Ask Jo: Elephants and Black Bean Brownies

I’ve had a few questions from readers that I thought I would answer here so all of you can read about it….

First up from Ann after this blog post.
“Jo, could you share the size of the elephant . please ? Our Womens Ministry would love to make these to give to police and rehab centers for any of their scared and hurting little guys and girls. Some children are very tactile and the fabric and ribbons would be very soothing to them.  I would appreciate any advice too. Thank you.”

I bought this little elephant at a craft show with the intention of making some. After the question came in I did a quick Google search and there are many.  I typed in Elephant Taggie Pattern.  Here’s a link to the results.

In the search I ended up finding a link to a stuffed animal elephant.  It’s a free pattern and I think it would perfectly for sizing to make this elephant.  I didn’t try it myself yet but here’s the link.  Read through the page to find the link to the pattern.


I looked through the initial Google search and found that others did the tail different so it swings.  I like that option.

Image result for elephant taggie pattern

I saw this one attached to a blanket….another cute idea.

Image result for elephant taggie pattern

That lead me down an rabbit hole and I found a dinosaur taggie, an owl taggie, a turtle taggie and even more taggies.

Happily when one of my blog readers, Sue, from Manchester Iowa, saw this initial taggie post thought of me and sent on a bunch of ribbon to me!!  I was an so happy to have it.


I need to get to Joann’s or somewhere else to get a few other pieces.  That’s one thing hard about living rural.  I really want to sit down one day and make six of them and have them on hand when needed….good intentions I’m sure!

If anyone has other taggie ideas please share them!!!

Next from Ella after my post about black bean brownies.
What size bean, also do you drain beans?


The answer..15 oz size.

…but the comments didn’t end there.  Apparently people care a lot about Black Bean Brownies…here’s more comments….After this post I got a comment from John:  “That’s not really a healthy alternative. You are removing the protein component, egg, and the fat, which can be healthy and doubling down on the carbs with the beans and brownie mix.”

Then Gregg wrote:  “It’s extremely healthier; especially for your heart. By using the black beans you are getting a lot of fiber and protein while avoiding the cholesterol in the eggs. The carbs and fat in black beans are not bad for you. Bad carbs are the ones in such things as processed white bread and pasta.”

Then Jennifer wrote: “Beans are packed with nutrients including protien. The new WW Freestyle Program has beans listed as a free food and I am super excited to make these!”

Then Kay wrote:  “Beans are a protein, although “incomplete”, Just add a complimentary protein in your meal. and 1 egg spread among 9-12 bars isn’t much protein. Not all carbs are bad.”

Then Katherine added a Weight Watchers Black Bean Brownie Recipe she enjoys….Who knew a black bean recipe for brownies could create such a range of comments!!!  What really surprised me is that several are first time commenters.

Well I’ve lived long enough in life to know that everyone eats differently….some people don’t eat dairy…some no eggs…some no gluten and the list could go on and on.  EVERYONE has a different idea on what is healthy.  I grew up in the don’t eat eggs and fat years when people thought that was the best option.  Now no carbs is the fab as is no gluten….right or wrong, time will tell.  It seams they are always coming up with ideas and new fads start.  I presented these brownies as an option…something my childcare kids were trying.  I am far beyond the point that I believe any of the diet or health recommendations beyond eating food as naturally available as possible.  Please don’t take anything I write about here as diet or health advice.

Who knew all this over Black Bean Brownies???

Feel free to ask questions anytime….you can find me at or leave a comment in the comment section.  I read them all!!

5 thoughts on “Ask Jo: Elephants and Black Bean Brownies”

  1. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Just goes to show you that there are as many different opinions about food as there are about quilting…what is good, what is bad! Who know what will set off a firestorm of opinions!!

  2. Thanks for all the research on the elephant taggie, and for winnowing it down to a good pattern. I may need to make one someday! Using Minkee is perfect.

  3. What a great taggie elephant and so many ideas out there. I don’t think the black bean brownies are on my list but they sure do look chewy and chocolatey. Enjoy

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