Bean Butter–Huh?!

You heard right, Bean Butter. Let me explain. You can use white beans–either dry or from a can– to make bean butter.

Why Bean Butter? LOW FAT! You can make nearly any baked good low-fat by replacing the fats with bean butter. You say “No way!”. I say “Hey – give it a try!”. I did, and was pleasantly surprised. I tried it in Ginger Snaps and in the Chocolate Zucchini Cake I previously posted. The cake tasted and had the same texture as before. The cookies tasted great but were more like cake cookies rather than “Snaps”.

My conclusion: Bean Butter is a great substitute for fats when used in cakes, quick breads, yeast breads (I have a friend that uses it this way), and cake-like cookies. You substitute fats for Bean Butter using a 1/1 ratio–easy!

There are Two Methods for making Bean Butter:


Mash canned white beans along with the canning liquid.

Cook your own white beans, either Small White or Great Northern*. Rinse beans, cover by 1-2″ with water and soak overnight. Discard soaking water, rinse, then cover again with water by 1″. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered until tender. DO NOT add anything to the beans when cooking, no matter what their end use will be, the beans will never soften. Trust me! I know what I’m talking about. You can cook and mash a large amount, then freeze in 1/2 cup portions for future use.


Grind dry white beans in your grain mill to make flour. Add 1/2 cup of this flour to 1 cup water while whisking in a small saucepan. Keep whisking as you bring it to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer covered for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and thick, similar to shortening but not as stiff.

*You can use other types of beans but they will impart color and taste to your baked good, which may not be all bad depending on what it is. It could be fun to experiment! If you use Pinto beans to make flour you can make refried beans in 5 minutes!

Bean flour is handy to have around and will keep for 6 months without refrigeration in an airtight container. Besides using it to make bean butter you can also use it as a thickener or as a nutritious addition to wheat flour when making bread (Fill 1 cup measure 1/8 full with bean flour and the rest with wheat flour.)

In Rita Bingham’s Country Beans she has a recipe for “Cream of Chicken soup”. It is simply white bean flour whisked into boiling water, seasoned, and chicken pieces added along with Italian seasoning. Now you have non-dairy & non-fat!