Thanks for all the well wishes for my mom’s birthday yesterday! She doesn’t know about this blog yet, but when I get around to telling her, I’ll be sure to pass along all the compliments. For the record- I have no idea how she looks so young. If video did not exist of my birth, I wouldn’t think she was old enough to be my mom 🙂

Baked applesauce oatmeal is the best way to start the day, especially when you have an appointment to give blood later in the day!

I took a picture and it’s gone. Don’t worry, it didn’t look different than the last 30 times I made it 🙂

Before my appointment, I hit the gym for another strength training session- my second of the week! That means that for this week, I’ve met my strength training goal. I also did 60 minutes on the elliptical. I didn’t even break a sweat- I kept it easy so I wouldn’t have to wash my hair. I’m disgusting, I know.

My appointment wasn’t until 2, and I was craving some chocolate to go along with the peppermint ice cream that’s lurking in my freezer. Well, not exactly lurking. I just got it yesterday and it seems to have mysteriously shrunk in half. Who’s fault is that? I claim no responsibility 🙂

Enter… bean brownies! I’ve made black bean brownies before, and I’ve also made pumpkin bean bars with white beans. Even though I have black beans on hand, I have a recipe I’m saving them for, so I tried my hand at making chocolate brownies with garbanzo beans.

Chocolate White Bean Brownies


  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder


  • Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into either an 8×8 pan or ramekins and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

My goal was to make these as simply as possible and with no added sugar. My banana was super ripe, so it adds just the right amount of sweetness. Dare I say these are actually healthy? Just look at the ingredient list!

Don’t get me wrong, they’re great plain… but sometimes you just have to add ice cream.

Oh yes I did. Look at the way the ice cream is seeping into the cracks on top! It doesn’t get better than that.

There’s a reason dessert is supposed to be eaten after lunch- so you don’t eat so much that you’re not in the mood for real food. Unfortunately, that’s what happened to me today. I’m trying to convince myself that my ice cream brownie combination counts as both a main dish and a dessert. It sure was filling! I guess that’s because although you could probably make 8 brownies… I ate poured the batter into two ramekins and ate the entirety of what’s pictured above 🙂

All that iron couldn’t have hurt, because my finger prick at my blood donor appointment revealed something I never thought I would see. I am one whole point ABOVE the iron limit! Say what?! The friendly phlebotomist informed me while she was squeezing my bloody finger that my blood was nice and dark and getting thicker (I had my head turned away… I hate blood!), which is apparently a sign of a decent iron level. I went through the whole process, sat down in the chair…

…and no one could find a vein to take blood out of! Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened. I made sure to drink a lot of water this morning, because that’s supposed to plump your veins up, but for some reason, my veins don’t show up that well in my arm. The last time I got blood drawn for a doctor’s appointment, it took 45 minutes to find a vein. My sister has the same problem- she’s had to get blood drawn out of her wrist and the top of her hand (ewwww!)

So, sadly, I was turned away from donating. I was pretty bummed, considering that I had a decent iron count, but I’m going to try again soon. In the meantime, I’m going to keep eating iron rich foods- it’s obviously working!

I made the mistake of not eating a snack today, so when I got home at five, I inhaled pumpkin yogurt, an apple with peanut butter, and my favorite ‘oh my god I’m so hungry I’m going to eat my arm’ salad.

In a fit of hunger, I threw black beans, refried beans, Fritos, and Greek yogurt on top of some spinach. At least I had the decency to wash my spinach- no e. Coli here! I’m usually not a huge chip fan, but my mom makes really awesome taco salads with Fritos on them, and they add a great salty and crunchy element. Now I’m seriously full!

Do you have any horror stories involving needles or giving blood? My mom said that when my brother was a baby, a nurse was trying to draw his blood and couldn’t find a vein, so she started moving around the needle INSIDE HIS ARM! Isn’t that gross? I hate veins!

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83 Responses to Deeeeeenied

  1. The brownie ice cream thing look so yummy!

  2. Alaina says:

    Those brownies looks great! and I have all the ingredients! Well, do you think greek yogurt will work?

    I’ve only given blood once because before then, I had a really low iron count. The only time I donated, I got wicked dizzy and ended up having to lie down and eat, eat, eat. Wait, that doesn’t sound like a horror story! haha 🙂

  3. paijery says:

    That iron count is awesome!!
    I give blood as often as I can. No horror stories so far! 🙂

  4. I can sit in a chair and get a 2.5 hour tattoo… no big deal

    You try to take blood from me and I. Will. Fight. You.

