Homemade Bean Flour – What it is, How to Use it

 

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On this site I continually search for both old ways and new ideas.  I want the best ideas to help me prep for disasters and live well.  The goal is to be better, and make life easier, cheaper, and more self-reliant.  Its not easy, but it is definitely worthwhile.

Celiac’s, and people with a gluten free diet can’t eat traditional wheat flour.  So they have come up with several ways to enjoy breads and other food items without using it.  I can eat wheat, and have stored a bucket or two of whole wheat berries. But I do enjoy having other options.

Homemade Bean Flour

Homemade Bean flour is one of those options.  I was first turned on to bean flour by the “Country Beans” book I have mentioned before.  But in doing some research, I was amazed at how many people already knew about bean flours and their uses.

My first use of bean flour was in making some sourdough bread substituting two of the three cups of wheat flour with 2 cups of bean flour made from navy beans.

There was little difference in the final product, but I did notice some subtle differences, especially in the dough.  The bean dough seemed to have more bubbles formed, and had a firmer, but less dense texture.

I also used some of the flour to make dumplings in a Cajun bean soup I was cooking.  Just mix the flour with enough water to make dough and divided it up into two lumps.  I fried one like a tortilla (GOOD) and dumped the rest in the crock pot (pretty good).

That’s the extent of my hands on experience with bean flour, but I intend to do more with it, especially since I bought 100 pounds of white beans from my bulk food coop “just because” and now I have a use to justify the purchase…

How to Use Bean Flour

While doing some research here are some other things I found online to use bean flour:

If you’ve been cooking and baking with bean flours, please feel free to share your knowledge in the comments!

  • Replace up to one-fourth of the flour in any recipe with bean flour:
    • Beans combined with grain form a complete protein which is exceptionally efficient nutrition for the body, and best of all, no one has to know they are eating it! White bean flour or fava bean flour generally work best for baked goods.
  • Thickener:
    • Use bean flour to thicken or cream soups and stews. This is a great way to reduce the fat content of creamy soups. White bean flour has a neutral taste and a creamy flavor that could replace some of the heavy cream in vegetable soups. You can also use bean flour to make white sauce.  Just be sure to use a mild-flavored flour.
  • Whisk in bean flour to chicken stock, vegetable stock or milk as a base for a fast, hearty soup:
    • The soup thickens in three minutes, so if you are going to add any vegetables or other meat, do it quick! (Ratio is about 1:5, flour to liquid).
  • Dip or Filling:
    • Reconstitute the bean flours to make creamy dips and fillings for other recipes.
    • I have read several times about using a white bean puree for a dairy-free lasagna filling to replace the ricotta (I am going to have to try that).
  • Use as part of your baking mix for chocolate cakes and brownies
  • Use to thicken soups and stews

Special Uses for Specific Bean Flours

  • Garbanzo Flour: Garbanzo beans are also known as besan, gram, chana, and chickpeas. Garbanzo flour is frequently used in Indian and Southern European cuisines.  It does not have to be combined with other flours (although it can).
  • Garfava Flour: A mixture of garbanzo and fava flour, garfava flour frequently appears in gluten free baking mixes.
  • Grean Pea: Add reconstituted green pea flour to guacamole to lower the fat content and add extra nutrients:
  • Use Black Bean Flour as part of your baking mix for chocolate cakes and brownies;
    • Try adding a small amount to bread recipes to get that dark whole-wheat look; the Bob’s Red Mill site has recipes for a black bean dip and black bean tortillas
  • Soy flour is used for baking mainly because it is so inexpensive.

Beans Are Good For You:

  • Beans are a great source of dietary fiber, protein, iron, and many other essential nutrients.
  • Black Bean Flour: 120 calories, 0 g fat, 22 g carbohydrates, 5 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar, 8 g protein
  • Fava Four: 110 calories, 0.5 g fat, 19 g carbohydrates, 8 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar, 9 g protein
  • Garbanzo Flour :110 calories, 2 g fat, 5 g sodium, 18 g carbohydrates, 5 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar, 6 g protein
  • Garfava Flour: 110 calories, 1.5 g fat, 5 g sodium, 18 g carbohydrates, 6 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar, 6 g protein
  • Green Pea Flour: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 2 g sodium, 9 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar, 4 g protein
  • Soy Flour: 120calories, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0g sodium, 8 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar, 10 g protein
  • White Bean Flour: 110 calories, 0 g fat, 20 g carbohydrates, 8 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar, 7 g protein
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