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OK, so I like to have a bit of something sweet every day.  Those cakes and brownies and muffins call to me.  But flour is ridiculously high in calories!

So, after some searching, I found a substitute for flour - BEANS!

It's not new - gluten free diets often utilize bean flour in combination of other flours, but this is expensive to buy, and I don't have a grinder.  But, in general, you can substitute 1 cup cooked and pureed beans for 1 cup flour + 2 T fat.  It helps if there is liquid you can decrease as well - the recipes come out a bit dense, a bit crumbly and VERY moist.

Just cook your beans like normal, until they are done but still firm.  I cook a couple of pounds then freeze them to use later.  Or, you could use canned beans, rinsed well.

So, what's the nutritional difference?

White flour: 1 cup has 455 calories, 3.4 g fiber, and 12.9 g protein Whole wheat flour:  1 cup has 400 calories, 12 g fiber, and 16 g protein Great northern beans: 1 cup puree (257g) has 178 calories, 11.9 g fiber, and 13.9 g protein My recipes so far:  Deep Dark Chocolate Bean Cake, Best Bean Brownies, Banana Bean Nut Bread, Blueberry Bean Muffins, and Chocolate Chip Cookie-Brownie Try them and tell me what you think!

20 Replies (last)

I have baked brownies like this before and they turned out delish! Making brownies with the beans makes them more fudge-like, and I couldn't taste the bean flavor at all.

Just finished off 4 Black Bean Brownies before i saw this post. They were DELICIOUS!

Kind of related, but sort of off-topic: I've seen recipes for brownies that call for pureed avocado and canned pumpkin. I think it's the same idea since the flavors of each are so mild that they're easy to hide. I've also seen one that calls for blueberry puree which doesn't seem so subtle to me...

After reading all of 'Ruxies journals about the bean-for-flour substitution, I know she's put a lot of thought and effort into making these taste and feel as close to the real thing as possible. I personally cannot wait to try these out and have blueberries and dried beans sitting at home waiting to be turned into some delicious muffins! (hopefully this weekend!)

:D  Thanks, bierorama!

Hi! Your recipes sound delicious, and I can't wait to try them. Can other types of beans be used, or only great northern beans?

I picked great northern because they were mild and light colored, but I would imagine garbanzo or another mild bean would work too.

Got it, thanks! :)

Okay this may be a stupid question, but I have messed up recipes before and want to verify:

When you list the grams of beans to use.....that's measured with cooked beans, right?

Not a stupid question :)  Yep, cooked and drained beans.

What about black beans? My garden is overflowing!

I don't know - the chocolate cake and brownies probably would work fine - the other stuff would come out darker.  Let me know how it turns out!

how much (approx) is 451 g in cups?

1 cup whole beans = about 177 grams, so about 2-1/2 to 2-2/3 cups in 451 grams.

None of my recipes need exact measurements for the beans, so don't worry overmuch about going over or going under.  I'd err on the side of going over, though.

Sounds so cool, I need to try some of these recipes out!! :D

Just a question, what if the beans canned and salted? Would the salt in them affect the results? Or should I look out for unsalted beans?

If you are using canned beans, just rinse them well and they should do fine.  If you want you probably could reduce the salt in the recipe a bit to compensate.

I just cook a big batch of beans all at once, spread them out on a cookie sheet to freeze, then bag them and store them in my freezer.

This is an awesome idea :) I'm definitely trying these out sometime this week. What a wonderful excuse to bake ;) 

Original Post by lasmith86:

What about black beans? My garden is overflowing!

I think black beans work really well in chocolate recipes.  So maybe in brownies or chocolate cake.

Bush's has come out with a whole line of reduced sodium canned beans.  Rinse them to remove even more sodium, just can't measure how much you remove.  In many baking recipes I simply omit salt.  There's plenty in baking powder and baking soda.  I did locate lower sodium baking powder.  Since too much sodium is a medical issue for me, I often omit baking soda, too.

If you have a crock pot, it's quite easy to make your own beans with no salt.

IN a regular pot on stove cover your beans with water.  Bring to a boil.  Turn off heat and let cool just enough to drain.  Drain and rinse the beans.  Now plop them in your crock pot and cover with water ... I fill up the crock pot as high as I can with water. If I have to go somewhere I don't have to worry about it. ;)  Cook on low 4-6 hours or overnight.

Good luck!

How fascinating! Thanks for this :)

Any idea how butter beans would do?

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