Making and Using Bean Flour

by Merissa on January 4, 2012

in Rice N Beans

Post image for Making and Using Bean Flour


Making and Using Bean Flour

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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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gwen January 4, 2012 at 11:32 am

YAY!! i use mine to make the rue for mac and cheese too! Kiddos never know!

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2 Valerie Z January 4, 2012 at 11:46 am

Awesome post! Thanks! Finding a substitute for canned refried beans was on my to-do list =)

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3 Tracy January 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Thank you for this post. This information will be helpful in my gluten free cooking since I can’t just use a normal canned cream soup. I’ll have to admit the instant refried beans recipe also has me intrigued. Thanks again.

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4 Debbie January 4, 2012 at 6:26 pm

So interesting….never heard of this. will try it for sure. thanks

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5 Beth January 4, 2012 at 8:41 pm

I happened to be soaking beans to cook when I read this so I held some back when I started cooking them. I’ll dehydrate them and try the instant beans – as they said way back when I was young… Cool beans! :) Thanks for posting this idea.

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6 MARSHA January 5, 2012 at 10:14 am

Great post! I will try this ASAP! We eat cooked beans quite often. I hadn’t even considered grinding them into flour. I think my Vitamix (dry blade) could handle this. Thanks so much for the idea!

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7 RG January 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm

So, when you soak dried beans you have to make sure you rinse them well before cooking to reduce the incidence of …well… what beans are famous for. Then you cook them for an hour, and again rinse to get rid of that chemical that causes …ahem. Kidney beans are toxic before they are cooked. This is the extent of what I was taught on this subject. So where does bean flour fall in this line of thought? Can it be toxic if not handled properly? Does it cause flatulence? Does it taste really … beany? Help.

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8 Julie January 6, 2012 at 11:10 am

I am going to try and answer a few questions. First off, I am excited to see several of you trying this out or using a version of this. It is a great alternative to what is in canned soups from the store and being able to use “good” ingredients. I would be anxious to hear what you think, if you give this a try. Also, I forgot to mention that when I have made the refried beans, after they are finished simmering, I have added in several spices to taste. This, of course, is your own preference, but I have actually even used taco seasoning in it and used it as a basis for a taco dip. It was really good that way. So, be creative with the spices and what your family enjoys. I have never used kidney beans to grind into flour, so I am not sure on those. I have only used white beans (like great northerns) for the white sauce and the pinto beans for the refried substitute. I have stored those flours in the refrigerator for several months at a time without problems. I am sure that nutriotion wise, it is probably better to grind and use right away, but that always isn’t reality for me. If you are using dried beans in recipes (whole), it is always better to do some type of soaking of them. The water that you are soaking them in should be disguarded and the beans should be rinsed. This will help with the “gas” problem of the beans. One more thing on the bean flours, I have used the white bean flour in soups for a couple years now and no one would know, unless I have told them. There is no “beany” taste to them and they produce a nice, smooth texture. I have never had a soup or gravy turn out lumpy when using the bean flour. Hope that this answers some of the questions. There will be more articles on beans this month and recipes, so be looking out for those. Enjoy!

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9 Lynda Howells September 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm

So as RG was asking: is there any prep needed before you use the white beans to make flour? A few weeks ago I used my Azure Standard white beans to make a pizza (after I gound them in the kitchen whiz), on a cast iron pancake griidle. We so enjoyed them, however, the next day three of the seven of us had problems. And I haven’t used the flour since. I’m wondering do I first soak then reDRY the beans, or leave the bean flour in the fridge a while before using it?

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10 Pat January 8, 2012 at 9:28 am

Has anyone tried using tomatoe juice for cream of tomatoe soup? Did it work?

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11 Ashley May 4, 2012 at 7:02 am

When I cook beans, I let them soak for a day or more to remove impurities. When you make bean flour, do you soak or rinse them before grinding the beans? How “clean” are they?

