating the meal served, because punishing him for fearing the food on his plate serves no useful purpose.

I just can’t figure out how to convince him that it’s going to be okay.

We accept small steps forward as they happen. For a short time, he willingly ate fish. Tilapia, using the recipe my neighbour often uses to create the most mouth watering aroma that wafts out from her kitchen window. Those days of eating fish are behind us now, as he won’t touch it anymore, but it continues to make an appearance on his plate. He tolerates its proximity to him because he has a fondness for my neighbour’s daughter who also babysits for us. Yesterday, he discovered pumpernickel bread. It wasn’t met with rave reviews, but he tried a few bites and had no complaints.

He and his sister helped me make Black Bean Brownies this morning. Dessert is not an area we struggle with, however, if he is going to fill the void of hunger with sweets, at least those sweets should be rich in nutrients he needs. Legumes are new territory, and a very good source of protein, folate and magnesium. Disguised as a chocolate treat, we have discovered a way to get him to eat them and, even better, ask for more.

Black Bean Brownies

Tried, tested and renamed, “The Best Brownie Ever Made!”

You will need a food processor or blender and a 9″ baking pan, greased.

Preheat oven to 350ºF

1 – 19oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 – eggs
1/3 cup – oil (canola, olive)
2 tbsp – vanilla extract
1¼ cups – granulated sugar
½ cup – unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ tsp – baking powder

In a food processor or blender, purée beans, eggs, oil and vanilla
for 1 – 2 minutes, until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, cocoa and baking powder.
Pour in bean mixture and stir until smooth.

Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in pan.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutrients per serving:
Calories – 195 | Fat – 7.9g | Saturated fat – 1.1g
Sodium – 172mg (7% daily value) | Carbohydrate – 29g
Fiber – 4g (16% daily value) | Protein – 4g
Calcium – 38mg (3% daily value)
Iron – 1.2mg (9% daily value)

Recipe courtesy of Dietitians of Canada Cook! by Mary Sue Waisman, MSc, RD

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8 responses to “Food Psychology and Legumes

    • Amazing! I can’t believe how delicious they are! My husband has gluten sensitivities and my kids LOVE brownies, and I feel better knowing they’re getting some nutrients with the beans. Thanks! I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes. I think I struggled (and still do to some degree) with some of the same things your son does when I was a kid. I look forward to reading more about your journey. 🙂

  1. I have to be sure, is this recepe really gluten/flour free? I’ve seen (and made) recipes before where the beans replace the eggs or the oil (or both) but never one where they replace the flour. I’m quite anxious to try these if this is true.

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