Baking With Beans

I’ve been interested lately in using beans in unconventional ways, like baking, both for the nutrition value and to use up some of the huge stockpile of beans we always have on hand.

I had a good result with Bean Brownies, based on a recipe from Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  The brownies were moist and no one noticed a “beany” taste!

Beans, what beans?

I  based this recipe on a Cranberry Orange muffin recipe from Pulses Canada which uses lentils not beans.  The basic idea is that you replace some of the fat (butter/margarine) with a bean or lentil puree, which adds nutrition and moisture while cutting fat.

Bluberry Bean Muffins

These were more nicely shaped, from a large size 6 muffin pan.

Source of: Fibre, Vitamin C, Folate, Iron
Made: 12 small muffins plus 4 big muffins


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 can beans (15 or 19oz, I used kidney beans because it was on hand)
3/4 cup orange juice
zest of whole orange
splash of vanilla
1 1/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 375F (190C).   Lightly grease sides of  muffin tin.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder.
In a mixing bowl, blend together magarine, sugar, orange juice and zest, vanilla and eggs. Add beans and puree with immersion blender until smooth.
Fold in dry ingredients until just blended and add blueberries.Spoonmixture into prepared pan filling cups three-quarters of the way full.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre of muffins comes out clean.
Muffins didn’t rise that high, might try more baking powder next time!

Result:  I tested these muffins on several people and they all loved them.  No one felt they could taste the beans, and the muffins were supermoist.  I’d recommend putting them in the freezer after the first day, just because they are so moist – I had one left out for a few days and it got mouldy – luckily the rest were safely frozen.

I’m waiting for a few more bean cookbooks from the library to think up some other baking recipes to try – I’m normally not much of a baker but I really get a kick out of sneaking nutrition into things that are normally “treats.”  Please let me know if anyone out there has experimented with this kind of baking!


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