Add fiber and protein to whatever you’re cooking.
Bean flour added to soups and stews cooks in 3 minutes, and thickens sauces quickly.
Bean flour is great for backpacking and camping trips.
Make sure your grain mill allows you to mill beans. Never mill soy or peanuts — they’re too greasy.
Even if your home mill allows you to mill beans, I’ve found out the hard way that large beans don’t work well, so stick to smaller bean sizes. Some people put beans in a food processor or blender to break them into small pieces before milling, but I figure that will just wear out the blender or food processor metal blades or shorten the motor life, so I don’t do this. Plus the manuals don’t mention beans, and recommend not milling any cheese that’s so hard a knife won’t cut it.
If your mill doesn’t allow beans, or you don’t want to hassle with the preparation (below), you can buy bean flours at Whole Foods and other specialty grocery stores. Online you can buy Bob’s Red Mill bean flours: black bean, white bean, fava bean, garbanzo, green pea, and soy. Other internet searches using “buy bean flour” brought up kidney bean flour, black-eye pea flour, navy bean flour.
Bean flour can make baked goods dry and crumbly, and they can have a slightly biter aftertaste, so I don’t substitute bean flour for more than 25% of my whole grain flour. But it’s a good idea to add some bean flour, since in addition to fiber and protein, beans have more folate, vitamin K, Thiamin, Iron and potassium than grains. And if you add a matching amount of corn flour, then you’ve got an even more complete protein and better flavor. In anything but yeast bread you could use 4 parts grain flour to 1 part corn and 1 part bean flour to use for just about everything but yeast breads.
I usually grind a mix of lentils and/or split peas and small red (California) beans because the combination provides high fiber, protein, calcium, potassium, iron, and folate than other beans. Sometimes I also add one or more of adzuki, black, black-eyed peas, garbanzo, mung, navy, split pea, and small white beans.
I tend to use my Nutrimill for beans because I can mill quite a few at once, and it’s less expensive than the Family Mill in case I wear it out sooner with undiscovered rocks (though so far I’ve never had a problem). Just like dent corn though, I find I have to push the beans into the area that feeds the mill, which means I have to mill with the cover off, and the mill is awfully loud, even with the cover on.
I prepare a lot of beans at the same time so that I don’t have to do it more than once a year:
- Pour the beans out in a single layer in a 9 x 13 or 10 x 15 baking pan and remove rocks, straw, or other debris. This is very important, a rock could ruin your mill.
- Pour them off into a large bowl.
- Soak the beans in water up to 5 minutes, and swish them around to dislodge dust and dirt.
- Drain the beans. After they seem to be dry, put them in the oven at low heat (under 150 F) for half an hour to make sure, since any wet spots could rust the mill and you don’t want them rotting or molding in your storage jars.
Bean flour doesn’t have much oil, so you can keep bean flour on a shelf, rather than in your refrigerator, for up to half a year.
Bean Nutrition: 100 grams or 3.5 ounces (nutritiondata.com)
Assuming you need 2,000 calories per day, beans, 3.5 ounces of beans is roughly 20% of your daily calories, 45% of your daily protein, 2% of daily fat, 100% of your fiber if you use navy, red (california), lentil, split pea, small white bean, or 50% of your daily fiber from adzuki, black blackeyed peas, and mung beans.
Details (even more information is at nutritiondata.com)
DV = Daily Value, cal = calories
|Beans 100 grams = 3.5 oz||calories||cal % DV||% DV carb||% DV fat||% DV sat fat||% dv fiber||protein||Thiamin||Ribo flavin||Niacin||Vit B6||Folate||Calcium||Iron||Magnesium||Phosphorus||potassium||zinc||copper||manganese|