Ok fine. The beany vegan brownie bites every time.
I kid! While I've only been dating my boyfriend for a few months, he has swept me off my feet in a way that I didn't know was even possible. As cheesy as it sounds, I've fallen and I've fallen hard. Weeeee!
I was never big into Valentine's Day. I mean I'll take an excuse to eat dark chocolate any day, but I could pass on the mushy cards and flower bouquets. Thankfully the boyf is nearly as nutty about health as yours truly, so adulterating brownies with beans on V-Day is totally encouraged.
It comes with the territory that I'd whip up some funky yet flavoricious treat to ring in the romance, but I wanted to do something else this year. Some seriously special. Something unexpected. Something quiet, romantic, something we could both enjoy at home.
Introducing... Melt: Massage for Couples! AKA the most perf stay at home date idea.
Melt is a beautifully filmed online video series that teaches you and your partner how to give (and receive!) delicious massages right at home. Created by Australian professional massage therapist Denis Merkas, Melt features short, simple, and easy to understand video clips that are tasteful, romantic, and truly enjoyable to watch.
I know what you're thinking.
Cozying up next to your partner and learning how to massage one and other might not be how you pictured yourself spending date night.
But imagine how much more connected your time together will be one you know how to make them feel like a million bucks! Coming from a person who gets frequent professional massages, I understand how incredible (yet expensive!) the massage process can be. Having the ability to make your loved one feel that sense of ultimate comfort and connectedness right at home (without your hands cramping up in five minutes) is quite the special gift, if you ask me.
So how does it work?
The Melt Massage Series features 17 massage techniques and 3 massage routines for a total running time of 122 minutes. The best part is that the videos are short, so you can watch a couple here and there and then pick up right where you left off. You can use each individual series as its own date night experience and spread it over three dates if you'd like.
Series 1, the basic massage course, teaches you the basic strokes and techniques of a drool-worthy massage along with common mistakes.
It finished with a 5-minute video massage routine. Series 2, the learning highlights, shows you how to add flair and finesse to your massage, including 9 techniques to relieve tension in the head, neck, shoulders, arms, back, etc. We're all hurtin' somewhere! It ends with a 15-minute massage routine.
After you've mastered the basics of massage, you can get into Series 3, deep tissue massage. These advanced techniques teach you how to make the most of your thumbs for the best massage yet. It concluded with an epic 30-minute massage routine.
What I liked most about these videos is honestly how visually appealing they were. It was almost like watching a movie. Even the music was fabulous! The videos state everything in terms that anyone can understand, and the techniques are simple enough for anyone to master. It's totally uncomplicated. No prior massage skills are necessary.
My other favorite part about the videos is that they had personality. Denis is witty and romantic, keeping you engaged and excited for what's next. He's relatable. Instead of using anatomy terms surrounding the neck, he'll tell you to make a bowl of soup with your fingers to get the "money shot" just right. You'll hear him say phrases like "sexy swoosh," "massage gold," and my personal favorite..."mushy mushy yum yum bits." I really appreciate the life he brought to these videos.
So why is Melt worth the investment?
I like to think of it as an investment in your relationship. It's not like going to see a movie or even going to dinner. It's a mutually beneficial, relaxing, romantic, intimate way to spend the evening and it will NEVER get old. Who gets tired of massages?!
Now for the good news! Denis is offering Hummusapien readers a special deal this Valentine's Day. The Melt Video Series is on sale until February 14, 2016! Get 20% off lifetime video access bundled courses---only $89 (usually $147). Head on over to Melt: Massage for Couples for this fantabulous deal. In the words of Denis and his lovely wife Emma, every relationship deserves a little massage!
Now let's love on some vegan brownie bites!
If you've never nommed on a brownie made with black beans, there's no better time than the present.
Prepare to fall in love. Again.Print
Studded with fresh raspberries, these vegan and gluten-free black bean brownies are not only rich and fudgey, but also secretly loaded with fiber.
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water
- 1-15oz can black beans, drained and very well rinsed
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- ½ tsp coffee grounds
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup pitted Medjool dates, packed (about 9 dates)
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup almond meal
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1-6oz pkg raspberries
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. (You can also make these as bars. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. I like to cut two even strips to cover the dish evenly both ways.)
- Add rinsed beans, maple syrup, coconut oil, coffee, vanilla, and dates to the bowl of a large food processor. Process for about 3 minutes, or until smooth. Add ¼ cup of the raspberries (save the rest), flax mixture, cocoa powder, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. Process again until smooth.
- Using a spatula, stir in in chocolate chips and remaining raspberries.
- Pour batter into prepared muffin tin.
- Bake for about about 25-30 minutes, or until brownies are set in the middle. Allow brownies to completely cool before carefully removing from muffin tin.
- Store brownies in an air-tight container for a couple days and then transfer to the fridge.
This post is sponsored by Melt: Massage for Couples. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Hummusapien possible!
P.S. If you love this dessert, I'm gonna bet that you'll also love these Chocolate Covered Tart Cherry Rice Crispy Treats too!