Several years ago, I discovered using bean flour. It sounds rather strange, I know, but once you get used to using it, you will find many creative uses for it.
Bean flour can be obtained many different ways. You can find it at a natural food store, order it from Amazon, order it from Azure Standard, or you can even mill your own. Of course, milling your own, is by far the most cost effective way, if you already own a grain mill. My mill attachment is on a Champion and it is capable of milling beans, so this is what I use. I have also bought it from Azure Standard, as part of my monthly co-op order. Whether you are buying dried beans and grinding them or buying the flour already ground, it is a staple that I keep on hand.
I store my flour in the refrigerator, just to prolong the life of it and keep it fresh.
If you grind up a white type of bean (small navy or lima), you will get a white looking flour. This flour is excellent for thickening soups or making your own "cream" soups. I will be sharing a recipe next week with you on making a Chicken/Rice Crockpot Soup and using the bean flour as the thickener. It is excellent for this purpose. You can also make up any "cream" soup using the white bean flour. Here is the recipe:
- 2 cups stock (this can be chicken, vegetable, or beef stock)
- 1/3 cup white bean flour
Place stock in saucepan and add in bean flour, mixing with a wisk. Simmer on low until thickened. Makes the equivalent of 2 cans of cream soup. Can be used right away or can be cooled and refrigerated and used in any recipe calling for "cream of" soup.
If you use chicken stock, this will be comparable to Cream of Chicken Soup.
If you are needing Cream of Mushroom, you can use beef stock and add in small pieces of mushrooms.
For any other cream soup, like Cream of Celery, you can use vegetable or chicken stock and add in small pieces of diced celery.
It is very versatile and can be switched up according to your tastes and need.
Just recently I have also discovered using the dried pinto bean, also. These can be also ground into flour and used as instant refried beans. I found this recipe in the Country Beans cookbook. You can use the beans in a one to one ratio, but this will produce a thicker consistency. I use this recipe:
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup pinto bean flour
Bring water to a boil and whisk in bean flour. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring.
This recipe can be used in place of your "canned refried beans" that you buy in the store. You can use it for burritos, or taco dips (with taco seasoning) or wherever it calls for refried beans.
If you have questions about using bean flour, please let me know. In the next several weeks, I will be sharing some recipes and tips that specifically use beans and bean flour. I hope that you will be inspired to try these, as they are an excellent way to stretch your grocery dollars!
Until next time, Julie
Julie is Merissa's mom and she's committed to living a frugal and simple lifestyle. Julie grows her own herbs in her garden and enjoys making things at home. You can now find her home remedies and ideas here at Little House Living.
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