Monday, October 31, 2011

Cooking with Pureed Beans

You might think that using beans in a recipe will make it taste weird but.....
   Some recipes (snickerdoodles for example) become more soft and fluffy!
Try it out!  If you think your family won't like it, just wait and tell them after they've tried it.  Think they still won't eat it? Offer them cookies for breakfast, who can turn that down... even if it has beans? :)

Did you know that you can replace the oil in some recipes with pureed beans?
(Thanks to my sister for this awesome bit of advice)

The general rule of thumb:  ‘up to half’ of the oil called for in a recipe can be substituted.
If your recipe calls for ½ c. butter, you can use ¼ c. butter and ¼ c. pureed beans.
This also applies to margarine, shortening, lard, vegetable or olive oil!
If you're unsure, start with substituting 25% then 50%. Each recipe will be different. Have fun experimenting!

I prefer to use white beans as they have minimal flavor and color. If you’re making brownies or something with chocolate, go ahead and use black or pinto beans as the color won’t matter!  
 (I’ve never experimented with other kinds of beans so please share your findings!)

Why do I use pureed beans?
-I prefer pureed beans because it doesn’t add flavor but does add protein, and fiber and reduces the amount of oil I consume!
-I prefer pureed beans instead of applesauce because I don’t need to worry about it adding extra sweetness to the recipe like applesauce does.
-You’ll notice that you don’t have a greasy aftertaste in your mouth like you normally get from high oil-content foods such as frosting.

What recipes can I use pureed beans in?
-In most baking recipes!
-In cookies, they will become more fluffy which makes a delicious Snickerdoodle (I actually use 75% beans and 25%  butter in Snickerdoodles and get asked for the recipe all the time… boy are they surprised when I tell them my secret ingredient)
-In a pie crust, it will be a little crisper and if you use too much, it can become crunchy (I’d suggest only 25-50% beans).
-In frosting, it will be a softer texture. Expect to use it for the ‘flat’ frosting.  The more beans, the flatter it will be.  Go ahead and experiment using 25%, then 50% and see which you prefer.

When will I NOT use beans again?
My mom and I were making hard caramels and I figured I’d give it a whirl with using ½ beans and ½ butter instead of all butter.
The results were?           …. Drum roll please….  
Flavor- The same as the regular recipe.     Appearance- Just a hair darker.       Texture- Grainy.
Conclusion: The kids were ecstatic that we let them eat up the caramels and they didn’t mind at all!

Ok, are you ready to try it out?

1 c. + 1 T. dry beans = 3 c. + 3 T. cooked beans
1 c. + 1 T. cooked beans + 2 T. bean broth = 5.3 oz (10 T + 2 t.) pureed beans
3 c. + 3 T. cooked beans + 6 T. broth = 16 oz (2 c.) pureed beans

1 - The jar shows dried beans.  Cook beans as suggested below or use rinsed, canned beans. 
2 - Mash (with a fork) or blend (in a blender) 1 cup of  cooked, drained beans until smooth, adding 2 Tablespoons of bean broth/liquid until it’s the consistency of soft butter, shortening, or lard.
3 - Place  1 cup (8 oz) of pureed beans into the square plastic container (shown bottom,left) and smooth it out.
4 - Use a butter knife to score (lightly cut ½-¾ way through) it into 16 pieces like the diagram (shown bottom,right).
5 - Now freeze the beans so you can break it into 16 pieces (1 tablespoon each) as needed. This makes it easier to thaw and use. Keep pureed beans frozen and sealed in a freezer bag/container.

Dried Bean Guide
Use this guide to gauge how much dried beans to cook.   (1 serving – 1/3 cup. cooked beans)
¼ cup dry beans
¾ cup cooked beans
1/3 cup dry beans
1 cup cooked beans
½ cup dry beans
1 ½ cups cooked beans
2/3 cup dry beans
2 cup cooked beans
1 cup dry beans (1/2 pound)
3 cups cooked beans, drained
2 cups (1 pound) dry beans
6 cups cooked beans, drained
One 15-ounce can of cooked beans
1 ½ cups cooked beans, drained

PRESOAKING DRIED BEANS: Rinse beans in water and pick out any broken pieces and rocks. Add water/beans in sauce pan. (1 part dried beans to 3-4 parts water)

The Quick Presoak method is to boil the beans for two minutes, take the pan off the heat, cover and allow to stand for one hour. Before cooking the beans, regardless of method, drain the soaking liquid and rinse the beans with clean water.

TO COOK BEANS: Add three cups of fresh water or broth for each cup of dried beans. The liquid should be about one to two inches above the top of the beans. Bring the beans to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, partially covering the pot. If any foam develops, you can skim it off during the simmering process. Black beans generally take about one and one-half hours to become tender using this method.    (Soaked beans cook in a saucepan in 1-1 ½ hours  OR in a 15lb pressure cooker  in 5-8 minutes.)

DO NOT add any seasonings that are salty or acidic until after the beans have been cooked since adding them earlier will make the beans tough and greatly increase the cooking time.
Right click on the above document to print or download the recipe

You can also use Pureed Lentils
Best of luck!


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