There’s more than one reason to think February 2020 is a special month: for one, we get a whole extra day this year with “Leap Year” happening once again after a four year hiatus. But like every other February (even the ones without Leap Days), this month also features Valentine’s Day. We of course know that holiday is is all about love. In fact, we’re declaring Self-Love as Allergic to Salad’s February Theme of the Month. While the definition of self-love may vary a bit from person to person, we think it’s important to practice loving ourselves with mindful eating and body-positivity.

At Allergic to Salad, we don’t believe certain foods are inherently good or bad; it is possible to foster a positive relationship with all food, including special occasion desserts. This goes hand-in-hand with with Valentine’s Day, which is intertwined with the promise of tasty treats like chocolate. So this month we’re featuring one of our most loved dessert recipes: Black Bean Brownies. The  beans in our batter make these baked goods a bit healthier than usual with the added fiber, protein and folate. Other than making healthier goodies, some ways you can practice mindful eating and promote body-positivity include:

  • Making eating fun! Whether it’s a vegetable or a cupcake, seeing food as fun rather something to fear creates a positive relationship with nourishing our bodies.
  • Acknowledge and normalize different body types. People come in all shapes and sizes, just like we all have different talents. Celebrate your own abilities, and encourage others when they demonstrate their skills.
  • Focus food choices on nutrition and loving your body, rather than on looks. Make decisions about what to eat based on health rather than diet or looks.
  • Enjoy treats. Make the occasion special by using all five senses to savor the food. Mindful Schools has some great suggestions such as tasting the food on the tongue before chewing, and taking just one bite at a time.
  • Make cooking and eating a time to socialize. Connect and share with loved ones rather than a binge in front of the TV.

So this Valentine’s Day, why not make your own chocolate treats together and share both the cooking and the noshing with those you love? Or have a mindful treat as a part of some me-time: it’s a great way to practice self-love.

Black Bean Brownies

Course Dessert, Snack
Keyword baking, black beans, brownies, chocolate, dessert, snack
Servings 12 servings


  • cups black beans
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup or agave
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ to ⅔ cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.

  2. Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top.

  3. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. If they still look a bit undercooked, you can place them in the fridge overnight and they will magically firm up! 

We hope you a sweet time with friends and family this February,

Team Allergic to Salad ❤️

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