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12 Julie May 4, 2012 at 9:52 am

Ashley,
I have never soaked, then dried, then grind the beans. The beans that I use to make into flour, I buy organic, so I don’t worry about going through the cleaning process with them. I would think if you are using regular beans, it would be ok to soak them and rinse them thoroughly. You would have to dry them completely either by air drying or a dehydrator, I think, to get them back into a state where you could grind them and obtain a flour from them. I wouldn’t want to put them through a grinder with any moisture left in them. It would gum up your grinder.

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13 Jade July 4, 2012 at 6:24 am

Hi. Thank you for sharing. I was wondering if I could use bean flour by itself or alongside any other grain or seed, ground and mixed together to make some sort of cereal like meal for my 1 year old. Do you have any ideas on this? Please let me know if you do. I would be truly grateful as I’m trying to get my baby to eat vegetable protein.

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14 Anna August 7, 2012 at 7:59 am

Hi there! I just stumbled upon your blog when I was looking up bean flours. I don’t have anything like a Mill attachment I could use to make my own flour, but I do have a food processor that lets me make yummy almond flour. If I dried the beans and put them in the food processor, do you think I would still end up with a flour-like consistency?

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15 uriah September 12, 2012 at 9:32 pm

It should, I just use a good decent blender and that gives me a good consistency with both beans and rice flowers. If I need it to be finer, I can use a mortar and pestle for the final grind. I remember my mother used to buy bean and exotic grain flours and I was glad to find that I could use my blender for use of making flour from my favorite grains and beans.

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16 Sherry November 7, 2012 at 10:16 am

I just ground some pinto bean flour and want to know if anyone has ever tried using it to make tortillas for burritos. I buy to high fiber ones at the store and wondered how they get the fiber content so high.

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17 Karen December 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I made the instant refried beans and I liked it, especially with taco seasonings. I didn’t like the grey pastey color before the spices. And it was nice to have the beans ready so fast! Thank you for the recipe!

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18 Nanda Wubs December 30, 2012 at 7:58 am

Looking forward to it!

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19 Susan December 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Have you ever tried making bean flour out of pinto beans that have been in storage for a long time? Old beans do not get soft enough for soups, etc so I was wondering if you could still grind them for flour?

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20 Kandy January 22, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Thank you! I need refried beans soon but don’t have any, so I was wondering if I could blend up some beans and use bean flour. I’ll never need to buy refried beans again now! I’m not good at planning ahead enough to make normal beans.

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21 Cheryl March 29, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Intriguing! Is its use limited to savory items or have you tried it with sweeter recipes as well? I’ve read about using crushed navy beans in cupcakes and am wondering if this would work in a variety of applications..

Cheryl
http://www.thestylistquo.com

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22 Merissa March 30, 2013 at 7:20 pm

No I think you could use it in sweeter items as well depending on the item and how much of the bean flour you used in it (so it didn’t effect the flavor too much). :)

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23 Cami Scott May 24, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Hi there! I am so happy I found your blog. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah and do not have the pleasure of country life yet, though my husband and I would love that some day…anyway, we do all we can to use what we have and I cook and bake most everything we eat from scratch.
Thanks for the info on the beans. We actually ground some up in our Ninja Kitchen System blender and it did amazing in grinding it very fine. We have been wanting to know how to use it, so thanks for the tips!

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24 Carrie Lechuga-Eckman July 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

hi there i am grain and dairy free so most flours don’t work for me because of the rice i use the bobs red mill all purpose flour all the time but for baking it has a strange taste I’m hoping to try the white bean flour but I’m wondering if i need to mix it with something else to make it hold together for cookies or cakes? i baught a pizza crust recently that was white bean and sorgum flour it was great do you have any idea what kind of ratios i should start with to try this? using the bean four for cream soup sounds great i have wondered if there was a substitute thank you for putting this out there for us to find :)

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25 Merissa July 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I think it would just depend on the recipe. I’m not sure I’d use straight bean flour to bake with, it might end up being sticky.