    True story! OMG and noooo not the pancake! Want my dirty little secret? my hubs makes me dark chocolate chip pancakes from a box when i’m feeling down. No fancy schmantsy recipe… just a box o bisquick and a bag of dark chocolate chips 😉

  5. Kate says:

    Hi, Kate! It’s Kate! 🙂
    Your salad looks just like mine tonight (minus the yogurt part and the doritos) but I used tortilla chips. Ya just gotta have a lil crunch, right?

    Let me get this right, there are beans in those brownies? How absurdly delicious must that be!?

    I just might have to try something like that.

  6. Your salad looks so simple, yet completely awesome! I love you. Those are the kind of salads I live for.

    I wish I had a video of my birth! Well…I kinda do. haha then again that might be verrrry disturbing.

  7. jojo says:

    Oatmeal gets a LOT of love on tons of blogs– I’m relatively new to healthy, whole grain eating, so I’m just beginning my love affair with steel cut oats…in fact, I’m cooking a Weight Watcher’s Sweet Potato oatmeal overnight in the crock pot. It’s got cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice (my addition), so the house has a warm, nutty smell that is making me pine for the 6:00 a.m. wake-up…for once! Happy Belated Birthday, btw…I look forward to following your blog and supporting one another.

  8. Melie says:

    I am totally making the oats tomorrow for breakfast, as soon as you let me know where the applesauce goes in the recipe. I also have some apple cranberry butter that would look great on the cookie! 🙂

  9. woah! awesome brownies! i will put them in my recipe book!

  10. I had the same problems with veins when I was younger. I’ve had blood drawn from all sorts of other places. I got used to it. As I get older, it’s less and less of a problem.

    Your brownies look fantastic and so simple. Did you taste the beans?

  11. I’ve heard of black bean brownies but have never made them!!!! We have an extra can I should whip some up!!! Looks delish
    I’m right there w/the camera doing disappearing tricks!!

  12. emily says:

    Sorry you didn’t get to give blood..that’s frustrating! I have also heard that you should exercise right before giving blood to get it pumping through your veins; I’ve also heard this speeds up the process. Glad you had a good iron level, though!

  13. Sruthi says:

    The brownies look great. I will make them sometime soon. I cant eat brownies that are not sweet, so may be I will add a little sugar, or should I add another banana, what do you say.

  14. Oh my gracious, you seriously had me squirming in my seat with all that blood/needle talk… I had to skim through part of it to keep from getting ill. I don’t do needles. At all. Want to know what I’m looking forward to the least in childbirth? The IV. Yeah. No joke. Anyway, you are so much braver than me for at least WANTING to give blood. Way to be. Thankfully I couldn’t give blood even if I wanted to because I was exposed to SARS and Bird Flu so I never have to feel bad about not giving blood. Oookay, enough blood talk now…

  15. Hmm, that’s an interesting brownie recipe. I’m definitely going to have to try it out! It looks good! 🙂

    And no blood horror stories for me. Let’s hope it stays that way. 🙂
    Sorry you couldn’t give it though. 😦

  16. OliePants says:

    Ice cream pretty much everything better! Thank goodness for no horror stories while giving blood!

  17. The brownies look amazing! I got the recipe to make some this weekend 🙂

  18. Sana says:

    Yeah I can’t donate either. Poop.

    Sometimes I wish my mom did not read my blog so I could talk abt fun things, like boysss!

  19. I love your recipe for brownies! I can’t wait to try them! 🙂

    My mom has the same problem–her veins are hard to find, and they roll. so sometimes they are digging around in her arm. Not only that, but since my mom is diabetic, her wounds take longer to heal. Unlike my mom, apparently I have really good veins; but, I cry the entire time. Once I see the chair and the needle, I burst into tears. The needle doesn’t hurt or anything–I just cry. You’re really brave; I prefer them to not to stick needles in me unless it is absolutely necessary (like for a test or something).

  20. Wow! That brownie recipe is right up my alley, no sugar and gluten-free! I’m definitely going to have to try that.

  21. Kayla says:

    This is TOTALLY my kind of recipe!! Seriously, the brownies look AMAZING! I bet they’d be excellent with some banana soft serve!! I’m totally making these!

  22. Errign says:

    I’ve tried to donate blood once – my vein collapsed twice (both arms) so the lady told me I didn’t have veins designed to give blood & it was sensible to probably not try again, as that is not something that generally changes.

