I just finished reading Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon. It was hard. Not in a conventional over exert your brain because the words are so big and pretentious type hard, but in a “I have no idea what’s happening” way. This book is a psychedelic ride through a drug-addled detective’s gig to find his ex-girlfriend and her lover, while uncovering multiple layers of shady business and shady characters.
In Vice’s defense, my challenges getting through this book may have been perpetually increased by the fact that winter is upon us here in Toronto. Some of my anger was unduly projected onto the characters, who spend their time following clues amongst surfers and girls in bikinis in downtown LA. While I found this book very difficult to follow, I suppose that is sort of its beauty. The entire book is like one long paranoid drug trip. Like a never ending ‘shroom induced word vomit. Imagine Raymond Chandler and Kurt Vonnegut had a baby, who they raised only on Peyote and Jefferson Airplane. That is inherent vice.
The protagonist of this novel, Doc, a well-known PI spends the majority of his time smoking dope and having “hiippiephanies”. So in his honor I’m making black bean brownies … man. With an extra ingredient. BEETS – to add a little psychedelic flare. These brownies are super gooey, but super healthy. Vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free. But despite their very healthy ingredients these brownies are deliciously satisfying. Satisfying enough to cure any case of the munchies.
Blackbean and Beetnit Brownies
Step 1 – Head over to Songza, start this serious psychedelic mix, prepare for deliciousness to ensue.
- 1 large beet (peeled, cubed and steamed until soft) – about 1 cup worth
- 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained well)
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 1/2 cup of your favorite liquid sweetener – I used maple syrup
- 1 flax (or chia) egg
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375.
To make the chia or flax egg, mix 1tbsp ground flax or ground chia with 3 tbsp warm water. Mix well and let sit for 5 minutes.
In a blender or food processor mix all ingredients except chocolate chips. Blend thoroughly (about 3 minutes on high).
Stir in chopped dark chocolate.
Line a 9”x9” baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with coconut oil. Pour the mixture into the pan and make sure it is spread evenly. Bake for 50 minutes, rotating the pan once throughout cooking.
Remove brownies and let cool – then place then in an airtight container and let them chill in the fridge for 1 hour to help firm them up. These brownies are super gooey so they will not look cooked all the way through (the middle might still jiggle) but they will harden up in the fridge.
Creamy Avocado and Date icing:
Blend the following:
- 1/3 cup semi-soft pitted Medjool dates (if your dates do not feel soft soak them in warm water for 30 minutes and drain before adding them to the blender)
- 1/4 cup liquid sweeter (I used agave)
- 1/2 cup ripe avocado ( about 1 regular avocado)
- 1/3 cup cacao powder or 1/3 cup melted dark chocolate
Top brownies with your favorite ingredients – pears, raspberries, coconut. Groovy Man.