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26 Julie July 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm

What about bean cakes? You should do some posts on bean cake. There is a chocolate one that I totally love. http://atastylovestory.com/the-famous-brilliant-black-bean-chocolate-cake/

I would love to see some that aren’t chocolate

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27 jan jones September 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm

check out chocolate covered Katie’s blog. She has a chocolate chip cookie cake that is made from white beans, and it is healthy, and delicious. here is the link
http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/09/12/giant-cookie-cake-a-healthy-recipe-makeover/

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28 Lynn July 25, 2013 at 11:24 am

Two weeks ago I got my mill set up to grind beans, and have been wondering what to do with the flour. Yesterday I looked for a cream of chicken soup recipe, because my daughter loves the canned kind. I tried the basic two cups of chicken stock plus 1/3 cup white bean flour recipe. It was pretty good. Then I added a tiny pinch of sage, thyme, and celery seed, and a tablespoon of cream. Very nice! My daughter likes it too, although she didn’t recognize it as cream of chicken. Thanks for helping me get started on bean flour! One thing, if you sift after milling, it removes a lot of the bean skins, and makes a smoother soup. I have a Navy Bread recipe on my site, which uses canned navy beans. I may adapt it to use bean flour, by cooking/hydrating the flour in place of the canned beans.

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29 Christy July 31, 2013 at 10:36 am

My grinder says it can grind beans, which excites me, but since the beans I have are not cooked, I didn’t know what to do with the flour once I ground it. In the recipes that you shared, were the beans that you bought already cooked then dried? When I first searched to find recipes with bean flour, I found that we need to ensure the beans are cooked before we use them.

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30 Merissa July 31, 2013 at 11:27 am

No, we don’t cook the beans first. We just grind the dried beans. You could soak them but then you would need to dry them completely again before grinding.

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31 Steven James Beto August 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Hello, Julie and Merissa,
I found your blog while looking for flour mills and it is proving to be a big help. Recently, I purchased a Champion mill attachment and I could use some advice. I added a dried bean mix to basmati rice, spelt, millet, quinoa, and flax seed but found that many of the beans got caught up in the grinding mechanism and had to be dumped out. Not sure what I did wrong. The brochure that came with the attachment said that they do not recommend using it for dried beans, but mostly it seemed to work out well. If you have any tips in how to use the Champion mill please let me know. I hope to find great ideas in your blog like using white bean flour as a thickening agent.

sjb

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32 Denise September 12, 2013 at 4:03 am

I use homemade chickpea flour to bread chicken, okra, and squash. I also make
my own Shake and Bake with it. I also use it as a thickener in veggie burgers.
I am now going to make a flour of these beans you have suggested. I would love
to know of a boiled noodle that is made of bean flour. It would be great if someone could post that.
Thank you for this great sight!!! ♥

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33 Merissa September 12, 2013 at 6:22 am

That’s a great idea for a future post, thanks!

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34 Kari October 20, 2013 at 3:26 am

about posts above: raw kidney beans have botulism, that’s why we have to cook them. I don’t think there’s any others but do check before you grind random unknown beans.

There are Asian vermicelli noodles made with bean flour.

Those who are cooking beans for an hour… Get a pressure cooker! 6-12 minutes for most, chickpeas are 15. you can add spices or a whole onion ( remove later) put them in a bouquet garnie ( tie them in a piece of muslin or cheesecloth) makes the best beans every time! If I don’t use them quick enough I freeze them, handy for soups!

I love beans! Thank goodness my family does too! I’m really excited to try the new black bean flour I got, there are some excellent tips on this page! Thank you all?

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35 James September 30, 2013 at 10:00 am

I found your post while searching for a way to use our bulk black bean flour. We have recipes for black bean cakes and brownies that are terrific and thought the flour would be a great way avoid all those cans. But now that we have it, there seems to be no explanation anywhere about how to reconstitute them to be equivalent to pureed black beans. Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you!