    The few times I’ve been hospitalized, I had IVs EVERYWHERE. They start in the normal spots, but as those veins collapse they move them around. A two night stay in the hospital once resulted in 15 different IV changes. The nurses say that with red hair & tough skin, I have small veins that are nearly impossible to get since they have to jab me so hard! Good thing I don’t mind needles. 🙂

  23. ~Jessica~ says:

    Think of it this way: the brownies are actually quite a well balanced lunch with one fruit and one veggie serving, plus a good amount of protein 🙂

    No-one can ever get blood out of me. When I was in hospital for an emergency operation they couldn’t find a vein at all in the back of my hand so they jammed the needle in my wrist. I still have a small bruise there!

    And belated birthday wishes to your stunning Mum!

  24. I get turned away from donating blood too. For the same reason! So annoying.

  25. I’m intrigued that you haven’t told your mom about your blog yet. Why not?

    Those brownies look so healthy. I definitely want to give them a try!

    Finally, I actually have the same vein problem and have had to do what your sister has had to do. It’s no fun! Anyway, count yourself lucky that they turned you away. They somehow managed to find my veins when I went, and then I had a huge bruise for DAYS because they refused to use a butterfly needle.

  26. AlisonM says:

    That’s great news about your iron! I love it when there are happy vegetarian tales to tell about bloodwork 😀

    And nice work on meeting your strength training goal!

  27. Peggy says:

    Oh wow! I want that brownie/ice cream combination now!

  28. oh yum! I now have a brownie craving!

  29. Seriously this brownie…this fudgy goodness is made with beans?! Awesome!

    I really hate needles and have to lay down when I get blood taken. I used to pass out when I was a kid and had to get it done. Eewwww…..


  30. goodeatsgirl says:

    Peppermint ice cream with brownies is the best thing ever…and these brownies look awesome! I’m definitely going to try this!

  31. runyogarepeat says:

    Those brownies look so tasty! I have given blood a few times, but I have also been denied multiple times. One time, I told my sister that giving blood is no big deal, then I passed out right in front of her while she was giving blood!

  32. I used to give plasma in college. And the worst part was them trying to find a good vein. They’d only take it out of my right arm and I would have to do all the tricks to get it good enough.

    Once the needle went completely through the vein in the middle of giving… no, I’d rather not talk about it…

  33. The bean brownies sound so good—and of course you had to add ice cream 🙂

    I haven’t given blood in a long time, but I don’t know why because it’s super easy for me and my veins are super easygoing 🙂

    Good job meeting your strength training goal for the week!

  34. Kat says:

    Rough! I’ve given blood twice, but I’ve never had a horror like that happen to me.

    For what it’s worth, once I made myself a personal-pan pumpkin pie because that was the only thing I wanted for dinner. No shame, lady – we feast with pride 😉

  35. Jessica says:

    I’ve never tried black bean brownies before, that is an interesting combination! Do they actually taste like brownies? I’m guilty of not always washing my hair too. That’s the one down side to running more – I have to wash it more.

    I’m not good about having blood drawn. I donated once and they had a hard time finding the vein – it was painful, and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t donated blood since. It’s definitely something I should try again, I just need to work up the nerve.

  36. Monica says:

    UM YEAH, that needle moving is what permanently scared me from giving blood forever! And I am O+ so I get called all the time, but just cannot do it. They never find my veins and watching that needle move around under your skin is painfully disgusting.

    Uh, traumatizing!

    Sorry you couldn’t donate today.

  37. susan says:

    I love how easy that brownie recipe is! I bet it would be great with Baker’s chocolate melted on top!

  38. Jess says:

    they can NEVER find my vein! it’s so frustrating!

  39. Sarah says:

    I have been wanting to make bean brownies for a while! Maybe this weekend it will FINALLY happen 😀

  40. Do it! You won’t regret it 🙂

  41. Pingback: Just Say No? | What Kate is Cooking

  42. That totally stinks about not being able to give blood. The last time I donated (back in high school), they had to stick me like 6 or 7 times…I almost passed out!

    In my line of work, I have to start IVs on my patients. I know it seems like we’re being so mean wiggling that needle around inside your arm, but actually you can pin down the vein on the inside by turning the needle in certain directions. Doesn’t work all the time, but I’ve had to do it a lot in the past. If I can help it though, I don’t “fish” for veins for longer than a few seconds…I know how it feels!

  43. Pingback: Chocolate- Part Of This Balanced Breakfast! | What Kate is Cooking

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