Friday, July 31, 2009

Beans, beans, the musical fruit. . .

So, we had a great class on beans the other night! Thanks to all those who came! I promised I'd post the recipes for the things I made for it. So, here they are:

Black Bean Brownies

1 15.5 oz can black beans rinsed and drained (I just used some that I had previously cooked in a pressure cooker)

3 eggs

3 T oil

1/4 c cocoa (I put a little more than this in)

1 pinch salt

1 t vanilla (I put a little extra of this in, too)

3/4 c sugar

1/2 c milk chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients (EXCEPT chocolate chips), pour into 8x8 pan and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

They really were delicious--see, they are half gone already!!!

Fast Refried Beans

1 1/2 c boiling water

3/4 c pinto or black bean flour (I grinded up pinto beans)

1/4 t cumin

1/2 t chili powder

Mix dry ingredients and whisk into water. Cook for 1 minute over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce to low. Cook 4 minutes.

I added some salsa, too. I have to say that I didn't really like these. But, I did add more seasoning to them (garlic salt, more chili powder and cumin) and put them in the fridge. I have been afraid to try them, though. . . I need to, just so I can say if they are any better. . .

This is a cream of chicken soup base. It is 5 T white bean flour, 1 3/4 c water and 4 t chicken bullion. Whisk for 3 minutes.

It turned out sooooo yummy! I am definitely going to be making this on a regular basis! (It had been sitting out on my table for awhile before I remembered to take a picture, so sorry about it not looking fresh. :)

I also attempted canning some black beans. I washed and rinsed the beans and put 1/2 c of beans into each pint jar and filled with almost boiling water.

You have to can them in a pressure cooker (thanks, Mylea) for 75 minutes. They are just like a can of beans from the store now! But it only cost me pennies. . .

I guess I forgot to take a picture of my baked chimichangas, but it is my favorite new meal (thanks Nancy)!!! You can put just about anything you like in a tortilla, wrap it up like a burrito and bake it at 375 for 15 minutes. You get a nice crisp chimi without all the fat from the oil (even though they taste so good that way, too!). I put cheese, black beans, Mexican rice, chicken and salsa in mine and loved them!

And, drumroll is the cookie recipe you have been waiting for:

Oatmeal cookies with beans

I think I need a catchy name for these. . . any suggestions are welcome!

This makes a very large batch. You can half it, but I like to make a lot and put them in the freezer or give them away. :)

2 c white beans, cooked and pureed

2 c sugar

2 c brown sugar


4 eggs (I use powdered eggs)

2 t vanilla


4 c oat flour (You can grind up whole oat groats, or blend up rolled oats in your blender until fine--I've done it both ways and they both work great)

5 c quick oats

2 t baking soda

2 t baking powder

1 t salt

2 t cinnamon (opt.)

1 c coconut (opt.)

2 c chocolate chips (semi-sweet)

2 c white chocolate chips--this is my favorite combo. You can do all chocolate chips, or raisin, or half and half, or half white choc. chips and half craisins is super yummy, too. Whatever you like.


Drop on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-12 min.

They are so yummy. My kids are always asking to make "bean cookies."


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wheat Meat Class

So, last night we had a great class on how to make gluten out of wheat, or "wheat meat." Gluten is a part of the wheat that is mostly protein. It is a very healthy alternative to meat and our bodies can digest it very easily (unless you are gluten intolerant). Here is what we did:

First, you start out making a dough with whole wheat flour and water. I made a large batch 7 cups of water and 12-15 cups of flour. Mix and then set aside for 20 minutes. (If you will not be getting back to it for longer than 20 minutes, refrigerate).

Here is what my dough looked like:

Next is the rinsing process. I split the dough into small balls for the class so everyone could experience making their own gluten. Doing it myself, I would split the dough into sizes slightly larger than a softball. You need a large bowl filled with room temperature water. Then start kneading your dough ball in the water. Aren't these ladies doing a great job? :)

The dough will pretty much fall completely apart, get stringy, and then start to stick together again. This is the gluten. Once you have a small ball of gluten, the rest will start to cling to it. The bowl of water will be left with bran and starch from the wheat. Good job gals!

This is what your water will look like afterwards. White with bits of bran on the bottom. There is so much you can do with this water! Save it in a glass jar and put it in the fridge. Add the water to just about anything, and you can scoop off the starch for soups, thickenings and other stuff. You can use the bran to make cereal, muffins, cakes, and tons more. That will have to be another post.

Once you have your ball of gluten, take it back to the sink and rinse it off a little more under room temperature water. This is what it looks like when you are done:

Now you have a couple choices of how to cook it. You can steam it. This is my homemade steamer--just a stock pot with a metal colander. Just place your gluten pieces in the steamer for about 30 minutes. I turn them over after 15 minutes.

This is what they look like after they have been steamed:

My favorite thing to do with them is to ground them up. You can use either a food processor or a blender to easily grind up the gluten to look like ground beef.

It makes a great meat extender, or you can just eat it by itself. I made taco meat out of the ground gluten and didn't add any real meat at all. It tasted great!

Another cooking method is to simmer and bake. This is the raw gluten (straight from being rinsed). I rolled it out and cut it into strips.

Then I simmered some in chicken broth and some in beef broth. There are some great seasoning mixture recipes in "The Amazing Wheat Book" by LeArta Moulton. It really is an amazing book. I am looking into make a bulk order of it to get it cheaper, so if you are interested, let me know.

After simmering the gluten (and it absorbes the liquid really fast!) spread it out on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 for 30-60 minutes--until texture is chewy. Turn them over a few times while baking. You can also stick them in your dehydrator. They turn out kind of like jerky.

This really is just a small start as to what you can do to with wheat and gluten. You can make large batches of gluten and prepare it how you would like and it will keep in the freezer. I hope this insipires you!