Friday, January 21, 2011

Using Your Food Storage- Use Beans Instead of Oil In Your Cooking

Remember the black beans I made in my pressure cooker last week?


Well today is your lucky day because you're going to find out what I made them for. It is one of my favorite secrets to making my food more nutritious.

Have you ever heard of substituting the oil in your recipes with applesauce? My mom does that and it's really good. A lot of people use this method for baked goods like cakes, brownies and quickbreads.

I've found that you can do the same thing with pureed beans too except that it adds even more nutrients than applesauce.

Beans are amazing
In 1 cup of black beans, there are 227 calories,  .93 grams of fat, 15.24 grams of protein, and 15 grams of fiber.

Compare that to vegetable oil.

1 cup of vegetable oil has 1,927 calories! 218 grams of fat, 0 protein and 0 fiber.

Isn't it incredible what exchanging one little ingredient can do? The first time I used beans instead of oil I was sold.

 I used great northern beans (white) because I was making white cupcakes for my family's 4th of July party. Every single cupcake was devoured! My whole extended family was there and I think I had every single one of them come up and tell me how good my cupcakes were. I never told them that I put beans in them. Ignorance is bliss especially for little kids.

Substituting beans for oil is really easy because you can trade out the ingredients 1 for 1. The measurements are the same. You want to match the color of the beans to what you are cooking. I'm making brownies today so I'm using black beans.

Directions
1.

Puree your beans in a blender. I measure out a little less than double the amount of what the recipe calls for because the beans condense down quite a bit when pureed. 

I have this handy mini blender that I use to makes single portion shakes or smoothies. Works great for this too. Put your beans in and add water until it almost covers the top of the beans to help them puree.

2.
Your beans should form a paste and look like this. 

3. Add bean puree to your recipe and cook as usual. You cannot taste the beans. Promise.



No one will ever know the difference. But you will feel good knowing your family is getting a little extra protein and fiber with a ton less fat. Go ahead and let them have that second brownie.

Good luck! Let me know what you think when you try it.

Tip: If you don't have the time or inclination to cook up your own dried beans first, you can use canned beans. Drain and rinse first then add back in new water to control the gas factor.

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