The Richmond Register

December 12, 2012

Pass the beans please!

Table Talk

By Arritta Morris
Register Columnist

MADISON COUNTY — The need for fiber in our diet in this country is a major concern.

How do we know if we have enough fiber in our daily meal plan? I hate to sound gross but if your poop floats — you get the message.

Where do we get the most fiber? If you read the labels on the beans you will find a lot of fiber in most canned products.

Beans as well as lentils act as an anti-diabetes and weight-loss food because they are digested slowly, which stabilizes blood sugar, reducing hunger. The fiber in beans reduce the total number of calories absorbed (about a third of the carbohydrate calories contained in beans do not get absorbed).

If you have trouble getting your family to enjoy these great products, I have a suggestion for you. Do the magic recipes I have listed below:

Chocolate-chip bars


1 1/2 cups chickpeas or white beans (1 can rinsed and drained)

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup of brown sugar (you can use the brown sugar blend that has Splenda blended in)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup quick oats

1/4 cup peanut butter


Preheat oven-350 degrees.

Blend all ingredients (except chips) until very smooth in a food processor, not a blender. If you do not have a processor, I would use a mixer.

Mix in the chips and scoop onto a greased pan. Bake for around 30 minutes. They may looked undercooked but do firm up as they cool.

Kari’s baked beans

My daughter Kari made up a great baked bean recipe.


2 cans of pork and beans (drained)

2-3 strips of bacon lightly fried and cut into pieces

1 cup of brown sugar (I again use the brown sugar blend to reduce the sugar.)

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce. (Kari likes to use a honey-type sauce.)

She bakes it very slowly at 275-300 degrees for about an hour. She states that the slower you cook it, the better the dish.

Magic brownies

(no flour)

I know my many friends wonder sometimes what I do to the dishes I take to potlucks. So here is my secret recipe for bean brownies. I had to rework my recipe and this one seems to be the best one.


1 1/2 cup black beans (one 15 oz can, drained and rinsed well)

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 cup quick oats

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsp sugar or sugar substitute

1/4 cup oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup to 1 cup of chocolate chips.


Preheat oven to  350F.

Combine all ingredients except chips and blend in food processor or mixer till completely smooth. A blender can be used but the processor mixes the beans better.

Stir in the chips and pour into a 8x8-inch pan. Sprinkle extra chips on top and bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool before cutting into squares.

My favorite fiber bean is black-eyed peas. It may fall into the pea family, but I still like to use it as a fiber product. I could not find fresh black-eyed peas anywhere in the local markets. I was raised on black eyed peas with snaps. (They are in the canned variety.)

I looked for the seeds to plant and could not find any. My brain had a senior moment as I thought I could just go to the store and buy a bag of black-eyed peas and plant them in the garden. I thought I had better plant about six rolls in case I got about half a crop. Guess what, I got the whole enchilada. The bean pod grows as long as your arm. I had so many black eye peas that I have them frozen for all year. So I will leave you with my favorite black-eyed pea recipe:

Black-eyed pea salad


1 (15 oz) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

3 Tbsp Cider Vinaigrettes (see below) below)


Stir all ingredient together and refrigerate till served

Cider viniaigrette recipe

2 Tbsp cider vinegar

2 tsp olive oil

1 garlic clove finely minced

5-10 drops of hot pepper sauce.

Whisk all ingredients together. Makes about 3 tablespoons.

I hate to leave good company but Christmas shopping calls me. I want to leave you with these words of wisdom in case some of my crazy recipes blow your mind.

I didn’t have potatoes, so I substituted rice

Didn’t have paprika, so I used another spice

I didn’t have tomato sauce, so I used tomato paste

A whole can, not a half can — I do not believe in waste

My friend gave me the recipe — She said you couldn’t beat it

There must be something wrong with her.


Arritta Morris has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s degree in counseling. She is a certified as a Food Service Specialist by the School and Nutrition Association.