Mar 23, 2010

Beans Beans, the musical fruit

The other night at about 9:00 pm I decided to make oatmeal cookies with white beans in place of butter. Random you say!! Well I had about 10 cups of white beans that I needed to decide if I wanted to keep or toss. Why you ask? Well I had a hamhock that I wanted to make into ham and bean soup. Only last time I made ham and bean soup I cooked my beans on the stove top and they did not soften at all and we ended up with what we termed "crunchy bean soup" and my husband said it would be a good idea if I poured the whole thing down the garbage disposal after dinner and the little bit that we ate. So I had given up on cooking dry beans all together. But my friend lead me to a recipe for cooking beans in your crockpot and so after reading it I thought it sounded easy enough and was convinced it would work so I went to the store and bought the large size of white beans to cook. The recipe said that I could bag and freeze the beans to use in soups and other things in the future and I am all about making things easier in the future. Then I cooked the beans and they just kept on growing and growing. Well anyway I ended up with A LOT of beans. And they did get soft. And I took some out and put them in my soup and left the rest in the crockpot because I had crying and screaming children and I couldn't take care of the beans at that exact moment. BIG MISTAKE!! My perfectly cooked beans turned into bean mush and so what I was left with was about 10 cups of white bean mush. Now what was I to do with that? Make cookies of course. I found this recipe my "I Can't Believe it's Food Storage Cookbook" and gave it a try. You just replace the butter in cookies or bars cup for cup. The verdict: they tasted great. They were soft and chewy. The color however was terrible. They looked like dried mud. They would be the cookies at a bakesale that are the last ones on the table that no one wanted to buy because they look "healthy". The omission of butter means they don't have any shine or anything to make them brown up in the oven. So when I made my second batch I sprayed the top of each cookie with some cooking spray and that made them golden brown and a bit shiney when they were baked. I couldn't believe it actually worked. I am not saying I am going to replace all butter with white beans but heck, since I still have 9 cups to use up it is good to know I have a way to do it and hey if you want to eliminate the fat from one of your favorite recipes you should give this a try.
Here are the recipes:
Cooking beans in your crockpot:
Oatmeal cookies using white beans:
This is the recipe I used. I can't seem to find the one with white beans in the recipe on her website but this is the exact same recipe you just replace the cup of shortening with a cup of cooked white beans. No need to mash or anything just toss them in with the sugar when you are creaming the sugar and eggs. If you are using powdered eggs also then you shouldn't add the water is what the recipe says also. Next on my list to try: brownies made with refried beans.
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  1. I have had brownies made with black beans, the texture was a little off for me :)

  2. I had no idea that was a possibility! How cool.

  3. This is very interesting and I *LOVE* the concept!

    Another way to have perfect beans every time was taught to me many years ago by my mother . . . rinse and then let soak over night. I then put them in the crock pot on low with hamhock before I leave for work. Come home, throw some corn bread in the oven and sit down to a perfect meal every time ; }

  4. Wow! I might have to try that. I have made brownies from black beans.

  5. Wow...I've never heard of using beans in anything! That's awesome and I'm so doing that. I actually make my beans and flash freeze them. Then bag and throw them in the freezer for quick beans for dinners.

    I always rinse my beans, bring them to a boil for 2 minutes and then put the lid on it for 1 hour. After the 1 hr mark, pour off all the water, rinse again, cover the beans with about 2 inches of water and then put them on the stove for about an hour and a half. I throw in hamhock and onion. If you find yourself without hamhock, throw in some chicken boullion. I'm here in the south and we make beans ALL the time and they are very inexpensive. Oh, and if you throw a small peeled potato in the pot, it will absorb the gases and you don't have all the music you normally would!

  6. Oh, after the 2 minute boil, make sure remove from heat while they soak with the lid on for 1 hour.

  7. I throw a can of black beans in the blender and then keep it on hand for when I'm making chocolate cake/cupcakes. Gonna have to try the crock-pot recipe!

  8. Those cupcakes were so good. I am going to try them. Thanks so much for the idea's


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