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36 Merissa September 30, 2013 at 10:02 am

Hmm, I haven’t done black beans yet so I’m not 100% sure. I guess I would just add water to them (warm water) to get them to the consistency I needed them to be for what I was going to use them for. Sorry I’m not much more help!

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37 Sara Rusher October 20, 2013 at 7:05 am

If my black beans are not organic, do I need to rinse, soak and dry them first?

I was getting ready to grind my beans, but then wonder if they have to be washed, and soaked and then dried?
Thanks,
Sara

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38 Merissa October 20, 2013 at 7:08 am

They don’t need to be soaked but they still need to be washed and dried first.

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39 beth November 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm

I’m SO happy to find this article/website. I was specifically looking to see if ANYONE actually milled beans? I purchased a nutri-bullet, and started off mainly following the recipes for emulsified whole foods. I’ve ventured off into making sauces, dips and soups. I was making a Thai dish today, and I had a bag of mixed beans (dry) sitting there, wondering what to make of that, and realized my nutribullet came WITH a milling blade. It finely milled the beans! I knew it did well on nuts, seeds and even stubborn flax seeds. Well, now that I know beans CAN be milled…now I’m wondering what kind of cool things I can do with the flour like substance. Surely it has great nutritional value. Thank you for sharing your ”little house living”,,,the website is not in vain :) MORE and more people are budgeting and trying to eat whole, organic and healthy over all. Keep up the great site. I’m sure to share! :)

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40 Hannah Mattos November 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm

I have a question about canning. I pressure can a lot of soups and stews and I was wondering if I could use bean flour as a thickening agent? I would use all purpose flour but it’s against the rules when pressure canning. I can’t use any dairy products such as butter, milk, eggs and all purpose flour. does anyone know if bean flour is a safe substitute for all purpose flour?

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41 Merissa November 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Hmm, since we pressure can beans I would think that this would be ok? I’m not sure though, might be a good question to ask your local extension office.

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42 Arleigh January 7, 2014 at 6:13 pm

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration all raw beans contain a toxin which may in sufficient concentration cause food poisoning — in this case a nasty bout of vomiting and diarrhea that may last about 4 hours. The toxin is destroyed if cooked at boiling temperature for 10 minutes. The FDA advises boiling for 30 minutes to assure 10 minutes exposure to boiling temp. Red kidney beans have the highest concentration and it has been found that the toxicity actually INCREASES with cooking at lower temps such as in a slow cooker. Seems likely that when you bake with bean flour it’s going to get plenty hot but using it to thicken sauces you would need to be sure to cook it long enough and hot enough. I make instant refried beans by presoaking and then pressure cooking pinto beans until soft. I add at least 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp chili powder per cup of dry beans when I smash the cooked beans or run them through the food processor. I dry them in our dehydrator but this could also be done on a cook sheet in a low oven. I’ve found that pulverizing the dried refried beans in the food processor makes them rehydrate more evenly. Great for camping trips, last minute additions to a meal or an instant dip.

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43 Liquidambar January 22, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Arleigh;
My thoughts on what you said are the same.
Lectins are the problem.
They can leak through a leaky gut (that is us) and interfer with breaking down carbohydrates in the producion of glucose. That is what they think is going on with those that are gluten sensitive. Gluten is a type of lectin from my understanding.
Lectins can be reduced by sprouting chick peas and probably beans too. Or they are soaked overnight and the liquid poured off and then cooked for a very long time — not just 30 minutes.

If I want to use that Wonder Mill I purchased becuase I was wore out with the food processor – I am going to have to dehydrate them after I with sprout them or cook them. I worry about cooking them/dehyrate them and then putting them in my Wonder Mill–I think it might grind these dehydrated cooked bean if I do not add any oil while cooking.

I guess we will see. Or I could sprout them. I don’t know raally if sprouting them will really take care of the lectins like it should.

Always something. Darg.

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