The other day I was making White Bean Chicken Chili and decided to use some of the dried white beans from my storage (SO much less expensive than canned beans!). I put 3 lbs. of beans in my large roaster oven and had them simmer in the water for 4-5 hours. By the end of the day the beans were perfectly soft and ready for my chili. Needless to say, out of 3 lbs. of beans, I had LOTS of left overs and wondered what to do with them. I have read several blogs and books where they say you can substitute white beans pureed for fat/butter in recipes. I decided to give this method a try. I was over all quite pleased with the results! Here are a few of my cooking adventures with pureed white beans.
My first attempt was pretty terrible. I don't know if it was the recipe I used or the fact I used 100% whole wheat and 100% beans-with no butter or fat. The cookies turned out dry and crumbly and NOT worth posting about. When I perfect a chocolate chip cookie recipe with white beans I will post about it.
I then decided to try white bean puree in some muffins I was making for an after school snack for the kids. These actually turned out pretty good! I think if you used all white flour you wouldn't even be able to tell the difference of the butter or beans. However, I tend to go over board with the wheat flour in hopes of being healthy, and usually do too much. Try this recipe with half wheat flour and half white flour and I think it will be perfect! I have tried all bean puree and no butter and they just turn out too crumbly and dry. Having some fat in the recipe helps the item stay moist and soft. Sorry...these are 'healthier' not 100% healthy :)
*I liked the lemon butter/sugar topping of these muffins, but I think a traditional streusel would actually taste even better.
2 c. wheat flour
2 c. white flour
1 cup sugar
6 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
zest of two lemons
2 cup water
6 T. dry powdered milk
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. white bean puree
2 cup frozen blueberries
Topping (this makes extra - you can try cutting it down if you want):
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tb lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
Beat eggs, bean puree, butter, water, powdered milk, and sugar. Stir in blueberries. Add dry ingredients and stir gently to combine. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Combine butter and lemon juice. While the muffins are still warm, dip the tops in the butter and lemon juice, then dip in sugar. Makes 24 muffins.
This afternoon I decided to try another recipe with white beans (I had lots to get rid of!) and this one is my favorite so far. This Oatmeal Raisin cookie recipe was one I adapted from Mrs. Fields Cookbook into a healthier version. Again, you need some of the fat, so use 1/2 beans and 1/2 butter and they will be delicious! This recipe makes a TON! You can freeze the extra dough for later or give some away to your neighbors.
Healthy Oatmeal Cookies (Okay...healthier)
2 c. brown sugar
2 c. white sugar
1 c. butter
1 c. pureed white beans
Beat top ingredients and then add:
2 t. vanilla
Add dry ingredients and beat together:
1/4 c. powdered dry milk
2 c. white flour
2-3 c. wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
5 c. oatmeal (quick or regular)
2 t. soda
1 t. salt
2 c. raisins or chocolate chips
3 c. nuts (optional)
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes on greased cookie sheet. Don’t over bake.
**GREAT TIP: Make extra white beans and puree them into separate portions for later. Label your bags with how much beans you put in the bag and keep them in the freezer until you need them. When you are baking, pull out a bag, thaw them in the microwave, and add them to your recipe as desired. It works great!