beans as a treat!

Like I said in the last post, beans are a wonderful, versatile food. They can be used as a meat extender, a salad garnish, a main course, or as a soup. My favorite creative use for beans, though, is in cookies and cakes. Yes, really! Here's how:

Blend cooked beans and a little bit of water in your blender (the water just helps the blender to work well). You can also mash the beans yourself, which will result in a chunkier texture. Substitute beans measure-for-measure for all or some of the fats in brownie, cookie or cake recipes. Or you can also simply add some of the blended beans to the recipe, which will result in a heavier, more moist dough. Are you afraid that your family will scoff at the bean "bits" that appear in the recipe? They are almost invisible in anything chocolate. Using white beans make them almost invisible in lighter-colored recipes.

Freeze mashed beans into an ice-tray for long term accessibility. After the beans are frozen, pop them out and store the small bricks in a freezer bag for easy use. My standard-sized ice trays yield 2 tablespoons per brick. 4 bricks would give you 1/2 cup; 8 bricks for 1 cup.
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